Articles
Boston Singer Tommy DeCarlo Living Rock n' Roll Fantasy
Thursday, April 02, 2015

Ex Home Depot Worker Propelled Into The Spotlight Thanks To Band's Founder

By Jeff Walker
Low Country Today

If this had been a young women's story it might present itself like a modern day fairy tale but since it involves a classic rock loving testosterone driven male it more resembles Bad Company's hit song 'Rock n' Roll Fantasy'. Similar to Mark Wahlberg's fictional character in the movie 'Rock Star' or Arnel Pineda's real life inclusion into the band Journey, Tommy DeCarlo's leap into lead singer for Boston reads like an everyman's dream come true.

DeCarlo would take over the reins in 2008 less than two years after the passing of legendary Boston vocalist Brad Delp. The most notable difference between 'Rock Star' and Pineda's two decades plus of singing live is that DeCarlo never fronted a band or sang in front of a large crowd outside the occasional karaoke night at the local bowling alley. A North Carolina resident and longtime fan of 70's and 80's guitar rock bands DeCarlo spent most of his early singing career performing in his living room.

"I'd come home from work, throw on the headphones and just start jamming to my favorite bands. Growing up as a teenager in the late 1970's and early 80's I was into all the biggest bands back then. Bands like Journey, Kansas, Styx, Foreigner, and .38 Special. I've always loved good rock n' roll music." Although he was inspired by them all he had a connection to Boston and Delp. "I loved his voice. There was just something about it. I'd sing along to radio back then."

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More Than an Album Cover
Thursday, March 26, 2015

The designer for Boston's eponymous 1976 record is baffled that it became iconic--but for rockers of the era, the art ingeniously complemented the music.

By Steven Hellermar
The Atlantic

Boston's hit song "More Than a Feeling" has long been a frequent presence on movie soundtracks and at wedding receptions. Just as instantly recognizable, though, is the cover of the eponymous first album on which the song appears. Designed by Paula Scher and illustrated by Roger Huyssen for Epic Records, the cover has a loyal following equalling the iconic art for The Beatles' Revolver (designed by Klaus Voorman) and Cream's Disraeli Gears (Martin Sharp). Album covers often carry emotive and symbolic weight--but what is it about guitar-shaped space ships fleeing an exploding planet earth on Boston that makes the image so special?

Scher, who once designed covers and worked as an art director for major artists such as The Rolling Stones and Maynard Ferguson, admits she's "mystified" by the continued interest in this album package. "The Boston cover was designed in 1976 and is now 39 years old," she says. "It was, and still is, in my opinion, a mediocre piece of work."

Yet the album has endured: The guitar-ship has been repeated on subsequent records and as backdrops on concert stages.

Album images don't always turn out as planned--their popularity is often a matter of timing. Take the cover for Boston: Tom Scholz, the band's guitarist and songwriter, wanted a guitar on the cover, which in Scher's artistic lexicon was a cliché. She and Epic Records product manager Jim Charney compromised with a guitar-shaped space ship. "The first space ship cover idea we showed Scholz had a Boston invasion of the planet, but Scholz said that space ships should be saving the planet, not attacking. So we came up with the Earth-blowing-up idea," she said.

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THAT WAS AWESOME!
Friday, October 24, 2014

[The following message was posted to the official BOSTON site and Facebook page]

Just got home from our amazing 68-show 2014 BOSTON summer tour. The trip opened with a sold out performance at the beautiful Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida, and ended four months later with two sold out shows at Tokyo's iconic Budokan in Japan.

This was simply the most amazing BOSTON tour I have ever experienced - the best live performances by the band in our history, the best sound, amazing lights from our LD Gregg Maltby, exciting venues, wide screen panoramic videos, and of course most important of all, the best and most enthusiastic fans ever!

Behind the scenes the musicians and crew members worked very hard to pull off the performances and fine-tune the sound every night, but once on stage, we had as much fun at the shows as the audience did. The players and technicians with BOSTON made the show look effortless, but trust me, it's a lot harder than they made it look! As I took the stage for the last show in Tokyo with Gary, Tommy, Tracy, Kimberley and Jeff, I realized how lucky I was to be surrounded by people who are both friends and such excellent players, performing with all this equipment so expertly assembled and operated night after night. As icing on the cake, near the end of the night Siobhan Magnus [American Idol season 9 finalist] took the stage and nailed the lead vocal for "Walk On." Even after a difficult day traveling and scrambling to get ready for a show, stepping onto the stage with these exceptional performers to play for the best fans in the world was an incredible rush - the day's problems were instantly erased and life was very good!

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What I Did On My Summer Vacation
Friday, October 24, 2014

[The following message was posted to the official BOSTON site and Facebook page]

by Gary Pihl

Sixty-eight concerts in the USA, Canada and Japan with sun, rain, wind, friends, relatives, a bunch of terrific bands and memories we'll never forget! Like the show in Bangor where Tom had his guitar done up with a checkerboard motif as an homage to Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick. Or the thunderstorm in Cleveland when the power went out for a couple of seconds but the band played on. Or the show where there were so many bugs in the air that I may have swallowed one while singing and thereby lost my vegetarian status for the day.

I think we all had former high school bandmates come to one show or another and make us laugh and remember the crazy gigs we did in the past. We got to see aunts and uncles and cousins we hadn't seen in years. And some that weren't even born the last time we came through town.

What a terrific crew we've had working with us! 24 guys and 5 women that became our immediate family for five months. They put in long days, every day, to get the audio, lights and video set up and working perfectly whether it was in the L.A. Forum or the infield at the South Dakota State Fair.

We were very fortunate to have been able to share our stage with some terrific bands this year. Cheap Trick, The Doobie Brothers, Blue Oyster Cult, Night Ranger, Mickey Thomas' Starship, Kory and the Fireflies, .38 Special, Kansas, Reb Beach Project, Don Felder, Sweet, April Wine, Joshua Scott Thomas, Scott Bratcher, Random Manor. One sad note was when we heard about Jimi Jameson passing away just a few weeks after we shared the stage with his band, Survivor.

Our four final shows in Japan were a wonderfully unique experience. The audiences were so attentive and supportive. But whether in Japan, Canada, or the US, what we'll remember most are the fans who sang along so loudly, we could barely hear our guitars! Thanks for making our summer so special for just another band out of Boston.

 
Heaven on Tour: Designing For Boston
Monday, September 01, 2014

By: Sharon Stancavage
Lighting & Sound America

The summer shed season brings out a wide variety of acts, which this year includes Boston's Heaven on Earth Tour. "Over the years, Boston's designs have included a lot of the latest technology that was available at the time," notes Mark Fetto, chief operating officer of Morpheus Lights, the tour's lighting vendor.

This year, Boston is mixing its old hits with new material, a balance that is reflected in the lighting rig. "The rig is half old-school--that's why I kept the PAR cans--and half new, with the hip moving light stuff," explains the band's longtime lighting designer, Gregg Maltby.

The lighting rig is streamlined. "We are carrying three straight 40' trusses," Maltby says. Two are filled with 120 ETC Source Four PARs. He calls the automated light truss, a 6'-tall-by-40'-wide structure upstage of the amps, "the jungle gym." "It's for backlight, air stuff, graphic effects, and lighting the back of the amps," he adds, "On them, there are six [Martin Professional MAC] Vipers, eight [Clay Paky] Sharpys, and six [Ayrton] MagicPanel 602 beam projectors." Additional MagicPanels are placed on the floor. "I'm also using them as shin kickers, stage right and stage left, and they work really well," Maltby says. The units replace the Ayrton Wildsun 500s that Maltby employed on the band's 2012 tour. Using the MagicPanels, he says, "you can go totally crazy--you can write letters and numbers and so on. They do rainbow stuff, they do chases, and they look pretty cool."

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BOSTON gives Columbus peace of mind
Thursday, August 21, 2014

By Chad Hobbs
examiner.com

If you were one of the 5,000 or so of us who helped pack the LC Pavilion last night; I'm sure that you'd agree that it was a night that you won't soon forget. Everybody is familiar with how flawless BOSTON sounds on recording. I mean for crying out loud, Tom Scholz takes ten years to perfect each album, refusing to release it until it is absolutely pristine. The thing that makes them so much better, to me, is that they are able to replicate that signature sound flawlessly on stage. If you listen to a piece of their music, you will understand that there is a lot of things going on in there. There are lots of intricate and subtle things happening that contribute to the whole piece and they flat out go onto the stage and execute it perfectly. It amazes me every single time I see them. They seamlessly transitioned through songs from every album but Corporate America, making sure to get the rock anthems, some new stuff, and of course some deeper cuts that actually come to life better in a live environment.

Unfortunately, I missed the opening act; Scotty Bratcher. I'd seen him before as the opener for Cheap Trick, and was looking forward to seeing him again. I'm a huge fan of blues guitar and long time Bratcher mega-fan, Silas Joliff, was able to fill me in on the good stuff that I missed. Any set that includes Jimi Hendrix gets my approval. Since we arrived late, though, we weren't able to get into the pit until right before BOSTON took stage. We made our way to within about ten feet from where Scholz would be standing and simply watched as BOSTON's perfect music was perfectly performed for close to two hours.

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Boston Receives Warm Welcome at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

By Matt Wardlaw
Cleveland Scene

If you're a Boston fan, you know that band leader Tom Scholz doesn't get out much, something that the veteran guitarist/producer himself acknowledged during a recent interview. As a result, when Scholz takes Boston out on the road, he really puts a lot of effort into making sure that the band delivers a memorable show. They did just that during their performance last night at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica in front of a crowd of more than 3,000 people. Dark clouds, which quickly turned into a torrential downpour, would make it a challenging evening for both the band and the road crew, but from the smiles that both Scholz and fellow guitarist Gary Pihl had plastered across their faces throughout the night, you wouldn't have known that it was anything other than a regular summer night out under the stars.

Vocalist Tommy DeCarlo handles most of the vocals for the band these days in the absence of the late Brad Delp and he proved to be worthy of the job. Plucked from his day job at a Home Depot location in North Carolina in early 2008, DeCarlo's vocals were unbelievably reminiscent of Delp's classic voice. He wasn't an incredibly dynamic performer visually, but he was a fan-friendly presence, often making eye contact with those in the crowd and even walking to the edge of the stage to exchange high fives and handshakes with those in the front row. But most importantly, he provided the missing link to make the classic Boston hits sound just like you remember them.

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Catching up with Tracy Ferrie from BOSTON
Monday, August 18, 2014

By Chad Hobbs
examiner.com

One of the must see tours of this summer has been the awaited return of BOSTON. The band is currently on the road to support their new album Life, Love & Hope. The tour hits Columbus on Wednesday evening at The LC Pavilion and also features special guest and local hero Scotty Bratcher as the opening act. Having now seen the band twice and eagerly anticipating a third time on Wednesday, rest assured that this is not one that classic rock fans can afford to miss.

Just like he graciously did two years ago, bassist Tracy Ferrie took some time away from the road to answer some questions of mine; shedding some light on what it is like to be part of the BOSTON machine and what Columbus fans have to look forward to.

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Starlight crowd gets more than a feeling from Boston, Kansas
Friday, August 15, 2014

By Bill Brownlee
The Kansas City Star

The 1978 Boston hit "Don't Look Back" is a thunderous declaration about the value of living in the present. More than 7,000 nostalgic fans of classic rock refused to heed the message Thursday as they crowded Starlight Theatre.

The serviceable but flawed performances by Boston and Kansas reflected the challenges faced by aging rock bands and their dedicated audiences. The fans at Starlight witnessed a headlining band that had just one original member, and the opening act was one of the final concerts for its most prominent musician.

The release of Boston's self-titled debut album in 1976 altered the course of rock 'n' roll. In addition to selling more than 20 million copies, the recording introduced the sonic innovations of Tom Scholz. The rock equivalent of the startup chime on an Apple computer, Scholz's influential guitar tone is a technological marvel.

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Boston plays Springfield
Thursday, August 14, 2014

By Bruce Rushton
Illinois Times

Those -- and there were a substantial number in attendance -- who saw Boston at the Illinois State Fair on Tuesday will, I suppose, have one of two reactions.

It was really cool! They played all the big songs, except "Hitch A Ride" -- that's my favorite, but, oh well. Still, pretty awesome!

Or something along the lines of what I thought, which can be summed up in a single word: meh. Extrapolated: Boy, 1976 sure was a long time ago, wasn't it?

For those of us who were there and of a mindset, Boston was an undelible part of growing up in the 1970s. Their debut album sold 17 million. They were bigger than Nirvana. And then they weren't. The coattail effect never lasts, and so it was with Boston, which has put out six albums now, each one less successful than the one before. And there is a reason for that.

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