George forwarded me a letter from a fan with questions for me. Here are some answers.
Question/Why give up music?
I haven't given up music, I have given it up as a profession. I have been a musician all my adult life, there were a lot of ups and downs. I have never liked the business of music and there is no way to escape it if you rely on it for your living. The single biggest reason for me though, were my two son's who were growing up and I was missing large chunks of their childhood. Also, playing with Boston was becoming more and more unreliable as far as working was concerned. I could have played with other bands when Boston wasn't working, which was most of the time. However, my children deserved to have a dad that was around and could provide a consistent standard of living for them.
Question/Has he considered auctioning off any of his basses?
I love all of my basses, there are great memories associated with them. I couldn't part with any of them.
Question/Would he autograph Boston CD's?
Yes I would, as long as you make it easy for me. Postage paid returned envelope, etc, forwarded to
Allstate Insrance 1310
Tennessee St. Vallejo, CA. 94590
Question/Is it realistic for a person to assume one could have retired from a having spent a few years playing with Boston?
That would be a NO. I played with Boston for 10 years. Of those 10 years the band did 3 full scale tours and one 2 or 3 week tour of Canada. During this time we released 1 new studio album and a greatest hits with a couple of new songs on it. Not real prolific in my book. At times I made quite a bit of cash playing in the band, but considering the years that I made little or nothing, I could never have put away enough to retire. To be honest, I make a better living year in and year out owning an insurance agency. I have made more money in 3 years of insurance than I made in 10 with Boston. Having said that, I loved my time in the band, it was never about how much money I made, although I'm sure I could have made a much better living if we had just gone on tour every year or so and put out another CD or tour. But, it is what it is, I knew how Tom worked when I joined the band, I was surprised though, at the extremely slow pace at times.
Question/How long did it take him to master playing all the Boston songs when he was first hired?
First off, I studied the songs on my own and probably had the bass parts down in 2 weeks or so. One of the things I had to do was buy a 5 string bass because so many of the songs on Third Stage had the E string tuned lower than a standard pitch. Playing a bass with 5 strings was a bit of an adjustment. What was more difficult was playing the bass and singing, there was alot going on in some of those parts. I can't tell you how long that took because it was a gradual process of working with Brad and Doug on my own and rehearsing with the band. My memory is that we rehearsed for a full 2 months before the Third Stage tour, at the point that we played our first show I felt I really had it all down.
That's it! Sorry if I get a little wordy at times.