BOSTON's tour is just around the corner, with the first show April 30 in Tuscaloosa, AL. As many fans know, drummer Jeff Neal's day job is teaching high school. With school still being in session during the start of the tour, he won't be touring with the band right away. You would probably assume that Curly Smith would fill in the role, considering he performed at some of the shows on the last tour, but there'll be a new face behind the drum kit. That face is Nick D'Virgilio.

Photo by Holger Nassenstein (licensed under Creative Commons 3.0)

Gary Pihl revealed this in a recent interview "Our drummer, Jeff Neal, is a high school teacher up in Maine, and he is such a dedicated guy. We said, ‘Gee, we got some dates for the band starting in April and into May,’ and he said, ‘Oh gosh, I’m still in school at that time! Can you find an alternate drummer?’... There are normally six of us in the band, but our seventh person is an alternate drummer and his name is Nick D’Virgilio. He is an excellent musician and he’ll be with us in Florida, for the first month of shows. Then Jeff will take over and do the rest of the tour."

Nick is probably best known as being a long-time member of the band Spock's Beard from the early 90s until 2011. Nick will be performing with the band for the first 12 shows, ending with the May 24 show in St. Augustine, FL.

Here is Nick's announcement he posted on Facebook:

Hello all! I have some really fun news to let you all in on. I will be going out to play some shows, 12 to be exact, with the band BOSTON! How classic is that?! I am very lucky and excited to be able to do these shows. It came out of the blue and thankfully I am able to join Boston for a short time while still maintaining my amazing position at Sweetwater. These shows are coming up quick, I will be on the first 12 dates, and if you live in Florida, Alabama, North or South Carolina then I hope you get some tix and come on out to jam along with some classic music.

Welcome Nick!

Update April 30: Nick posted an update on Facebook:

Just a quick update here:

It is a bit of a bummer, but it is all for the best, that I write that I will not be going out with the band Boston for any shows. After a few rehearsals it was clear that it was not the right fit for them or me. So instead of trying to make something happen that was not happening, we came to the mutual decision that I was not the man for the job. Maybe with more time it could have worked out, but with the time crunch they were under it was the right thing to do for all concerned to step back and move on.

It is not like I don't have anything good musically going on already either. I have a great job at Sweetwater Sound with all kinds of sessions - workshops - teaching - and gear madness happening, my band Big Big Train is going to be releasing some new music soon along with a live DVD and our first ever live shows in London coming up this August, my shiny new power trio The Fringe ( Randy McStine, Jonas Reingold ) will be playing at the New Jersery Proghouse Homecoming show this October and releasing some music in the near future, and I am deep into some new solo material and other things as well.

In closing the gig with Boston was really just not meant to be. I wish for them a great tour with whomever they use behind the kit.

All the best everybody!