Tuesday, January 4, 2011

BOSTON timeline 1965-2017

A chronological history of the rock band BOSTON...

1965-1970: Tom Scholz (born Donald Thomas Scholz in Toledo, Ohio, March 10, 1947) attends the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He begins to develop an interest in rock music, and is particularly influenced by Todd Rundgren, The Yardbirds, The James Gang, the first Led Zeppelin album, and Rachmaninov. In 1970 Tom graduates from MIT with a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

c. 1970: Tom answers a newspaper ad for a band looking for a keyboard player. The band features Barry Goudreau (then a freshman at Boston University) on guitar, Kevin Clougherty (also a student at MIT) on bass, and Jim Masdea on drums. At first, Tom sticks to keyboards while the band plays mostly cover songs. Soon Tom begins to dabble with guitar and write original material. His first original composition was "Foreplay", which was later demoed in Jim Masdea's basement. At least 2 other songs were also demoed prior to Brad Delp joining the group.

Note: Tom has stated that this first band was called "Freehold", and that he joined in 1970. However, Barry Goudreau and Brad Delp have placed the date as early as 1969, and they have indicated that the band was called "Mother's Milk".

c. 1970/71: Brad Delp joins the group. Tom gets a job at Polaroid. The group continues to play the local club circuit and also makes several demo recordings. Tom, Brad, Barry and/or Jim play under multiple band names from 1970 through 1974.

1973: After completing a 6-song demo tape, Tom and his wife Cindy mail copies to every major record label. Tom and Barry even travel to New York in an attempt to meet with record label executives. They are universally rejected.

Note: at some point the band begins playing under the name "Mother's Milk". Barry and Brad have indicated that the name was used as early as 1969, but Tom says it was not used until early 1973.

Early 1974: Mother's Milk breaks up, and Tom quits the nightclub scene to focus on recording a new batch of demos with Jim Masdea (using a newly-purchased 12-track recording unit). Brad Delp takes a break from the music scene and gets a job at a local factory. Several months later, Tom asks Brad to add vocals to the demos. Again, copies are sent to various labels, but once again it is rejected.

1975: Tom signs a management contract with promoters Paul Ahern and Charlie McKenzie (who had signed the J. Geils Band, another local act). Ahern and McKenzie help the group get an audition with Epic Records (which had rejected the band just months earlier).

Barry Goudreau is brought back into the fold. Fran Sheehan (who had played with every other member of the band at one time or another) is brought in to play bass. At the insistence of Ahern and other powers-that-be, Masdea is removed from the drummer's spot; John "Sib" Hashian is eventually chosen as Masdea's replacement.

The still-unnamed band passes the audition. Tom sets out to re-record the demo tapes. By January of 1976 the group would be christened "BOSTON".

August 8, 1976: debut album "BOSTON" is released. The album is almost entirely written, produced, and engineered by Tom Scholz at his home studio in Watertown, Massachusetts, with John Boylan and Warren Dewey assisting with production & engineering, and Brad Delp writing one song and co-writing another. The album stays on the charts for 101 weeks, peaking at #3. By 1995 it had sold over 15 million copies, making it the highest selling debut album of all time, and second-highest selling album overall (behind only Michael Jackson's "THRILLER").

"More Than A Feeling" is BOSTON's debut single, peaking at #5 on the charts. Scholz finally quits his job at Polaroid.

September 1976-May 1977: The group launches a tour, with innovative technology brought along to help the live BOSTON compare to the studio BOSTON. Initially they open for other acts, but soon they are headlining (supported by Sammy Hagar, among others). "Long Time" charts at #22 in March 1977, and the follow-up "Peace Of Mind" hits #38 in June.

BOSTON is nominated for a Grammy Award ("Best New Artist") and is voted "Best New Band" by the readers of "Rolling Stone" magazine. "Time" magazine praises the album as one of the Top 5 of 1976.

After the tour, Tom spends three months re-vamping his home studio, then immediately begins work on the 2nd album.

Fall 1977: Scholz and the band begin work on a second album. After six months Epic Records demands the album, but Scholz isn't finished yet. Eventually Scholz turns the tapes over, but he complains that only the first side is truly complete.

August 2, 1978: After postponing the release date several times, "DON'T LOOK BACK" is finally released. It tops the pop charts -- it was shipped double platinum -- but eventually fails to sell half as many copies as the first album. Again, most of the material is written by Scholz, with Delp writing "Used To Bad News" and co-writing "Party." The title single is a Top-5 hit (#4), and follow up ballad "A Man I'll Never Be" reaches #31 in early 1979.

The group plans to hit the road for another tour, again with Sammy Hagar as the opening act.

"Feelin' Satisfied", from "DON'T LOOK BACK", is the last BOSTON single released for 7 years; it peaks at #46 on the Billboard chart.

March 1979: Touring continues, with the band moving on to Japan in April. They break from touring for most of the summer before playing European dates in the fall.

1979/80: After completing the "Don't Look Back" tour, Scholz agrees to produce Hagar's next album, "DANGER ZONE". However, CBS soon intervenes and orders Scholz to complete the third BOSTON album before producing any other artists.

Meanwhile, Scholz becomes involved in a legal battle with now-former manager Paul Ahern. Scholz vows that production of the third BOSTON album will not be dictated by CBS or his ex-management.

Summer 1980: Goudreau, itching to record new material in the wake of Scholz' pledge to take his time, records a solo album. He even borrows Delp and Hashian for the project. The album, titled "BARRY GOUDREAU", was produced by Goudreau and John Boylan (who had assisted with the first two BOSTON albums). Scholz is not happy with CBS marketing the album essentially as 'Almost BOSTON,' and Goudreau soon leaves the band.

Scholz forms a company called Scholz Research & Development (SR&D), and begins to design and market various music-related techno-gadgets. Their first product is called the Power Soak, and a couple years later SR&D releases a portable amplifier known as the Rockman. Both products soon had sales numbers in the tens of thousands.

Recording begins on the third BOSTON album, with Scholz playing all musical instruments (including some drums), and Delp continuing to sing all vocals. Sib Hashian initially remained on drums, but midway through the project he was replaced by Jim Masdea. Fran Sheehan also initially remained with the group, but by 1984 he was out. It has also been reported that Delp briefly quit the band c. 1981-82.

1982: CBS, growing ever-impatient with Scholz, begins to withhold royalties from the first two BOSTON albums. When Scholz complains, CBS answers by filing a $20 million breach-of-contract lawsuit. Scholz answers by counter-suing CBS, and the two parties will spend much of the 1980s arguing in court. Initially Tom is ordered not to release any music under the name "BOSTON," but by 1985 his lawyers get the injunction lifted; Scholz moves the band to MCA Records.

1983: Goudreau forms the group Orion The Hunter with Fran Cosmo (who had contributed vocals to the "BARRY GOUDREAU" album), along with former Heart drummer Michael De Rosier and bassist Bruce Smith. Their 1984 self-titled debut album peaks at #57 on the charts, and "So You Ran" is a minor hit single (charting at #58). Delp contributes backing vocals to three songs, including follow-up single "Joanne." Delp also co-wrote five of the album's nine songs. Orion The Hunter tours in support of Aerosmith during the spring/summer of 1984. The band breaks up the following year.

1986: The third BOSTON album is finally released September 26. Appropriately titled "THIRD STAGE", it tops the charts for 4 weeks straight, and lead single "Amanda" is also a #1 hit. Again, most of the material is written by Scholz, with contributions from Delp, Sheehan and Masdea. "We're Ready" hits #9 in February 1987.

A tour is scheduled (starting in June 1987), and Scholz adds Gary Pihl (guitar), David Sikes (bass) and Doug Huffman (drums) to the lineup. Pihl had previously been in Sammy Hagar's band, and had known Scholz since the two groups had toured together in the '70s. He had also added some lead guitar to "THIRD STAGE"'s "I Think I Like It." Sikes had played with Aldo Nova and Giuffria. Masdea also goes on tour, playing percussion and drums. The band plays "THIRD STAGE" in its entirety live on stage.

Meanwhile, "THIRD STAGE" becomes the first album to achive "Gold" status (500,000 copies sold) in the compact disc format.

1987: "Can'tcha Say (You Believe In Me)/Still In Love" hits #20 on the charts in April. The group's final single for another 7 years is "Hollyann", which does not chart. In August, BOSTON plays 9 sold-out concerts in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Scholz has the first two shows professionally videotaped. However, Scholz is unhappy with the quality of the recordings, and they are not offered for public consumption.

1988: After a one-year layoff, the group (minus Masdea) gets together in December for a series of concerts in Canada and Seattle.

Scholz spends much of the late 80's-early 90's in court, fighting various lawsuits. The CBS lawsuit drags on until 1990 (Scholz wins), and several former members of the band sue for royalties and/or ownership of the "BOSTON" name (Sib Hashian, Jim Masdea, Fran Sheehan). Scholz settles out of court with his former band mates. Scholz is also still involved in a lawsuit with former BOSTON manager Paul Ahern.

Brad Delp works sporadically on solo projects, working with Steve Baker, John "Muzz" Muzzy, Mark Miller, and producer Gary Katz (of Steely Dan fame).

1989: Delp reunites with Goudreau once again, as they form RTZ with Brian Maes (keyboards), Tim Archibald (bass) and David Stefanelli (drums). Their 1991 debut album, "RETURN TO ZERO", charts at #169, and several songs do well as singles. "Face The Music" hits #49 on the pop charts in September 1991, and "There's Another Side" is a top-20 rock-radio hit. RTZ goes on tour, playing versions of BOSTON's "Long Time" and "Let Me Take You Home Tonight" in concert.

1990: Work begins on a fourth BOSTON album in November. The lineup includes Scholz, Pihl, Sikes and Huffman, but Masdea is out of the picture and Delp's status is uncertain. Scholz, after having moved following a divorce, has been outfitting his new home's basement, eventually christening it "Hideaway Studio II."

March 1992: RTZ scores a Top-40 hit with "Until Your Love Comes Back Around" (#26), and the band's final single, "All You've Got," reaches #56 in July.

After Giant Records drops RTZ in late 1992, the band attempts to secure a new recording contract. A follow-up album was initially scheduled for 1994, but by late 1994 the group had split up.

1994: The fourth BOSTON album is finally released June 7-- after proposed release dates of November 19, December 21, February 15, March 29, April 26, May 24, etc. have passed by. Titled "WALK ON", the advance single issued May 18 is "I Need Your Love." Replacing Brad Delp as lead vocalist is none other than Fran Cosmo, who had worked on Barry Goudreau's two 1980s albums. A new writing pattern has emerged, with Scholz collaborating with non-BOSTON writers on several songs.

"I Need Your Love" peaks at #51 while follow-up singles "What's Your Name" and "Livin' For You" do not crack the charts. "Walk On" gets some airplay on rock radio, peaking at #14. The album peaks at #7.

October 1994: Scholz loses his lawsuit with Ahern (Ahern had claimed he was owed royalties for "THIRD STAGE"), and is later ordered to pay $1 million in damages in addition to the $544,000 already awarded to Ahern. Scholz immediately appeals the decision.

The long-awaited tour is delayed until the following spring, but BOSTON schedules two charity concerts at the Harvard Square House Of Blues on December 12 and 13. It was initially rumored that Brad Delp might make a guest appearance at the December 12 show, but on December 4 Scholz announces that Delp has re-joined the group. Scholz also announces that William "Curly" Smith has replaced Doug Huffman on drums. Smith had been a member of Jo Jo Gunne (1972-74) and was also a highly respected session drummer.

May 16, 1995: BOSTON's "Livin' For You" 1995 Tour kicks off in Mankato, Minnesota. Scholz also reveals that BOSTON has split from MCA Records.

June 20, 1995: "ORION THE HUNTER" is re-issued on CD by Razor & Tie Records. The label will subsequently issue a CD of the "BARRY GOUDREAU" album.

August 6, 1995: The BOSTON 1995 "Livin' For You" Tour wraps up in Detroit, Michigan.

Following the conclusion of the tour, Scholz announces that BOSTON will next release a Greatest Hits album. It was initially planned for an August 1996 release (the 20th anniversary of the first album), but the album's release would eventually be pushed back nearly a full year. The album is set to be released on BOSTON's original record label, Epic, which is now owned by Sony.

Scholz also disbands SR&D, after having sold the rights to the Rockman product line to Dunlop Manufacturing, Inc.

Brad Delp spends much of his post-tour free time performing in a Beatles tribute band known as BeatleJuice.

Gary Pihl also contributes to a couple of side projects, including an album recorded with a side group called Alliance (featuring David Lauser and ex-Night Ranger keyboardist Alan Fitzgerald, both of whom had played with Pihl in Sammy Hagar's band).

1996: Brad Delp contributes backing vocals to "LONG LINE", an album by former J. Geils Band singer Peter Wolf. Wolf's backing band includes the three non-BOSTON members of RTZ. Delp also contributes the song "Hold On" to the soundtrack of the independent film "The Runaways" -- Delp's son John Michael has a small part in the movie. The song was written by Gary Pihl.

BOSTON schedules a 1996 summer tour, with Cheap Trick as the opening act.

Scholz wins most of the appeal in the Paul Ahern lawsuit, and the rest of the case is sent back for re-trial.

June 1996: Tom Scholz seriously injures his left hand playing basketball, and the 1996 BOSTON tour is cancelled.

December 1996: Scholz breaks his left arm while ice skating.

April 1997: BOSTON announces a 1997 summer tour. Once again, both Brad Delp and Fran Cosmo will be singing with the band.

June 3, 1997: BOSTON's "GREATEST HITS" album is finally released. It contains three new songs: "Tell Me" (sung by David Sikes), "Higher Power" (sung by Fran Cosmo and Brad Delp), and an instrumental rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" (which had originally been issued as a promotional single in 1994).

July 1, 1997: BOSTON's 1997 tour kicks off with a "warm-up show" in Evansville, Indiana.

September 6, 1997: BOSTON concludes its 1997 tour with a concert in Puerto Rico.

1997-98: Tom Scholz begins work on a fifth studio album, while other members of BOSTON work on various side projects: Brad Delp continues to play dates with BeatleJuice; David Sikes and Curly Smith record an album under the name Innocent; and Smith also works on a solo album.

December 1997: Scholz appears in a special Boston Ballet Christmas exhibition, performing a solo guitar version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen."

1998: Barry Goudreau re-surfaces with an album by Boston-area singer Lisa Guyer. The album, titled "GYPSY GIRL", features Goudreau on guitars and bass; he also produced and engineered it.

RTZ's 1994 follow-up album is finally released, under the title "LOST".

January 13, 1999: Tom, Brad, Fran and Fran's son Anthony Cosmo appear on the syndicated radio program "Rockline". Two new songs are previewed: "Someone" (featuring Brad Delp on vocals) and "Turn It Off" (featuring Fran Cosmo on vocals and Anthony Cosmo on guitar).

January 1, 2002: BOSTON performs the national anthem at the 2002 Fiesta Bowl. The new band lineup includes Kimberley Dahme on bass and Anthony Cosmo on guitar. Anthony Citrinite sits in on drums.

November 5, 2002: The fifth BOSTON studio album -- "CORPORATE AMERICA" -- is released on the independent Artemis label. It peaks at #42 on the charts. The title song was initially leaked to the internet under the band name Downer's Revenge, much to the confusion of fans.

December 6, 2002: BOSTON appears on radio station WHJY (Providence, RI), performing several songs live-in-the-studio, including a rendition of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." Tom Hambridge sits in on drums. A studio version of the song would subsequently be posted to the Boston.org website.

2003: BOSTON tours throughout the summer. Jeff Neal is the band's new drummer.

August 2003: Brad Delp and Barry Goudreau release a new album, simply titled "DELP AND GOUDREAU". The album was originally released via Barry's website, but was later given a formal release by Frontiers Records.

2004: BOSTON tours throughout the summer. The lineup is the same as from 2003.

2005-2006: Fran and Anthony Cosmo perform with their side group, Cosmo.

November 13, 2006: BOSTON performs at a Doug Flutie tribute concert. The new lineup does not include Fran or Anthony Cosmo.  Flutie sits in on drums during "Smokin'."

March 9, 2007: Brad Delp 1951-2007 R.I.P.

August 19, 2007: BOSTON performs at the "Come Together" Brad Delp tribute concert. Many former members of the group come onstage for the finale of "Don't Look Back".

2008: BOSTON tours throughout the summer.  The new lineup includes co-lead-vocalists Michael Sweet (of Stryper) and Tommy DeCarlo (who had sat in with the band at the Brad Delp tribute show).

January 2009: A revamped "GREATEST HITS" CD is released. It features remastered audio, a slightly different tracklist ("I Had A Good Time" replaces "Tell Me"; "I Need Your Love" replaces "Livin' For You") and a CD booklet featuring rare and/or new pictures.

August 2011: the BOSTON Office announces that a new BOSTON album is "85% complete".  The album is slated to feature at least 4 lead vocalists, including material recorded with Brad Delp. Tom is also reported to have recorded material with Tommy DeCarlo and David Victor.

2012: BOSTON tours throughout the summer. The touring lineup consists of Tom, Gary, Tommy DeCarlo, Curly Smith (drums), David Victor (vocals, guitar) and Tracy Ferrie (bass).

May 30, 2013: BOSTON performs at the Boston Strong benefit concert.

December 3, 2013: BOSTON's sixth studio album "Life, Love And Hope" is released.

December 10, 2013: Tom releases a revamped version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" to iTunes (retitled "God Rest Ye Metal Gentlemen 2013").

January 2, 2014: BOSTON's website mentions plans for a 2014 summer tour.

January 6, 2014: Tom sits in with the Boston Pops at the inauguration celebration for Boston mayor Marty Walsh.

June 5, 2014: BOSTON's 2014 tour kicks off in Hollywood, Florida. The band lineup includes Tom, Gary, Tommy DeCarlo, Tracy Ferrie, and Jeff Neal, plus Kimberley Dahme (who plays guitar and sings). David Victor was part of the tour in the early stages, but left for unknown reasons shortly before the July 8 concert in New York. The tour concluded with several shows in Japan.

February 2015: BOSTON announces plans for a tour in 2015, starting April 30 and continuing through August. Curly Smith will play drums for the first 12 shows, with Jeff Neal returning for the rest of the tour. Beth Cohen joins on keyboards, guitar and vocals.

February 1, 2016: BOSTON announces plans for a tour in 2016. The lineup will be the same as the 2015 tour, with Curly Smith playing drums in the first part of the tour (through June 12), and Jeff Neal playing drums for the remainder of the tour.

February 2017: BOSTON announces plans for a tour in 2017. The lineup will be the same as the 2016 tour, with Curly Smith filling in for Jeff Neal during the first part of the tour.

April 22, 2017: Sib Hashian 1949-2017 R.I.P.

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