Sunday, June 12, 2011

I (heart) Brad Delp

By Al Tays

We couldn't find anybody more qualified to
write about Boston's lead singer Brad Delp
(above) than Boston native Al Tays, a regular
contributor on Sundays at the Sanctuary.
A very bittersweet birthday observance today. Brad Delp, the original lead singer for Boston, was born on this day in 1951, so he would have been 60. But sadly, a deeply depressed Delp committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in March 2007.

I've never heard another band that sounded anything like Boston, nor another singer that sounded anything like Delp. His vocals, combined with band founder Tom Scholz's guitar and engineering genius, produced a magical sound. As a native Bostonian (if you count the suburbs), I'd love their sound even if they had called themselves New York.

Scholz once described the chemistry between his instrumentation and Delp's vocals thusly: "It went from a guitar lick that didn't mean a thing to a real song as soon as he opened his mouth." The combination resonated with rock and roll fans everywhere. Boston's self-titled debut album, released in 1976, sold more than 17 million copies, making it at the time the biggest-selling debut album ever (it was later surpassed by Guns N' Roses' "Appetite for Destruction").
The aftermath of Delp's death has been a regrettable tangle of accusations and lawsuits involving current and former band members and Delp's family and friends. Unfortunately such animosity is not uncommon among bands, especially long-lived ones, but that doesn't make the latest chapter in the story of Delp and Scholz and Boston any less depressing.

No, Delp's birthday should be a time of celebration of a great band and a great singer. So click on the video, smile at the hair and the 'staches and let the music take you back to 1976. On this day, it's OK to look back.

No comments:

Post a Comment