When I started college I tried to put music aside to concentrate on my studies in Geology. That didn’t last long though and soon I had a band with an old high school band mate. I was at Boston University and he was across the river at MIT. We practiced in the basement of his fraternity house and played their parties. This was the real “Animal House”, with togas and all. We decided to add a keyboard player, and I put an ad in the Boston Phoenix. Tom Scholz answered the ad. He had just graduated from MIT with a master’s degree in 5 years and was looking to do something musical outside the corporate world he had entered.
Although Tom joined as the keyboard player, he was picking up guitar quickly and was starting to write songs. The song he wrote that we played first was a classical sounding piece that would become “Foreplay”. We soon were looking to record and since Tom had a “real” job, he began to finance it. The song we recorded first in a real studio was “San Francisco Day” which would later become “Hitch A Ride” on the first Boston record. To defray the costs of recording Tom began to put together his own studio. We worked with a couple of different singers through this time, with mixed results. I remembered having auditioned for Brad’s band, and arranged to have him meet me and Tom at a club on Revere Beach for an afternoon jam session. The first song we ever played together was Allman Brothers song “Whipping Post” with me on guitar and Tom on the Hammond organ and Brad singing. It was magical!
Eventually we put together a demo tape, and brought it to New York to shop for a record contract. I remember sitting in waiting rooms, not able to get past the receptionist. I think it was these several years of constant rejection that drove Tom to continue to refine the songs and recordings to a point where they could no longer be denied. The fact that both of our original managers were radio promotion guys certainly helped. They had radio convinced it was a hit before anyone had ever heard it! Of course it didn’t hurt that the songs and recordings were everything they promised.
We were signed to Epic Records in 1975.The first album was released in August 1976. We had hope that the record would sell 200,000 copies, because that was what we felt we had to sell in order to do another record. When the record sold that many in the first few weeks we knew we had arrived.
We began to do shows that were booked before the record had come out. They were mostly in nightclubs. There was such a buzz about the band and the record, the lines at these shows often circled the block. It was really trial by fire. We didn’t have the equipment we needed or the personnel to run it. We hired people on the spot to fill out our road crew. Early on we even set up our own gear. That would soon change as we quickly went from playing in nightclubs to opening in arenas, to headlining arenas, all in the course of 6 months. The pressure was enormous on us, but our first tour was everything a rock player could have ever ask for.
Before the first tour was even over, the label was looking for another record. They wanted to know when it would be delivered. We hadn’t even thought about it! Again the pressure was on, but this time it was to follow up the most successful debut of all time, selling over 17 million copies. I had hoped that this would mean that I could be more involved in the writing and recording process, but it didn’t work out that way. Tom became more isolated. When the second album was released Tom felt as though he was turning it over before it was ready. I remember going on for our first show of the second tour without having played through the whole set. The pressure was on again. The camaraderie and good vibe of the first tour was gone. By the end of the second tour it was obvious that things would never be the same.
After the second tour ended in Europe in the fall of 1979, Tom had a group meeting and told us he was taking a year off and suggested that if we wanted to do another project, solo record or whatever, now was the time.
Although I hadn’t really thought too much about it before, I decided to try a solo record. I began to write some songs with Brad. The ideas came quickly and soon we had several songs. We brought them to Tom to see what he thought. To my surprise he asked to produce the record. I had hoped he would say he had an interest in using the songs for a Boston record. Brad and I felt that the record label would not allow Tom to produce a solo record when they were waiting for another Boston record. We continued writing. It was at this time I met Fran Cosmo, through a crew member. He contributed several songs and lead vocals to the record. It was the beginning of a long relationship. The record was done in 6 months and released in 9 months. I felt I still had enough time to promote it and still be within the year long time frame we had been given. When the album was released the label ran an ad campaign that said “millions of people have heard his guitar, we would like to introduce you to its owner”. Tom felt as though they were promoting me as the “force” behind Boston and was furious. I read the ad as they were introducing me as the “other” guitarist. I suppose the fact that both Sib and Brad appeared on the record, made Boston comparisons inevitable. Looking back, I probably would have handled things differently. The album was pulled and my relationship with Tom suffered.
In January 1980 Tom called a group meeting and told us he would no longer work with me. I felt as though I had no support in the band and I needed to leave. The band thought I wanted out.
In 1985 Fran Cosmo and I hitched up again and formed Orion the Hunter. We enlisted Bruce Smith, a bass player that Fran had been working with, along with former Heart drummer, Michael DeRosier. I had met Michael on the road at one of the many shows we did with Heart. Keyboardist Brian Maes rounded out the band when it was time to tour. We recorded a record for CBS, toured opening for Aerosmith on their Back in the Saddle tour, and had a video on MTV. The band didn’t have the success we had expected when it came time to follow up with a new record, the band folded. It was back to the drawing board again.
Brad I had stayed in touch throughout this time and had continued writing songs. He was my brother-in-law, after all!
I had worked with a couple of other singers during this time, but it was Brad I really wanted to work with. In 1990 Brad left Boston to record and tour with our new band, RTZ. Brian Maes joined as keyboardist and he introduced me to drummer David Stefanelli and former New Man bassist Tim Archibald. In an ironic twist, Tom replaced Brad in Boston with singer Fran Cosmo. RTZ released a record on Warner Brothers and toured extensively. When it came time to follow up the first record, which hadn’t achieved the success we had hoped for, and without a record label, spirits sagged and Brad left to return to Boston. The grunge era had bitten us i the ass.The demo recording from before the release of RTZ and the demos for the follow up cd are, however, available on this site. (Lost/Found)
Brad and I released the Delp/Goudreau cd in 2003. We maintained a good relationship right up until his tragic death in 2007.
In 2006 with the 30th anniversary of the first Boston record coming up,Tom Scholz contacted me to send the remasters of the first two Boston records, and his re-write of the credits for the two records. Not having listened to the records all the way through for quite some time, I pulled out my guitar and played along. I got an idea to write a song that reflected on the sound and style of the first two albums and give a nod to the fans that had followed the band for so many years. I gave the musical track to Brad who wrote lyrics that effectively thanked fans for their then, 30 years of support. Old demons arose and any reconciliation between me and Tom ended. After Bad’s death his family and I decided to re-record the song retaining Brad’s vocals and release it to the public. The song “Rockin Away” is available on i-Tunes.
My childhood friend and Boston alumnus, Sib Hashian and I had a band called Dirty Water that performed songs from the Boston catalog. During a show on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, Sib suffered a missive heart attack mid set and tragically did not survive A documentary in his honor called “Let There be Drums” is being planned with filming scheduled to begin soon.
My focus in recent years has been with my band Barry Goudreau’s Engine Room. Our first cd “Full Steam Ahead” was released in 2017. Along with my longtime collaborators, Brian Maes and Tim Archibald, with Tony DePeitro on drums, and singers, Mary Beth Maes, Joanie Cicatelli, and Terri O’Soro, our new cd “The Road” will be released in 2021.
I appreciate all the support I have received over the years, and look forward to getting back out on the road to promote this new cd.
All my best to you,