Sunday, July 25, 2004
By Lorilee Craker
The Grand Rapids Press
The scene is a rock 'n' roll tour bus, populated by a bunch of callused, seen-it-all, classic rockers and their road crew. Testosterone runs high.
Anyone who's seen "Almost Famous" knows what a tour bus is like. Yet in the midst of this rolling den of men and their Fenders, there's a young mother of two who instantly debunks the wild and woolly myth.
She's Kimberley Dahme, the bass player for Boston. And to hear her tell it, life on the bus is positively decorous.
"We read a lot and sleep a lot," she says of herself and her rather domesticated rock colleagues.
"I'm on the 'quiet bus.' Who knows what goes on in the other bus?" Dahme laughs, adding that her band mates for the last three years have become like brothers to her.
Dahme contributed bass guitar and vocals to Boston's latest CD, "Corporate America," and has toured with the band this summer and last. After years of attrition that resulted in band founder Tom Scholz being the group's only remaining member by the mid '90s, core members Brad Delp (vocals), Fran Cosmo (vocals) and Gary Pihl (guitar) returned to the fold for "Corporate America." The lineup also includes Dahme and Cosmo's son, Anthony (backing vocals, guitar).
"I've always been the only girl in many bands," Dahme says. She's also the first woman to join Boston, which exploded on the '70s rock scene with hits such as "More Than a Feeling," "Long Time" and "Peace of Mind."
Though she won't reveal her age, Dahme will say she grew up listening to the band she's joined.
"My older brother listened to (Boston) first and turned me on to them," she says. "My first cover band, in seventh grade, was a Boston cover band. I worked hard to hit Brad (Delp's) notes!"
Raised in California, Dahme studied music in high school and college.
Though she played electric guitar, piano and flute for years, it was only when Tom Scholz asked her if she could play bass, backstage at a bar gig in Maine, did Dahme take it up -- and fast.
"I moved to Nashville right after that, and the first thing I did was buy a bass guitar at a pawn shop," she says. "I 'woodshedded it,' as I call it, for the next few weeks, called the band and begged them for an audition. I guess I passed."
Parsing Boston's extra-intricate bass lines has been a thrill for the musician.
"Now it's all coming together really well," she says.
Life on the road with the band she reveres is sweet for the mother of Kenny, 8, and Emily, 19 months, but she dearly misses her kids. Dahme's mother has moved into her house while she's on tour to care for the two children. Her band members have been supportive of their bass player's commitment to her kids, which is a boon to Dahme as she juggles rock 'n' roll and mommyhood.
"Almost right after playing my first concert with (Boston), I found out I ebony porn was pregnant," she says. "I was nervous about calling Tom, but he was great."
Last summer, baby Emily and son Kenny were along for the ride whenever possible. This year, mainly Kenny comes to hang out with mom.
"I'm actually home most of the year, so I do get to spend more time with them than if I had a nine-to-five job," Dahme said.
The bassist, who also gigs in her new hometown of Nashville alongside her buddies in "Girls with Guitars," still pinches herself when she looks around the stage at her Boston bandmates.
"The fans have been incredible -- they love this show," she says. "I'm up there playing with Tom and Brad and everyone, and I have to remind myself, 'Hey, I'm part of Boston now!' "