MUSIC MYTHS & LEGENDS BY MARTIN VENGADESAN
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REMEMBER those kids in school who used to score great marks effortlessly? Well, for some reason (and I think you ll soon see why) Tom Scholz has always reminded me of them.

A towering man, Scholz was a basketball prodigy who fiddled around with electronics as a hobby, when his main task in life was to obtain brilliant results as a post-graduate engineering student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As part of a university project the Ohio native decided to record a home-made album that would utilise his skills both as a multi-instrumentalist and an innovative recording engineer. With a quartet of Bostonians (Brad Delp, Barry Goudreau, Fran Sheehan and Jim Masdea), Scholz set about making a record in his cellar.

Boston with Tom Scholz (second from left) ... check out the  The perfectionist Scholz soon had his mates back in the studio to record a second album, but despite producing hit singles and going multi-platinum, there was always the feeling that Don t Look Back was a repeat performance of the first album. <br /><br />Fiercely independent, Scholz refused to allow himself to be pressured by Epic into rush-recording a third album. Instead, he formed a company called Scholz Research & Development to manufacture the signal-processing devices that he was designing for musical instruments. Through this company he became a multi-millionaire all over again, as his Rockman headphone amp and Power Soak monitors became state of the art! <br /><br />This wasn t thrilling to the record company, Boston s management and indeed some of Scholz s own band members. In fact it was then that legal troubles began to dog Scholz and Boston, as arguments over release schedules and royalties got out of control. Scholz spent most of the early 1980s extricating himself from this mess, and Goudreau and Delp recorded an album together. It wasn t until 1985 that Boston began recording its third album in earnest, and by this time Scholz and Delp were the only founder members left, although Masdea was recalled to replace Hashian. <br /><br />Defying those who maintain that lightning can t strike twice, Boston created yet another multi-platinum work with Third Stage. The chart-topping ballad Amanda became yet another instant evergreen, and while it was arguable that Boston was just churning out watered-down versions of the same album over and over again, there was clearly an audience of millions willing to lap up the stuff. <br /><br />And still the troubles persisted. Inter-band royalty clashes were now the order of the day, with Scholz being sued by not just Hashian but Masdea as well! <br />Still, it was hard for his band-mates to portray Scholz as the villain of the piece while the man actively pursued a variety of noble causes. Aside from anti-drug and pro-vegetarian campaigns, Scholz actually set up a foundation supporting animal rights and helping to fight homelessness, domestic violence and child abuse. <br /><br />Indeed, Scholz was arguably the 																																																																																																																																																																																																																																																																																																												<a href=ebony porn classic anti-rock star, with little appetite for a life of debauchery on the road, although his long-time marriage did come to an end after more than two decades.

As for the band itself, a record of just five studio albums (1994 s Walk On and 2003 s politically-orientated Corporate America complete the picture) in 30 years is hardly likely to inspire a devoted audience but that is exactly whom Boston plays to whenever Scholz and Delp take the band out on the road. While it s fascinating to think just what sort of music Scholz might have made had he been a prolific workaholic like Frank Zappa or David Bowie, you have to respect the gentle genius who became a rock star on his own terms.

Martin Vengadesan, a music lover and history buff, combines his two passions in his fortnightly column. If you have any interesting stories you want him to research, drop him a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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