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In the past 40 years, pop culture, media and music have surely changed a lot. Yet, some things transcend these changes. Consider the music of Boston.

Singer Tommy DeCarlo helps bring Boston to Atlantic City Saturday

Posted: Monday, July 16, 2012

By ROBERT DiGIACOMO Atlantic City Insiders

Five years after being  discovered by the veteran rock group Boston, lead singer Tommy DeCarlo still has to pinch himself.

 I still am pretty overwhelmed by it all, especially when I m out in front of a sold-out venue, says the 47-year-old DeCarlo, who performs with Boston on Saturday, July 21, at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City.

The married father of two was working as a credit manager at a Home Depot in Charlotte, N.C., when Boston founder and main guiding force Tom Scholz tapped him to replace the late Brad Delp, who died of a reported suicide in 2007.

DeCarlo s faithful covers of  Don t Look Back and other Boston tracks on his MySpace page caught the attention of Scholz, who added him to the lineup, despite DeCarlo having little professional experience.

 It s been totally overwhelming, DeCarlo says.  At the same time, I couldn t think of a better thing I d be doing at this point in my life than touring with a legendary rock band like Boston.

Boston is somewhat of a rarity among its peers, in that the group has only released four albums since its mega-popular 1976 self-titled debut, which sold 17 million copies and yielded three of its biggest songs:  More Than a Feeling,  Long Time and  Peace of Mind.

The group, whose only original remaining member is Scholz, is in the process of recording its sixth album.

Ahead of Boston s A.C. appearance, DeCarlo talks about how he went from being a Boston fan to its frontman, and why he feels a special duty to stay true to its original sound.

Q: So listening to the radio as a kid really paid dividends for you?

A: Growing up, I never had any vocal lessons or training of any kind. When I first started to sing, Brad Delp was one of my earliest influences. I loved the music so much, it was easy to sing along. Being a young teenager, I probably spent days and days and days at the time just singing the music.

I didn t go out to try to sing like Brad Delp. How it came out, it came out. Fortunately, years later Tom Scholz was in a position to hear my singing. I m happy he liked it  it made things a lot easier.

Q: Have you tried to re-interpret the songs, or do you stick by the album versions?

A: For me, the approach is to stay as close as I can to the album, because that is what the fans remember most. Boston is not a band that tours very often, nor has it come out with any live albums.

In rehearsals, we ll pull out the original tracks and listen to them to make sure we can come as close to the original arrangements as possible.

Q: How difficult is it to nail those high notes night after night?

A: When (Brad) recorded a lot of the stuff, he was a young guy. If I had to go back in my 20s, I could probably hit the notes a lot easier. When you re pushing 50, it does get to be a challenge. Fortunately, I have a pretty decent voice, so I can get there.

Q: Why do you think Bo ebony porn ston s music endures?

A: We can be rehearsing for days or weeks at a time. The rehearsals are long and you get tired. But there s something about the music that just brings you to life. No matter how many days you ve been rehearsing, no matter how tired you are that day, the minute a Boston song starts up, there s something about it. You come alive.

Q: Has it been difficult to reconcile family life with the  rock  n roll lifestyle?

A: A lot of people are surprised that this is a very healthy band. Tom is a vegetarian, and has been for many, many years. It s all about being in good health and being able to stay physically fit to perform for people who sometimes come from two or three states away to see a show.

I lucked out with a wonderful wife and great kids  I couldn t ask for anything more. One of the most exciting things is they get to share in this as well. They come out to shows. Because my son and I saw Boston twice together  we sat in the nosebleed seats  it s really cool for them to see how things work from the inside. I love that I can share all of that with my family.

Photo:

Classic Rockers Boston Coming to Atlantic City

Tracy Ferrie vividly remembers the first time that he heard the band Boston.

It was 1976 and the then 10-year-old Elkhart, Indiana native was at his parents roller rink when the instantly memorable, soon-to-be rock classic  More Than a Feeling emanated from the sound system.

 I remember the day we put the Boston record on, Ferrie said.  I m skating around the roller rink thinking,  this is unbelievable. I ve never heard anything like this. 

More than 35 years later, Ferrie is playing bass on Boston s summer tour, performing  More Than a Feeling,  Peace of Mind,  Amanda and other classics to sellout crowds. Boston plays this Saturday at the Mark G. Etess Arena at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.

 It s been fantastic, Ferrie said by phone of playing with Boston, which is led by guitarist and keyboardist Tom Scholz.  It s a high energy show.

 You see a very diverse age range and it s wonderful to see people singing along to every word to every song. The fans are excited to be there and I m excited to be there.

Ferrie said he also loves the fact that Boston is in-sync both on- and off-stage.

 The band gets along great, he said.  A lot of bands on their day off, they don t even want to see each other. If we haven t seen each other in a few hours it s like,  let s go have dinner or do something. There s a lot of camaraderie.

Boston s summer 2012 lineup also includes guitarist Gary Pihl; singer, percussionist and keyboardist Tommy DeCarlo; vocalist-guitarist David Victor; and drummer Curly Smith.

The band is excited to return to Atlantic City. The last time Boston played America s Playground, in 2008, they were greeted by a three-story high billboard of themselves and quickly gathered their cameras to capture the larger-than-life image from their tour bus.

Pihl shared another Atlantic City anecdote from the 2008 tour and hinted at some surprises in the set for fans attending this Saturday s concert.

 I went jogging on the boardwalk and a couple of fans yelled,  we re coming to your show, please play  Smokin,  Pihl said by email.  We'll be playing  Smokin again this time, and some songs we haven t played for a while.

This will be Ferrie s first time playing Atlantic City, but not New Jersey. He said his favorite Garden State experience was playing the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park as the bassist for Christian metalers Stryper.

 It s such a famous venue, Ferrie said of the club that helped launch Bruce Springsteen s career.  Playing there definitely left an imprint in my mind.

Ferrie has worked with a long list of

A closer look at Boston with bass player Tracy Ferrie

By Chad Hobbs

Peace of Mind, Don t Look Back, More Than a Feeling, Foreplay/Long Time, and Amanda are a few of the many classic rock anthems that Boston can lay claim to and will be playing live when the band makes a stop on their current tour to Columbus on August 1st. They will be playing the Celeste Center at the Ohio State Fair. I didn t hesitate when I was given the opportunity to interview the newest member of the band, bass player Tracy Ferrie.
The bands publicist, Gail Parenteau, was gracious enough to organize the interview and Tracy was the real deal. During my time with him on the phone I got to know a little more about him, I got a better understanding to the inner workings of Boston and the music they play, and we even got to do a little bit of old fashioned rock  n roll discussion.