Donald Thomas “Tom” Scholz (born March 10, 1947) is an American rock musician, inventor, engineer, and philanthropist, best known as the founder of the band Boston. He is also the inventor of the Rockman portable guitar amplifier. He has been described as “a notoriously ‘un-rock n’ roll’ figure who never enjoyed the limelight of being a performer,” preferring to concentrate almost exclusively on his music, and in more recent years, spending much of his time working with charities.
Tom Scholz was a keyboardist playing for any band he could in the Boston area while he attended MIT. Barry Goudreau was the lead guitarist of a group called Mother’s Milk and asked Tom to play with them. Tom then learned to play guitar during this time and began writing songs. After graduating from MIT he landed a job with Polaroid. In his spare time, he built a 12 track mixer and began recording some of his music with the help of drummer Jim Masdea. Finding the right vocal talent proved to be a problem until he found the late Brad Delp. After that he hired his friend, guitarist Barry Goudreau, bassist Fran Sheehan, and drummer Sib Hashian. Over the years, he used many different musicians as needed to achieve the results he wanted. Except for Tom, none of the original members appear on all of the albums.
After a couple of years of shopping the demo tapes around, Tom found a record company willing to sign him. Epic Records wanted Tom and the rest of his band to re-record the songs in Epic’s Los Angeles studios. Tom felt that the tapes were fine the way they were since he had spent hours upon hours fine tuning them. The original producer agreed, in part, with Tom and managed to snooker the studio executives . Eventually, everyone but Tom did go to L. A. and recorded a song for show. While they looked busy in the studio recording “Let Me Take You Home Tonight”,Tom finished up the demos at the Hideaway Studio.
Meanwhile Tom continued to tinker with the original tapes. It was the demo tapes which made up most of the original debut album, simply titled “Boston”. Brad Delp did all of the vocals on “Boston” as well as on “Don’t Look Back” and “Third Stage”.
Kimberley Dahme joined the band in 2003. The first female of the group, she has her own country career, but had also worked in a Boston cover band. When she was asked to join the band, she had to learn to play bass to do it. She does sing a song of her own on the “Corporate America” album entitled “With You” where she also plays acoustic guitar. Additionally she does some lead and harmony vocals on the album as well.
Since all of Boston’s music was a product of Tom Scholz head and produced in his studios, speculation it that they were lip synching everything because they sounded too much like their albums and you can’t sing lead, background and harmony vocals at the same time.
Scholz has remarked on the relationship with Boston’s various record labels that “The [music] business would be a good thing, except that it’s dominated by drug addicts and businessmen.” In regard to the theme of his album Corporate America, Scholz told the Sierra Club that “The thing that made me decide to break with previous albums and include an overtly political song, was when I discovered that for the first time in American history big business owns the news media.” He also stated that “The public has been sold a bill of goods about the free market being a panacea for mankind. Turning corporations loose and letting the profit motive run amok is not a prescription for a more livable world”.