“MORE THAN A FEELING TO FANS”
BY JOHN BENSON
THE CHRONICLE TELEGRAM
JUNE 27, 2003
When M.I.T. graduate Tom Scholz first began noodling around in his basement creating his own studio and perfecting his unique guitar style, he had no idea he was beginning a seven-year odyssey that would result in perhaps the greatest debut disc recording ever, Boston’s 1976 self-titled album.
However, there were moments when Scholz almost shelved the project, after hundreds of rejection letters and the hopeless feeling that his hard work would be for naught. “I never expected it to be a success,” said Scholz, calling from his home m New England. “I had spent seven years alone in basements recording. Never did the going out and playing clubs, partying and having girls thing.
Never had that. And I got nothing for it except lots of rejection letters. So, I expected to be rejected for one last time then that was going to be it. I knew that it had been a gamble from the beginning and I figured I had lost. What was a shock was getting a class A deal from a major label and a much greater shock when the recording became a huge smash hit.
While successful right out of the gate, Boston would spend the next quarter of a century leaving fans continually waiting, releasing a whopping five albums in just over 26 years.
Amazingly, Scholz’s laborious process of recording new studio albums — which normally takes him in the four to five year range — has many whispering “perfectionist” but he doesn’t necessarily agree.
“There is no such thing as a perfectionist in art quite frankly.” Scholz said. “What I am certainly guilty of is trying to get the most out of myself and people who work with me. That term perfectionist used to rankle me. It always gave me this mental image of some anally retentive guy in a perfect place with a clean desk and all of that. I have to climb into my studio and get through all of the wires that are lying around in order to do some work.”
One would naturally assume that Scholz, the main producer for all Boston albums, beginning with 1978’s “Don’t Look Back” and including their most recent release, 2002’s “Corporate America,” has fully embraced the digital age of music technology, leaving behind the antiquated form of analog tape recording.
Actually, he despises the “artificial sounding” results of digital
recording and only does so at the last minute when he’s forced to deliver his albums in a digital format. The one constant throughout the 25-plus year career of Boston has been the lush wall-of-sound guitar style, most often defined by one of the group’s biggest singles, 1976’s “More Than A Feeling.”
For classic rock fans, that same rich style remains evident on the band’s most recent release, which means the group’s upcoming show Tuesday at Blossom Music Center will be an evening of familiar arena rock. However, considering the eight years since Boston’s last studio disc this may be a must-see show for even the casual fan. After all, who knows when the band win come around again?
“All of us are really itching to get out on the road,” said Scholz. “It’s a long, arduous process in the studio, and it’s not fun. The tour is the fun part It’s great.
1978 Don’t Look Back
1986 Third Stage
1994 Walk On
2002 Corporate America
2013 Life, Love & Hope