‘I don’t know who they are’: Boston’s old-school Tom Scholz can’t place contemporaries Andy Summers, the Edge

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There’s a reason the signature Tom Scholz guitar sound — indeed, Boston’s basic feel, from its 1976 debut through to the forthcoming Life, Love and Hope — has remained unchanged.

Scholz is completely unplugged from the current scene. Heck, he’s completely unplugged from the 1980s scene.

Life, Love and Hope, due on December 3, 2013, represents Boston’s first new project in a decade — and the first since original frontman Brad Delp committed suicide in 2007. Perhaps owing to that tragedy, this is the longest Boston has gone between albums — having established a rhythm of eight-year intervals before that. 2002’s Corporate America followed 1994’s Walk On, which succeeded 1986’s Third Stage and 1978’s Don’t Look Back.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking Scholz has been soaking up the scene in the meantime.

In fact, during a new talk with Joe Bosso of Music Radar, Sholtz can’t place guitar players from U2 and the Police.

The Police’s initial recording, Outlandos d’Amour arrived in 1978, two years after Boston. U2 made its studio debut in 1980. Yet, Scholz says he’s never heard the Edge or Andy Summers, two players who rose to fame with those groups basically as contemporaries.

“I have to confess: I don’t know who they are,” Scholz tells Bosso. “I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I don’t listen to any other music — not since about 1974. The only times when I’ll hear other music will be at the ice skating rink or the gym – you know, if I go out and somebody’s playing something. I don’t listen to the radio in the car, and I do that because I don’t want to be influenced. … The closest I can come to answering that question is, I can probably tell you when it’s an old Jeff Beck song or early Led Zeppelin — I can recognize Jimmy Page.”

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