‘This is the best-sounding band I’ve ever heard’: Why Boston’s Tom Scholz suddenly became a road warrior

The famously fastidious Tom Scholz hasn’t been known to tour much of late with Boston. Part of it, he says, was the lack of technology needed to reproduce his obsessively crafted albums on the road. Really, it seemed, he spent so much time on the music itself that there seemed to be little left for concerts.

After touring regularly between 1976-79, Boston didn’t mount another one until 1987-88. There was a nearly six year gap before the next shows, then five years, then another five. At the same time, Boston has only issued four albums since the late 1970s.

Fast forward to today, with Life Love and Hope — Boston’s first album in 11 years — finally in fans’ hands, and Scholz is focused intently on hitting the road. Shows began last Thursday, and continue through October. What changed?

“This is the best-sounding band playing this material that I’ve ever heard, so I’m super excited,” Scholz tells CBS’ Dave Fogel. “The real problem was, I was always in the studio, being the writer, producer and the guy that played most of the instruments on the recordings. I was in the studio for years on end, working on those albums, and I simply didn’t have time to interupt it for a tour.”

Over the years, Boston lost all of its other early members, including second guitarist Barry Goudreau (who left in 1981), bassist Fran Sheehan and drummer Sib Hashian (both departed in 1983) and frontman Brad Delp (who passed in 2007). That seems to have put additional pressure on Scholz to create the Boston sound all alone. More recently, he’s rebuilt a touring edition featuring Gary Pihl, Boston’s longest tenured sideman with a stint going back to 1985; drummer Curly Smith; and vocalists Tommy DeCarlo and David Victor, among others.

“Now that we’ve got the new album out, and I just finished doing the vinyl mastering, the project is done — thank God,” Scholz adds. “Now, I can go out and play guitar. That was the original idea, to be able to go out and play!”

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