At age 15 I joined band with Sib Hashian on drums, Johnny V, the other guitar player, seemed to know every song there was. He would often call out a key and a song title, count it off, and off we would go. It was a real learning experience. We would sometimes play in a nightclub 7 days a week, 7 sets a night. The go-go dancers were very friendly though. Sib and I are still playing together to this day, although the venues have changed.
It was around this time that I met Fran Sheehan and Brad Delp. Fran’s house was the place musicians went to and jam. We had some great times there, refining our chops until the wee hours. I’m sure the neighbors didn’t appreciate it as much as we did. I met Brad when I auditioned for his band. The guitar player had decided to leave and brought me there as his replacement. Brad sang Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown.” I had never heard anybody sing like that before, I will never forget it. Unfortunately, I did not get the gig.
When I started college I tried to put music aside to concentrate on my studies in Geology. That didn’t last long though and soon I had a band with an old high school friend. I was at Boston University and he was across the river at MIT. We practiced in the basement of his fraternity house and played their parties. This was the real “Animal House!” We decided to add a keyboard player, and I put an ad in the Boston Phoenix. Tom Scholz answered the ad. He had just graduated from MIT with a master’s degree in 5 years and was looking to do something musical outside the corporate world he had entered.
Although Tom joined as the keyboard player, he was picking up guitar quickly and was starting to write songs. The first song he wrote that we played was a piece that would become “Foreplay”. We soon were looking to record and since Tom had a “real” job, he began to finance it. The first song we recorded in the studio was “San Francisco Day” which would later become “Hitch A Ride” on the first Boston record. To defray the costs of recording Tom began to put together his own studio. We worked with a couple of different singers through this time, with mixed results. I remembered having auditioned for Brad, and arranged to have him meet Tom and me at a club on Revere Beach for an afternoon jam session. The first song we ever played together was the Alman Brothers song “Whipping Post” with me on guitar and Tom on the Hammond organ and Brad singing. It was magical!
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