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    Saturday
    Mar102007

    Peace of Mind

    Boston.jpgSad news on the Rock 'n Roll front today. If you go to the website of the band Boston, all you will get is a black screen with the statement, "We've just lost the nicest guy in rock and roll." Brad Delp, lead singer for the band, was found dead in his New Hampshire home yesterday at the age of 55. If you're a child of the 70's like me, this is a shocker. Boston's first album (back when they had albums), was simply entitled "Boston", but there was nothing simple about this groundbreaking record featuring Delp's inimitable vocals and founder Tom Scholz's soaring guitar riffs. They quickly proved that they weren't just another band out of Boston when the album skyrocketed to the top of the charts, led by the classic "More Than a Feeling"  on its way to more than 17 million copies sold, which according to a Wikipedia article is still the all-time record for a U.S. debut album. (I don't know if that's true or not.)

    Boston did more than sell a ton of records--they helped define a generation. When I was growing up we played that 8-track tape so many times I can tell you exactly where in the song "Smokin' " that the tape goes Ka-chunk into Track 4. The Boston/Rick Derringer concert in Hartford was the first concert I ever attended, and while Derringer chose to smash his guitar to pieces on stage, Scholz and company decided to bring the house down instead. On one "Smokin' " trip to the White Mountains my buddies and I played the tape over and over continuously in the car, trying to see how long it would take until we were completely sick of it. Unlike "My Sharona", a song I can still hardly stomach after some pathetic Connecticut deejay played 17 times in a row back in 1979, I never grew tired of listening to Boston, although some of their music probably should've made my Top-10 Overplayed Songs of All Time post. One lyric I remember in particular came from the song "Peace of Mind" and goes like this:

    Now you come into the town for the company matter, hoping it doesn't take too long--can't you see there'll come a day when it won't matter, come a day when you'll be gone?

    Farewell, Brad. Thanks for the music and memories. Your life was too short but hopefully you lived it with Peace of Mind.

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