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  • Writer's pictureCharles Cherney

41: Humble Beginnings - Tom Scholz

I happened to be watching Chronicle one night when this wonderful segment aired about Tom Scholz of the rock band Boston. The classic rock albums by Boston are part of the soundtrack of my life growing up. And I am not alone. Wikipedia reports that Boston has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, including 31 million albums in the United States, of which 17 million were from their self-titled debut album and seven million were for their second album, Don't Look Back, making them one of the world's best-selling artists.

About that self-titled debut album - Boston. Did you know that Tom Scholz recorded it in his basement in Watertown?!? Watch the Chronicle episode about it:

- I love how joyful and gracious Tom Scholz is here, returning to the nondescript basement that was his homegrown studio 40+ years ago.

- I love that Scholz is 70+ years young. He is clearly in great shape. I read that he has been a vegetarian for decades.

- I love that - with the exception of the vocals and drums - Scholz created all the sounds in his makeshift basement studio. Scholz would close his eyes and imagine that he was performing in front of thousands of people. He designed devices to match the sounds in his head. The sounds that he achieved are truly extraordinary.

- I love that at this time making music was his passionate pursuit after work hours. This MIT grad was a Polaroid employee in Cambridge by day.

The album Scholz made in his basement was released by Epic in August 1976 and soon became the best-selling debut album in the US at the time. It still sounds fresh today. Listen to it here!


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