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Brad Delp

Background information
Born June 12, 1951(1951-06-12)
Danvers, Massachusetts, United States
Died March 9, 2007 (aged 55)
Atkinson, New Hampshire United States
Genres Rock, hard rock
Occupations Musician, Songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards
Years active 1969 - 2007
Labels Epic, MCA, Artemis
Associated acts Boston, RTZ, Beatlejuice

Bradley E. Delp (June 12, 1951 – March 9, 2007) was an American musician, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Boston. Delp was known for his high range.


Early life

Delp was born on June 12, 1951 in Danvers, Massachusetts[1] to French Canadian immigrants. While his father played fiddle at home, Delp was inspired after seeing The Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and he started to learn guitar. He saw The Beatles live at Suffolk Downs in East Boston on August 18, 1966.[2] In 1970, he was making heating elements for Mr. Coffee machines at Danvers company Hot-Watt when he met Boston founding members Tom Scholz, Barry Goudreau and Jim Masdea.

Musical career

Delp while playing for his band Beatlejuice
Ice sculpture at a tribute show after Delp's death

In 1969, Delp began performing in Tom Scholz' band Mother's Milk. Delp had been introduced to Scholz through fellow Mother's Milk band member Barry Goudreau. Scholz was looking for a singer to complete some demo recordings he had been working on. After much toiling and re-tweaking of tracks, these demos were 'shopped' and Epic Records would eventually end up signing the act. Mother's Milk would be renamed 'Boston' and the debut album (recorded in 1975, although many tracks were written years before) was released in 1976. Delp performed all lead and backing vocals on the album (including all 'layered' vocal overdubs). Delp was a keen perfectionist, and often recorded many vocal tracks before choosing the best 'take' for the particular track.

The Boston debut sold more than 17 million records and produced future rock standards such as "More Than a Feeling" and "Peace of Mind." Delp co-wrote "Smokin'" along with Scholz, and wrote "Let Me Take You Home Tonight," the album's closing track.

Their next album, Don't Look Back, was released two years later, in 1978. It spawned new hits/ releases such as the title track, "Party" (a sequel of sorts to the first album's "Smokin"), as well as the poignant ballad "A Man I'll Never Be." As they did with "Smokin'" on the previous album, Delp and Scholz again collaborated on "Party," and Delp penned "Used To Bad News."

Scholz's legendary perfectionism and a legal battle with their record company would stall any further albums until 1986, when the band released their appropriately titled third album, "Third Stage." Delp and Scholz remained on as the only two original members, with several new members involved in the production.

Another hiatus between albums forced Delp to part ways with Scholz in 1991 to form a new band called RTZ, but the two would eventually reunite in 1994 to make way for another major Boston tour. Delp continued to record vocals on several albums / projects, as well as some new tracks for Boston's 1997 Greatest Hits and 2002 Corporate America albums.

Though well known for his "golden" voice with soaring vocals and range, Delp was also a multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, harmonica, and keyboards. Additionally, he wrote or co-wrote several songs for Boston and many other artists.

From the mid '90s up until his death in 2007, Delp also played in a side project, a Beatles tribute band called Beatlejuice when he had time off from Boston. The Beatles had always been a personal favorite of Delp and he revered them for their songwriting. During this period, Delp also reunited with Boston bandmate Barry Goudreau for the 2006 release "Delp and Goudreau."

Personal life

Delp was married twice and twice divorced, and had two children by his second wife. He was a vegetarian for over 30 years and contributed to a number of charitable causes.[3] He was set to marry his girlfriend of seven years, Pamela Sullivan, at the time of his suicide.



On March 9, 2007, Delp was found dead in his home in Atkinson, New Hampshire.[4] Delp, who was 55, died from the smoke of two charcoal grills he lit inside his sealed bathroom. He was found by his fiancee Pamela Sullivan lying on a pillow on his bathroom floor with a suicide note pinned to his shirt stating that he was a "lonely soul." The official cause of death was listed as carbon monoxide poisoning.[5][6] Delp was known for his considerate nature and had left a note on the front door of his house warning that there would be carbon monoxide present. That day, the official web site for the band was taken down and replaced with the statement: "We've just lost the nicest guy in rock and roll."

Delp left private notes to all his family members and a public note that read: "Mr. Brad Delp. Je suis une âme solitaire. (French portion translates as "I am a lonely soul.")[7][8][9]

A tribute concert featuring his former bandmates took place on August 19, 2007, the day after his marriage was to have taken place.

On October 16, 2007, Barry Goudreau released one final song with Delp on vocals titled "Rockin' Away." Recorded in the summer of 2006, it is an autobiography of Delp's music career. The song was a minor hit in early 2008, charting up to #18 on the America's Music ranking of rock radio airplay.[10]



External links


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