|Born||November 29, 1951|
Ernie and the Automatics
Goudreau had developed a musical interest at an early age and got his first guitar, an acoustic which he borrowed from a friend, at age 11. He began taking lessons and by age 13, joined his first band, the "Tornadoes". At age 15, he joined another band with future Boston drummer Sib Hashian. They would often play at night clubs, sometimes seven times a week. Later, he met up with Brad Delp and Fran Sheehan, both future members of Boston. He auditioned for Delp's band, but didn't make the cut as he explains here:
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 he went to college at Boston University, he sought to get a degree in Geology. He tried to put music aside to focus on school, but he soon met up with Tom Scholz who was right across the river at MIT.
The group evolved from Goudreau's college band "Mother's Milk" which also included Tom Scholz and Brad Delp. Goudreau worked with Scholz and Delp as early as 1969 on an initial set of demo tapes, where he performed all of the rhythm and lead guitar work. These early attempts to attract record label interest did not succeed.
Eventually we put together a demo tape, and brought it to New York to shop for a record contract. I remember sitting in waiting rooms, not able to get past the receptionist. I think it was these several years of constant rejection that drove Tom to continue to refine the songs and recordings to a point where they could no longer be denied.
Later, Scholz re-worked and re-recorded some of these demo songs and wrote several new songs for a second set of demo tapes, this time with Scholz performing all of the guitar, bass and keyboard parts. This second demo set won a recording contract with Epic Records.
Although Goudreau is not credited with any songwriting on any Boston tracks, his guitar work was an integral part of the Boston trademark sound and style. Goudreau composed and performed the lead work for "Foreplay/Long Time", Don't Look Back, and "Used To Bad News" and provided much creative input to the primary songwriter, Tom Scholz. In late 1979, Scholz became involved in legal and contractual battles with the band's manager, and later with CBS. Thereafter, he informed the members of Boston that he would not be working on Boston material for at least a year and that they should feel free to do solo projects.
By this time, Goudreau had written many songs in hopes that Scholz would incorporate them into the next Boston LP. Scholz did not express interest in using any of Goudreau's work. In 1980, Goudreau recorded his first solo LP titled Barry Goudreau, using Brad Delp and Fran Cosmo (who would join Boston in 1991) on vocals, and Sib Hashian on drums. The record company sought to cash in big time with this "almost Boston" line-up. The LP successfully hit the airwaves with the songs "Dreams" and "Mean Woman Blues". The album was promoted as a kind of "Boston-lite" and when Scholz caught word of this he was furious. Ultimately, it was this album that triggered Scholz to ask Goudreau to leave Boston.
In 1984, Goudreau formed the band Orion The Hunter and released a debut LP. This time, Fran Cosmo appeared as lead vocalist, while Delp provided backing vocals and co-wrote five of the album's songs. The album included the single "So You Ran". The band then added keyboardist and backing vocalist Brian Maes and toured in support of Aerosmith in 1984 but ultimately broke up in 1985.
In 1990 Goudreau formed the band RTZ (Return to Zero). Delp left Boston to join the band. RTZ experienced some success with the hit "Until Your Love Comes Back Around", which was written by Brian Maes. Delp and Goudreau felt that the record company was not supporting the band to the best of their abilities and asked to be released from their contract. They later signed with MTM Records; however, Delp departed shortly after to rejoin Boston.
In 1998, RTZ regrouped to release their second album Lost with less success than the debut.
In 2003, Goudreau and Delp teamed up for their independent recording of Delp and Goudreau. The single "It's What You Leave Behind" received limited radio airplay.
In 2005, Goudreau and the members of RTZ released two CDs of songs that were earmarked for the never-realized third RTZ CD. The albums were released in the USA on Briola Records as Lost in America and Found in America. Goudreau continues to perform with Sheehan and Hashian in small, local venues in the greater Boston area, and also continued to perform with Delp until his death in 2007.
In 2006, Goudreau and Scholz got back in touch after 20-some years of silence, however Goudreau indicated that he had not been invited to participate with the band.
On October 16, 2007, Goudreau released one final song with Delp on vocals titled "Rockin' Away". According to Goudreau, "'Rockin’ Away' was written in the summer of 2006 for the 30th Anniversary of the release of the first "Boston" record. It was the last song that Brad and I wrote together. In it, Brad reflects on how he became involved in music, and thanks his many fans for their years of loyalty. It was my hope that the song might lead to a rekindling of my relationship with the band. Unfortunately it did not." The song was a minor hit in early 2008, charting up to #18 on the America's Music ranking of rock radio airplay.
Goudreau occasionally sits in with James Montgomery and is currently a member of Ernie and the Automatics with Sib Hashian, Tim Archibald, Brian Maes, Michael Antunes and “car guy” Ernie Boch, Jr.
After Delp's death, the remaining RTZ members reunited to record "Set The Songbird Free", which was written by Brian Maes. "We wanted this to be a tribute to the love and respect that we all share for our bandmate and friend Brad," recalls Maes.
In 2007, Goudreau appeared with presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee at campaign stops in Iowa, and the Boston song "More Than a Feeling" was played at these appearances. This caused Scholz to complain that the song was played without permission, and because of Scholz being opposed to Huckabee's positions, he didn't want any implication that Huckabee was endorsed by Boston.
Goudreau now lives in Swampscott, Massachusetts with his wife Connie, son Sean, and daughter Michele. Connie's sister Micki was married to Delp in 1980 and they had two children, but divorced in 1996.
Goudreau is currently a member of Ernie and the Automatics along with Hashian. Their debut album Low Expectations was released on February 17, 2009.
On February 25, 2012, Goudreau played a three hour set with Sheehan and others in the "All Star Jam" to benefit the Sydney and Berne Davis Art Center in Ft Myers Florida.
- Barry Goudreau (1980)
With Orion The Hunter
- Orion the Hunter (1984)
With Brad Delp
- Delp and Goudreau (2004)
- Rockin' Away (single) (2007)
With Ernie and the Automatics
- Low Expectations (2009)
- thirdstage.ca - 'Rockin Away' on Radio Charts
- Rocker objects to Huckabee's 'More than a Feeling'