Brad Delp

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Brad Delp
Brad Delp.jpg
Background information
Born (1951-06-12)June 12, 1951
Peabody, Massachusetts, United States
Died March 9, 2007(2007-03-09) (aged 55)
Atkinson, New Hampshire, United States
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards
Years active 1970–2007
Labels Epic, MCA, Artemis
Associated acts Boston, Barry Goudreau, Orion the Hunter, RTZ, Beatlejuice

Bradley Edward Delp (June 12, 1951 – March 9, 2007) was an American musician, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock bands Boston and RTZ.

Early life[edit]

Delp was born in Peabody, Massachusetts on June 12, 1951 to French-Canadian immigrants.[1] While his father played the fiddle at home, Delp was inspired after seeing the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. He began learning to play the guitar and claimed to have locked himself in his bedroom for several days in order to learn all the guitar and vocal parts. He saw the Beatles perform live at Suffolk Downs in East Boston on August 18, 1966. In 1968, Delp also discovered the music of a local group from Worcester called Orpheus and became a lifelong fan, calling them his "favorite band – second only to The Beatles".[2] In 1970, Brad Delp was making heating elements for Mr. Coffee machines at Danvers company HotWatt when Barry Goudreau, who was working with Scholz at the time, introduced Delp to Tom Scholz while Scholz, Goudreau and Jim Masdea were playing in local area cover band. Delp auditioned as lead vocalist for Boston, and got the job immediately.

Musical career[edit]

Delp while playing for his band Beatlejuice

In 1969, guitarist Barry Goudreau introduced Delp to Tom Scholz, who was looking for a singer to complete some demo recordings. Eventually Scholz formed the short-lived band Mother's Milk (1973–74), including Delp and Goudreau. After producing a demo, Epic Records eventually signed the act. Mother's Milk was renamed Boston, and the eponymous debut album (recorded in 1975, although many tracks had been written years before) was released in August 1976. Delp performed all of the lead and backing vocals, including all layered vocal overdubs.

Boston has sold more than 20 million copies, and produced rock standards such as "More Than a Feeling", "Foreplay/Long Time" and "Peace of Mind". Delp co-wrote "Smokin'" along with Scholz, and wrote the album's closing track, "Let Me Take You Home Tonight".

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

After the two Boston albums, Delp sang vocals on Barry Goudreau's self-titled solo album, released in 1980. Scholz's legendary perfectionism and a legal battle with their record company stalled any further Boston albums until 1986, when the band released the appropriately titled Third Stage. Delp co-wrote the songs "Cool the Engines" and "Can'tcha Say / Still in Love" for the album, and both songs got significant airplay.

Another hiatus between albums forced Delp to part ways with Scholz in 1991 to form a new band with Goudreau called RTZ. After Boston released the album "Walk On" in 1994 with Fran Cosmo on vocals, Delp and Boston eventually reunited later that year for another major tour and Delp continued to record vocals on several albums and projects, including new tracks for Boston's 1997 Greatest Hits compilation and their 2002 release Corporate America.

Though well known for his "golden" voice with soaring vocals and range,[3][4] Delp was also a multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, harmonica and keyboards. He wrote or co-wrote songs for Boston, RTZ, Orion the Hunter, Lisa Guyer, and other artists.

From the mid-1990s until his death in 2007, Delp also played in a side project when he had time off from Boston – a Beatles tribute band called Beatlejuice. The Beatles had always been a personal favorite of Delp, and he revered them for their songwriting. During this time Delp also co-wrote with Boston bandmate Barry Goudreau for the 2003 release Delp and Goudreau.

Personal life[edit]

Delp was twice married and divorced, and had two children by his second wife, Micki Delp. He was a vegetarian for over 30 years, and contributed to a number of charitable causes.[5]


Delp committed suicide sometime between 11 pm on March 8 and 1:20 pm[citation needed] on March 9, 2007, at age 55. He was found dead in his home on Academy Avenue in Atkinson, New Hampshire, from the smoke of two charcoal grills he lit inside his sealed master bathroom, which he had placed in the bathtub.[6] Delp's body was found by police (and Delp's fiancee, who called the officer) lying on a pillow on his bathroom floor, with a public suicide note paper-clipped to the neck of his T-shirt, which read: "Mr. Brad Delp. 'J'ai une âme solitaire'. I am a lonely soul." Delp left four private notes in his office, sealed in envelopes, addressed to his children, his former wife, Micki, his fiancee and another unnamed couple.[7][8][9][10]

The official cause of death was listed as suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.[11]

The reason for Delp's suicide has been the subject of contradictory news reports and lawsuits. A series [12] of interviews conducted by the Boston Herald alleged that lingering hard feelings from Boston's breakup in the 1980s and personal tension between Delp and bandleader Scholz drove the singer to commit suicide. Scholz denied these claims and lost the defamation suits he waged in defense of his character.[13] Court documents from the trials show Scholz claiming the personal problems that plagued Delp during his last 9 days were the true reason for his decision to kill himself.

Brad Delp was roommates with Meg Sullivan, his fiancee Pamela Sullivan's sister, for two-and-a-half years before his death. On February 28, 2007, Meg discovered a hidden camera planted in her room.[14] After confronting Delp, he admitted to planting the camera and would later write a series of emails pleading for forgiveness to M. Sullivan. Todd Winmill, Meg Sullivan's boyfriend, implored Delp to admit his wrongdoings to Pamela Sullivan on March 3. After promising to tell her in a few days, Delp purchased the grills and tubing he would use to commit his final act. Pamela would find his body on March 9.[15]

On March 19, 2008, Barry Goudreau released one final song with Delp on vocals titled "Rockin Away". Written and recorded in the summer of 2006, co-written with Barry Goudreau, it is an autobiography of Delp's musical career. The song was a hit in early 2008, charting up to No. 18 on the United States of America's Music ranking of rock radio airplay.[16]

A tribute concert, featuring his former bandmates from RTZ, Beatlejuice, Orion the Hunter, Delp and Goudreau, and Boston was conceived by his adult children and intended to fund the newly formed Brad Delp Foundation. The show took place on August 19, 2007. The Brad Delp Foundation was formed to raise awareness and garner continued support for various charitable entities to which Brad had contributed during his life.

Another posthumous CD release on which Delp sang was Mark "Guitar" Miller's Whatcha Gonna Do (2008). Miller said: "Brad was kind enough to drive from New Hampshire to Maine twice to sing on this CD with me." Delp sang lead vocals on the track "Nothin' But the Blues". The songs Delp sings harmony on are "My Mojo Ain't Workin'", "Whatcha Gonna Do", "Goin' Down by the River", "Keep Your Little Red Dress On" and "Guitar Man".

Another posthumous release on which Delp sang was Bruce Arnold's Orpheus Again (2010). Arnold said: "He added immeasurably to my music." The songs Delp sings harmony on are "The Love Bite" and a contemporary remake of "Can't Find the Time".[citation needed]

On what would have been Delp's 61st birthday, June 12, 2012, Jenna Delp, Delp's daughter and President of the Brad Delp Foundation, released an MP3 on the foundation website of a "never before released" song which was written and recorded by Delp in 1973. It was also announced that the Foundation intended to release a complete CD of Brad's solo work at some point in the future, which would encompass a span of 30 years of previously unreleased material written and recorded by Delp and his closest friends.[17]


With Boston

With Barry Goudreau

With Orion the Hunter

With RTZ

With Delp and Goudreau

With Mark "Guitar" Miller

With Orpheus


  1. ^ Pareles, Jon (March 10, 2007). Brad Delp, 55, Lead Singer for Boston, Dies. The New York Times
  2. ^ Moskowitz, Eric (August 18, 2007). "Delp's bandmates, friends unite in tribute and in sadness". The Boston Globe. 
  3. ^ "RIP Brad Delp (1951-2007)". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 12, 2007. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Vocal Range of Brad Delp". YouTube. 
  5. ^ Wright, Jeb (July 2003). Interview with Brad Delp. Classic Rock Revisited
  6. ^ "Brad Delp: Details Emerge About His Tragic Suicide". Guitar World. April 27, 2007. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  7. ^ McDonald, Ray (March 16, 2007). "Rock Musician Delp Described Self as 'Lonely Soul' in Suicide Note". VOA News (Voice of America). Retrieved January 1, 2009. 
  8. ^ "'I am a lonely soul,' Delp suicide note says". MSNBC. March 15, 2007. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Brad Delp's fiancee releases statement on his death". March 28, 2007. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Police Report On Delp's Death Reveals His Final Message". WMUR. March 16, 2007. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Family: Rocker Brad Delp's death was suicide.". Associated Press. March 14, 2007. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  12. ^
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  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "'Rockin Away' on Radio Charts". Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Brad Delp Foundation press releases". 

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