Tom Scholz

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Tom Scholz
Tom Scholz live with Boston June 13, 2008 Hinckley, Minnesota
Tom Scholz live with Boston June 13, 2008 Hinckley, Minnesota
Background information
Birth nameDonald Thomas Scholz
Born (1947-03-10) March 10, 1947 (age 73)
GenresArena rock, classic rock, hard rock, progressive rock, rock
Occupation(s)Musician, producer, songwriter, inventor
  • Guitar
  • bass
  • keyboards
  • drums
  • vocals
Years active1969–present
LabelsEpic, CBS, MCA
Associated actsBoston

Donald Thomas Scholz (born March 10, 1947) is an American rock musician, songwriter, inventor, engineer, and philanthropist,[1][2] best known as the founder of the band Boston.

Scholz is an MIT-trained engineer who designed a recording studio in an apartment building basement. The first Boston album was mostly recorded in his basement studio, often using devices he designed and invented. After the success of Boston, he founded Scholz Research & Development, Inc. to develop and market his inventions, many under the Rockman brand. He was described by AllMusic as an “un-rock n' roll” figure who did not enjoy the limelight of being a performer, preferring to concentrate on music, production, and inventing new electronic equipment. In more recent years, he has dedicated much of his money and time to charitable work.[3]

Early life[edit]

Tom Scholz was born in Toledo, Ohio and raised in the suburb of Ottawa Hills. His father, Don Scholz, was a homebuilder who became wealthy from his designs of prefabricated luxury houses and founded Scholz Design, the forerunner of Scholz Homes Inc.[4][5]

As a child, Scholz studied classical piano.[6] He also had a penchant for tinkering with everything from go-karts to model airplanes and was always building or designing.[7] A top student and a member of the varsity basketball team, he graduated from Ottawa Hills High School in 1965.[7] Before his musical career, Scholz received both a bachelor's degree (1969) and a master's degree (1970) in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked for Polaroid Corporation as a senior product design engineer.

Musical success, hiatus, and return[edit]

Scholz had a keen interest in music and began recording demos in his home studio while working at Polaroid. He spent six years unsuccessfully submitting demos to record companies.[8]

Eventually the demos attracted the interest of Epic Records, who signed Scholz and singer Brad Delp to a recording contract. Scholz believed his demos were good enough for release as Boston's debut album, but Epic told Scholz to re-record the demos. Most of the guitar, bass, and keyboards were performed by Scholz, although other players were involved sporadically throughout the recordings. Epic did not want the album recorded entirely in Scholz's home as Scholz had intended (the label suggested using a recording studio), but most of what ended up on the album had indeed been recorded by Scholz in his basement. The album was released in 1976 and became the biggest-selling debut album by any artist up to that time.[9][10] The single More Than A Feeling has become a rock classic.[11]

Scholz's reputed perfectionism delayed the follow-up album, Don't Look Back, for two years. When it was finally released, he was unhappy with the result, claiming that it was released under pressure from the record company.[12] Scholz then declared he would not release any more music unless he was completely satisfied with the final product. Consequently, Boston's third album, Third Stage, did not appear until 1986. That album was certified 4x platinum, and "Amanda" reached the top of the singles chart.[13] Scholz and Brad Delp were the only members of the original group to appear on the album.

Scholz also started his own line of guitar effects under the name Rockman. Among the many Rockman effects available, one could reproduce the unique "Boston" guitar sound. The boxes were arranged in cabinets and played through an (analog) stereo signal path. The originals have today become collectors' items.[14][15]

After Brad Delp's death in March 2007, his adult children organized a concert in his memory on August 19, 2007, at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston and invited the group to perform.[16] Fran Cosmo was unable to sing due to a vocal injury, so Scholz invited guest singers to appear in his place, including Michael Sweet from Stryper and long time Boston fan Tommy DeCarlo who, after auditioning for Scholz, made a guest appearance on lead vocals. DeCarlo would later become the lead singer for Boston. Early Boston members Barry Goudreau and Fran Sheehan also appeared, joining Scholz on stage for the first time in over 25 years.

Personal life[edit]

Scholz married his first wife Michelle in 1970.[17] They had one son, Jeremy, who graduated from MIT in 2005 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Scholz married his second wife, Kim Hart, in the Florida Keys on January 11, 2007. They live in the Boston area.[2][7][18]

Scholz has been involved in various disagreements and legal situations.[19][20]

Scholz has been a vegetarian for more than 30 years.[21]

In 1987, he established a charitable foundation, the DTS Charitable Foundation,[1] which has a variety of missions: supporting animal protection, providing vegetarian resources, stopping world hunger, creating homeless shelters, food banks, animal rescues and sanctuaries, and advocating for children's rights.[1][2][7] The foundation has raised millions of dollars. PETA awarded him their Compassionate Action Award in 2013.[22]


  1. ^ a b c "DTS Charitable Foundation". Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Tom Scholz Honored by FARM | | News, Media and More About the band BOSTON". Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  3. ^ Kurutz, Steve. Tom Scholz - Allmusic
  4. ^ Pakulski, Gary. "They used to live here: Toledo notables' childhood homes" - Toledo Blade - May 21, 2006
  5. ^ Drozdowski, Ted. "Boston Legal" Archived September 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Boston Magazine, July 2006
  6. ^ "Tom Scholz Interview - The Band Boston and the Sierra Club". Archived from the original on March 11, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d "Official Boston Website". Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  8. ^
  9. ^ White, Dave. "10 Great Debut Albums Significant firsts by classic rock artists". Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  10. ^ Vladimir Bogdanov; Chris Woodstra; Stephen Thomas Erlewine (2002). All Music Guide to Rock: The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul (3rd ed.). Backbeat Books. p. 132. ISBN 978-0879306533.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Billboard listing of all Boston songs which charted from 1976 to 1994. Retrieved 2009-12-09.
  14. ^ "Rockman - Rockmodules - SR&D - Tom Scholz". Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  15. ^ "Rockman: the Story" (PDF). Retrieved December 18, 2012. |first= missing |last= (help)
  16. ^ [1] Archived June 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^
  18. ^ "The Band Boston Fan Site - Mr. and Mrs. Tom Scholz were married January 11th 2007 in the Florida Keys". Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ ":: Official BOSTON Website ::". Archived from the original on July 13, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  22. ^ "PETA Honors Tom Scholz," The Boston Globe, 15 October 2013.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]