Tribute Trouble

This Sunday at the Bank of America Pavilion a tribute concert for Brad Delp will honor the memory of the late singer from the rock group Boston. The gig is called “Come Together” — but it’s feeling more like “Falling Apart.” Sammy Hagar pulled out this week citing some nebulous “personal business reasons” and former Jefferson Starship singer Mickey Thomas is also sending his apologies. Gates that were once scheduled to open at 5:00 pm will now open at 6:00 pm.

Okay, so who’s still in? All the surviving members of the original Boston will be there, and ego-maniac founder Tom Scholz will bring along his new lineup of corporate rock suck-ups. Oops, I forgot this was a charity event, how about classic rock sycophants! Anyway, don’t expect a love fest between the new Boston and the old Boston — the lawyers are probably going over the set list right now. Everybody’s doing the right thing showing up, but there’s just too much bad blood between these guys to make it a true act of selflessness.

So who is showing up? The newly reformed Extreme will be there … yeah, I’m underwhelmed with that one too. How about Godsmack, RTZ, Farrenheit, and Orion The Hunter? Still not impressed, huh? … ditto. Hold on, hold on what about Michael Sweet from Stryper?! I guess Kip Winger was playing a wedding reception and couldn’t make it.

I know I’m being a little nasty about all this, but maybe it’s because I think Delp deserves a lot better. His vocals on Boston’s mammoth debut are the stuff of rock and roll legend. How may octaves does he scale on “More Than A Feeling” … twelve! That album is etched in stone as a cultural landmark of the 70’s. Sure, Scholz provided the riffs, but without Delp the material never would have taken off the way it did. I think a tribute concert of this nature deserves much bigger acts.

Delp’s suicide last March was so sad. My heart truly goes out to his family and friends and I know the money raised at Sunday’s concert will go to worthy causes. I hope everyone on the stage and in the audience will bond over what we lost … and what we once had. Brad, in the summer of ’76 you were so much more than just another band out of Boston.



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