I remember having a keen interest in music from an early age, standing in the back seat of my mother's car, jumping up and down to the sounds of Elvis and Roy Orbison. This was pre-seat belts of course! I decided I wanted to play guitar and asked my parents to buy me one. They felt it was just a phase I was going through and refused. By the time I was eleven years old, they had given in and borrowed and acoustic guitar from a friend and let me take lessons. As the song goes, I played it until my fingers bled, and they realized I was serious, and had the drive to continue. They bought me my first guitar, a white '62 Fender Stratocaster. Boy, I wish I still had that one! The first time I played guitar in front of and audience was at a church affair. I played "Jingle Bell Rock".
At age 15 I joined a band with Sib Hashian on drums, Johnny V, the other guitar player, seemed to know every song there was. He would often call out a key and a song title, count it off, and off we would go. It was a real learning experience. We would sometimes play in a nightclub 7 days a week, 7 sets a night. The go-go dancers were very friendly though.
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 I started college I tried to put music aside to concentrate on my studies in Geology. That didn't last long though and soon I had a band with an old high school friend. I was at Boston University and he was across the river at MIT. We practiced in the basement of his fraternity house and played their parties. This was the real "Animal House!" We decided to add a keyboard player, and I put an ad in the Boston Phoenix. Tom Scholz answered the ad. He had just graduated from MIT with a master's degree in 5 years and was looking to do something musical outside the corporate world he had entered.
Although Tom joined as the keyboard player, he was picking up guitar quickly and was starting to write songs. The first song he wrote that we played was a piece that would become "Foreplay". We soon were looking to record and since Tom had a "real" job, he began to finance it. The first song we recorded in the studio was "San Francisco Day" which would later become "Hitch A Ride" on the first Boston record. To defray the costs of recording Tom began to put together his own studio. We worked with a couple of different singers through this time, with mixed results. I remembered having auditioned for Brad, and arranged to have him meet Tom and me at a club on Revere Beach for an afternoon jam session. The first song we ever played together was the Alman Brothers song "Whipping Post" with me on guitar and Tom on the Hammond organ and Brad singing. It was magical!
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. The fact that both of our original managers were radio promotion guys certainly helped. They had radio convinced it was a hit, before anyone had ever heard it! Of course it didn't hurt that the songs and recordings were everything they promised.
We were signed to Epic Records in 1975. The first album was released in August 1976. We had hopes that the record would sell 200 thousand copied, because that was what we felt we had to sell in order to do another record. When the record sold that many in the first few weeks, we knew we had arrived.
We began to do shows that were booked before the record had come out. They were mostly in night clubs. There was such a buzz about the band and the record, that the lines often circled for blocks. It was really trial by fire. We didn't have the equipment we needed, or the personnel to run it. We hired people on the spot to fill out our road crew. Early on we even set up our own gear. That would soon change as we quickly went from playing in nightclubs to opening in arenas, to headlining arenas, all in the course of 6 months. The pressure was enormous on us, but our first tour was everything a rock player could ever ask for.
Before the first tour was even over, the label was looking for another record. They wanted to know when it would be delivered. We hadn't even thought about it! Again the pressure was on, but this time it was to follow up the most successful debut album of all time. I had hoped that this would mean that I could be more involved in the writing and recording process, but it didn't work out that way. Tom became more isolated. When the second album was released, Tom felt as though he was turning it over before it was ready. I remember going on for our first show of the second tour without having played through the whole set. The pressure was on again. The camaraderie and good vibe of the first tour was gone. By the end of our second tour it was obvious that things would never be the same.
After the second tour ended in Europe in the fall of 1979, Tom had a group meeting and told us he was taking a year off, and suggested that if we wanted to do another project, solo record or whatever, now was the time.
Although I hadn't really thought too much about it before, I decided to try a solo record. I began to write some songs with Brad. The ideas came quickly and soon we had several songs. We brought them to Tom to see what he thought. To my surprise he asked to produce the record. I had hoped he would say he had an interest in using the songs for a Boston record. Brad and I felt that the record label would not allow Tom to produce a solo record when they were waiting for another Boston record. We continued writing. It was at this time I met Fran Cosmo through a crew member. He contributed several songs and lead vocals to the record. It was the beginning of a long relationship. The record was done in 6 months and released in 9 months. I felt I still had enough time to promote it and still be in the year long time frame. When the album was released the label ran an ad campaign that said "millions of people have heard his guitar, we would like to introduce you to its owner". Tom felt as though they were promoting me as the "force" behind Boston and was furious. I suppose the fact that both Sib and Brad appeared on it, made Boston comparisons inevitable. Looking back with 20/20 hindsight,I probably would have handled things differently. The album was pulled, and Tom and my relationship suffered.
In January 1980 Tom called a group meeting and asked me to leave the band. I felt as though I had no support in the band and I needed to leave. The band thought I wanted out. Tom Scholz and I were briefly in touch after more than 20 years. I think the most difficult part for me has been realizing that if I had taken the time to cool off and gotten back in touch, things might have turned out differently.
In 1985 Fran Cosmo and I hitched up again and began Orion the Hunter. We enlisted Bruce Smith, a bass player that Fran had been working with, along with former Heart drummer Michael DeRosier. I had met Michael on the road at one of the many shows we did with Heart. Keyboardist Brian Maes rounded out the band when it was time to tour. We recorded a record for CBS, toured opening for Aerosmith on their Back in the saddle tour, and had a video on MTV. The band didn't have the success we had expected and when it came time to follow up with a new record, the band folded. It was back to the drawing board again.
Brad and I had stayed in touch through this time and had continued writing songs. He was my brother-in-law after all!
I had worked with a couple other singers during this time, but it was Brad I really wanted to work with. In 1990 Brad left Boston to record and tour with our new band, RTZ. Brian Maes joined as keyboardist, and he introduced me to drummer David Stefanelli and former New Man bassist Tim Archibald. In an ironic twist, Tom replaced Brad in Boston with singer Fran Cosmo. RTZ released a record on Warner Brothers and toured extensively. When it came time to follow up the first record, which hadn't achieved the success we had hoped for, and without a record label, spirits sagged and Brad left to return to Boston. The grunge era had bitten us in the ass. The demo recordings from before the release of RTZ and the demos for the follow up cd are available for sale. (Lost / Found)
In recent years I've produced two CDs with singer/guitarist Lisa Guyer and did some shows with her to promote them. She's a talented artist. I also sit in with bluesman James Montgomery from time to time as well as being a former member of Ernie and the Automatics with Sib Hashian, Tim Archibald and "car guy" Ernie Boch, Jr. As you can see by looking at the website, Brad and I maintained a good relationship and made a record (Delp & Goudreau) prior to his passing.
In 2006 with the 30th anniversary of the first Boston record coming up, Tom Scholz contacted me to send me the remasters of the first two Boston records, and his re- write of the credits for the two records. Not having listened to the records all the way through for quite some time, I pulled out my guitar and played along. I got an idea to write a new song that reflected on the sound and style of the first two albums and give a nod to the fans that had followed the band for so many years. I gave the musical track to Brad who wrote lyrics that effectively thanked fans for their then, thirty years of support. Old demons arose and any reconciliation between Tom and I ended. After Brad’s death, his family and I decided to re-record the song retaining Brad’s vocals and release it to the public. The song “Rockin’ Away” is available on i-Tunes.
In recent years, I have continued to play shows with my old friend and blues legend, James Montogomery. But I’m really looking forward to the release of a Cd by my new band, Barry Goudreau’s ENGINE ROOM. See you out on the road! My best, Barry
Tim Archibald has been playing bass since he could crawl. As a rock bassist from Cleveland, Ohio, he moved to Boston in 1976 and attended Berklee for 4 years playing with Ralph Moore, Kevin Eubanks, Mike Stearn, Bruce Bartlett, Randy Roos in the local scene. Forming his own band Urge he played for 3 years with Fly By Night as a jazz migrant worker touring the south and east with Groove Holmes, Dobie Gray, Dizzy Gillespie and others. Played with John Butcher in 1984 on Capitol records, New Man, signed to Epic records in 1985 and quickly joined RTZ with the late, great Brad Delp, Brian Maes and David Stefanelli. Six more years with Peter Wolf from the Geils band Tim endorsing LaBella Strings, Harkte amps and Pedulla basses. Tim joined Ernie and the Automatics working for 6 years alongside the great Sibby Hashian on drums, touring with Deep Purple and teaching music to young students all over the place.
Around 1989, Delp was on hiatus from Boston and looking to get active in writing again. He contacted Goudreau about a possible collaboration and RTZ was formed. Goudreau and Delp brought in keyboardist Brian Maes who was part of the Orion the Hunter touring band, drummer Dave Stefanelli and bass player Tim Archibald. Maes and Stefanelli had previously worked with producer Nick Lowe in England and Archibald's band New Man had released an album on Epic.
Delp and Goudreau landed a deal with Giant Records and the first RTZ album, titled Return to Zero, was released in 1991. A video was produced for the first single "Face the Music". The band soon hit the road and Delp gave Boston his notice. After touring the US extensively, a video was prepared for the single "Until Your Love Comes Back Around" penned by keyboard player Brian Maes. The single was very successful and reached #1 in several markets, #26 in the U.S. Two other tracks, "There's Another Side" and "All You've Got" also got airplay, with the latter reaching #56.
RTZ felt that the band was not getting the attention it deserved by the label and asked to be released from their contract. As RTZ began to shop for a new label, Delp decided to leave the band and would eventually reunite with Boston for the Walk On tour. The other band members decided that it would be impossible to replace Delp and decided to end the band. The Return to Zero album went out of print until April 2013, although the band later released other material. There were still enough recordings left over from the original recording sessions to create another album. Barry searched for a new label and eventually found MTM Records. The recordings were released on September 28, 1998, and the album was titled Lost.
In 2004, Lost and Found was released. It features previously unreleased music from the band. In 2005, RTZ released two CDs simultaneously, Lost in America and Found in America under band member Brian Maes' Briola Records label. The album contains all the same material that was released on Lost, including the song "Dangerous", which was only available on the Japanese release of Lost. Found in America contains the same material that is on their 2004 release Lost and Found, but includes a bonus live version of the song "Return to Zero".
The Delp and Goudreau album was also released in 2004, and was included as a bonus CD in Lost and Found. It featured RTZ but was released under the name "Delp and Goudreau" and involves a different style of music from RTZ's albums.
In 2007, the band reunited (though with former Boston member Sib Hashian on drums) to release a single called "Rockin' Away". Written in 2006, it celebrated the 30 year anniversary of Boston, and is also an autobiography of Brad Delp's music career. Following Delp's suicide in 2007, the band reunited again to release the single "Set The Songbird Free" as a tribute to Delp, with Maes on vocals. They also performed at the Brad Delp "Come Together" tribute concert in 2008.
This entire line-up (with Hashian on drums, and without Delp) also makes up most of the members of the band Ernie and the Automatics which formed in 2006.
Tony DePietro has been performing and recording for almost 25 years. He has worked with many local artists including Pistacio, Irontail, Mary Beth Maes, and helped Mary Lou Lord support her "Got no shadow" release. With Mary Lou Lord he toured the United States, making appearances on television and several music festivals. For over 15 years now, Tony has been performing and recording with Brian Maes and the Brian Maes Band, including the 2011 release of "Collateral Damage". Tony continues to be a part of the Brian Maes Band.
During his attendance at Berklee College of Music, Maes was the lead singer, keyboardist and writer in the Progressive Rock group Shire.
After graduation from Berklee in 1979, Maes began touring with Boston-based pop rock group American Teen as keyboardist and vocalist. In 1982 Maes auditioned with RCA recording artist, Robert Ellis Orrall, and was hired to tour in support of the release of the "Special Pain" album on RCA Records. In 1983 Maes travelled to Wales to play keyboards and sing backing vocals on the follow-up album, "Contain Yourself."
Maes was commissioned to return to the United Kingdom to work on other recording projects, acting as string arranger, performer and conductor with Orrall bandmates, Charles (Kook) Lawry, David Stefanelli and Don Waldon.
In 1984, Maes began his long-standing relationship with Barry Goudreau when he successfully auditioned for the keyboardist/backing vocalist chair with Orion the Hunter. The band toured as the opening act for Aerosmith on the "Back in the Saddle" tour during the summer of 1984. After their first tour, Orion the Hunter disbanded. Maes and Goudreau made the decision to stay together and work on new material.
In 1985, while still writing and recording with Barry Goudreau, Maes began collaborating with Peter Wolf, The J. Geils Band frontman, doing pre-production and arranging work in the recording studio for Wolf's solo record "Come As You Are". Maes, Lawry, Stefanelli and Waldon all worked together in the studio recording the songs that would later be on this record and all received credit on the label. This collaboration between Wolf and Maes began a long-standing personal and professional relationship that would bring them together on numerable musical endeavors. It was during this time that Maes presented Wolf with the song "Until Your Love Comes Back Around" for consideration but Wolf passed on the song. Brian and Peter would come together again in 1993 to tour the United States and Japan in support of Peter's Long Line album. The band was then called "Peter Wolf and the House Party 5" with Tim Archibald on bass, David Stefanelli on drums and backing vocals, Johnny A. on guitar, Doug Dube on Hammond B3 and backing vocals, Brian Maes on keys and backing vocals and Peter Wolf on lead vocals. Maes was also a member of RTZ.
Latest activities Maes released the solo album Songs for Madeline in 2004, dedicated to his daughter.
Maes was the lead singer and keyboardist for Ernie and the Automatics which featured original and former members of the band Boston, Barry Goudreau on guitar and Sib Hashian on drums. Fellow RTZ and Peter Wolf's House Party Five bandmate, bassist, Tim Archibald was also a member of Ernie and the Automatics, along with tenor saxophonist, Michael "Tunes" Antunes from John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band. The Automatics' album, Low Expectations, was produced by Brian Maes and charted on the Billboard Blues Chart at No. 7.
Maes also leads the Brian Maes Band, which also features Tim Archibald on Bass, Kook Lawry on guitar, MaryBeth Maes on vocals, Michael Antunes on tenor sax and "Old" Tony DepIetro on Drums. The Brian Maes Band has released over a dozen CD's of their own.
Maes recently co-wrote a rock opera with George D. Simpson, "The Devil And Billy Shake" which he currently stars in and directs.