I'm strangely devastated by the news that Brad Delp, former lead singer of Boston, is dead. Maybe it's because Boston's music was the soundtrack to a good chunk of my youth, maybe it's because the dude was only 14 years older than I am, maybe it's because I didn't get any sleep last night, but it's bumming my shit hard.
I've always been kind of a serial monogomist when it comes to music -- I tend to "hook up" with a band, listen to the shit out of it, then kind of tire of its whining and toss it aside for the next catchy hook to slink on by. Oh sure, I may call that band up, late one night, and ask it to come on over for a quickie listen, for old time's sake, but it'll never be as good as that first time. Only two bands transcended that scenario: the Ramones and Boston.
To this day, when I hear a song by either band, it's as if I'm hearing it for the first time. On Michigan radio, the only music they play more than Seger and Nugent is Boston. When I get in the car to go anywhere, if I switch on a classic rock station (and there are about 460) I will hear a Boston song before I leave that car. And I swear to shit, I never turn the dial. I crank it up and I belt out every goddamn lyric... an octave lower. That fucker could sing the fuck out those fucking tunes. Fuck.
I always wanted to start a Boston cover band but I knew I'd never be able to find anyone who could sing those songs. And they were pretty fucking stupid songs -- "Smokin'," "A Man I'll Never Be," "Cool the Engines"?! Goofy shit, but his vocals made them classics. And now he's on a slab, getting his fluids drained. I guess it's that feeling that the chapter on Boston is now closed forever. And it's not like I was waiting for the next Boston album to come out or anything. I think it's just a big ol' "Hey dude, you're fucking old and all the shit from your childhood is now ancient and dying" kind of moment. I guess I felt the same way when Joey Ramone and Joe Strummer died, too.
I think part of it is that, being an emotionless husk of a person, some of the only times I can conjure up quasi-emotional moments is when I listen to certain music. Journey reminds me of high school girlfriends. The Clash reminds me of getting drunk in Jim Kanter's basement. The Replacements remind me of college. The Smiths remind me of when I was gay. And Boston reminds me of summer and driving and cutting the lawn and Old Style beer and not being a goddamn old man.
R.I.P.: Brad Delp and my youth.