For many, social-networking is good for keeping in touch with friends and family. For Tommy DeCarlo, it was a foot in the door to rock stardom.
It was only 14 years ago that Tommy DeCarlo was just your ‘average Joe,’ working a full-time job at Home Depot.
Born and raised in New York, DeCarlo’s interest in music began when he joined the school choir in elementary school. Although he was told by his choir teacher that his voice was too soft, he continued to sing and at age 14, furthered his musical abilities by teaching himself to play the piano.
Throughout his youth, DeCarlo was heavily influenced by 1970’s rock and sang along to Boston songs playing on the radio. Ironically enough, it was the original lead singer of Boston, Brad Delp, who he credits for helping him find his singing voice.
In 2007 when Brad Delp tragically took his own life, DeCarlo was deeply moved by the tragedy and in response, wrote an original tribute song to him, posting it on MySpace. The tribute song, titled ‘A Man He’ll Always Be’ was an offtake of the Boston song ‘A Man I’ll Never Be.’
“I was just sitting around at home in front of the keyboard at the time thinking about what had just happened in terms of Brad’s suicide,” said DeCarlo. “I just felt like playing some music on my piano and as I sat there, I began to play a little bit of ‘A Man I’ll Never Be.’ Then I thought, well, Brad was such an awesome guy and such an awesome singer, I should put a little bit of a twist on it so I titled the song ‘A Man He’ll Always Be’ to highlight some of the Boston songs that Brad sang on.”
With grief and motivation by his side, DeCarlo uploaded his tribute song as well as a couple of Boston covers to a MySpace page.
“My daughter suggested that I post my tribute song and to a MySpace page but I actually didn’t have a MySpace page at the time but my kids did, however,” he said. “So, my daughter created a MySpace page for me and helped me upload the tribute song that I wrote. Then I decided to record myself singing covers of Boston’s songs ‘Smokin’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’ and I uploaded those to the same MySpace page.”
DeCarlo started receiving a lot of positive comments and decided to take a blind leap of fate by emailing his tribute song as well as the covers to Tom Scholz, the guitarist and songwriter behind Boston.
“I put it out there and sent it but I was like, yeah, sure like anyone is ever going to read this email,” he said.
At the time, Boston was getting ready to perform a tribute show to honor Brad Delp.
With luck (and talent) at his side, DeCarlo’s covers eventually made it into the hands of Tom Scholz’s wife.
“To make a long story short, the email address I sent my covers to wasn’t actually the band’s email. It was some management company who passed it along to Tom Scholz and his wife. Tom’s wife listened to my covers and thought they were great. She said that Tom wanted to speak to me about performing at the tribute show.”
DeCarlo immediately returned the email, and weeks later he was on stage performing with the iconic rock band. The rest, as they say, is history.
To keep himself busy during his ‘off season’ from touring with Boston, DeCarlo co-created a solo band, DECARLO, with his son in 2012.
“After my first tour with Boston in 2008 we didn’t tour again until 2012. I had quite a bit of time off to do other things and my son was just getting to the age where he was starting to become interested in playing music. So, I bought him a guitar for Christmas, never really thinking he’d get far into playing, and then—one day—he was down in his bedroom playing, and from out in the living room I said to myself: ‘Hey, that sounds pretty good, he’s coming along.’ He worked really hard on becoming a guitar player and that’s kinda when we had the idea of putting together our own band.”
DECARLO will bring a mixture of 1970’s classic rock to the Coach’s Corner stage on Sept. 24.
“We definitely play a lot of the Boston music that fans love to hear,” he said. “But we also spend some time performing some of the other songs from bands I grew up listening to—Styx, Journey, Foreigner. Those are the perks of going to a DECARLO show.”
DECARLO released their debut album “Lightning Strikes Twice” in Jan., 2020, earning them a featured article in Billboard Magazine as 2021 Grammy contenders.
DECARLO will perform with local legends Thomas Claxton & The Myth on Friday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. For more information and tickets, click HERE