Testimony from former members of the band Boston describe a turbulent relationship between lead singer Brad Delp and band founder Tom Scholz, a relationship many of Delp’s friends and family believe contributed to Delp’s suicide in March 2007.
The testimonies are part of a defamation suit filed by Scholz against the Boston Herald for suggesting he was a contributing (if not the main) factor in Delp’s decision to take his own life. Scholz claims the Herald’s 2007 article discussing Delp’s suicide blame him for the death and have caused him significant emotional distress. The Boston Herald maintains it reported the facts and opinions presented by Delp’s friends and family accurately.
Scholz said he “had a very personal connection” with Delp and that the two were friends for more than 30 years.
However, nearly 20 former band mates and friends of Delp testified regarding his relationship with Scholz, several of which painting a bleak picture of the two’s interactions.
“[Delp] didn’t like Tom. He didn’t trust Tom,” said former Boston bass player David Sikes. “He felt that Tom had taken advantage of him financially, especially.”
Former Boston bassist Fran Sheenan said Delp referred to himself as a “wimp” and told Sheenan that he “just couldn’t stand up to him [Scholz] anymore.” Sheenan said Delp worried he could not quit the band without facing threats and legal action from Scholz.
Former Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau recalled Scholz’s constant belittling of Delp and other band mates. According to court documents summarized by Boston Herald lawyers, Goudreau wrote Scholz less than a week after Delp’s death.
“Tom, I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t explain the pain and suffering you have caused me and my family, Brad and his family,” Goudreau wrote. “Tom, you abused Brad … We could not keep it under wraps forever.”
Scholz has until June 30 to respond to the testimonies. His lawyers argue Delp’s uncontrolled depression stemming from domestic disputes (including his future sister-in-law finding a hidden camera in her room at Delp’s home and his fiancée’s affair a year earlier) were motivating factors that contributed to his suicide.
– John Milligan / 98.5 WNCX