That Stately Story Behind the Band Name Boston

When Boston first formed in 1975, choosing a band name was a no-brainer.

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Hailing from the capital of Massachusetts, the rockers decided to pay homage to their home state, after Boston was suggested by producer John Boylan and engineer Warren Dewey.

“More Than a Feeling”

By 1976, Boston’s self-titled debut shot them directly into arena rock heaven with the hit “More Than a Feeling.”

Written by Boston guitarist Tom Scholz, “More Than a Feeling” took the guitarist more than five years to complete in his basement studio and was about how music can keep one connected to memories of someone from the past—I lost myself in a familiar song / I closed my eyes and I slipped away. Once it was released, it was an instant hit and peaked a No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

“The song was not written about an actual event,” revealed Scholz in 2016. “It was written about a fantasy event, but it’s one that almost everybody can identify with, of somebody losing somebody that was important to them, and music taking them back there. There actually was a real Marianne. She was my older first cousin, who I had a crush on when I was 10. I ran into her many many years later and she was very annoyed at me for mentioning that she was my older cousin.”

Moving On

Throughout the decades, Boston was also known for songs “Peace of Mind,” “Smokin,'” “Don’t Look Back,” “A Man I’ll Never Be,” “Feelin’ Satisfied” and “Amanda” among other classic rock gems within their catalog.

Throughout their career, Boston has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, including 31 million in the U.S. alone—17 million of which were the band’s debut and seven million of their second album, Don’t Look Back, released in 1978—making them one of the world’s best-selling music acts.

New Boston

In 2013, the band released its fifth album, Life, Love & Hope. Released posthumously after singer Brad Delp’s death in 2011 at 55. The album features Delp’s vocals on the tracks “Sail Away,” “Someone,” “Didn’t Mean to Fall in Love,” and “Te Quiero Mia.”

Boston last toured in 2017. The current lineup includes Scholz, along with Jeff Neal, Gary Pihl, Michael Sweet, Tommy DeCarlo, Tracy Ferrie, Beth Cohen, and Curl Smith.

Photo by Ron Pownall/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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