This Summer, RockOn Workshop welcomes Barry Goudreau as a guest artist

Not just another band out of Boston…

Like many musicians, Barry got his first guitar at an early age. By age 15, he had he joined a band with future Boston drummer Sib Hashian, and so it began. They didn’t know that the songs they would produce with Boston, would become the theme songs and anthems for a generation of high schoolers in the 70’s. They had it right with the lyrics…”Rock n roll band, everybody’s waiting, getting crazy anticipating….”. And they did work very hard to make the dream come true.  In the early days, Goudreau and Hashian played night clubs, as often as they could, sometimes seven times a week.

Barry met other Boston band members Brad Delp and Fran Sheehan when he auditioned for Delp’s band.”It was around this time that I met Fran Sheehan and Brad Delp. Fran’s house was the place musicians went to 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.”

Barry then decided to go to college at Boston University, and get a degree in Geology. While trying to put music aside to focus on school, he soon met up with Tom Scholz who was right across the river at MIT. With Tom, he formed the band ‘Mother’s Milk’ which also included Brad Delp. They began working on demo tapes and tried to get the attention of record companies. “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.”

Scholz later re-worked and re-recorded some of these demo songs and wrote several new songs for a second set of demo tapes, this time with Scholz performing all of the guitar, bass and keyboard parts. This second  demo set won a recording contract with Epic Records. Though he was not credited as a writer on the Boston tracks, Goudreau’s guitar work was an integral part of the Boston trademark sound and style.

Goudreau composed and performed the lead work for “Foreplay/Long Time”, Don’t Look Back, and “Used To Bad News” and provided much creative input to Tom, the primary songwriter.

More than a Feeling…

Goudreau had written many songs in hopes that Scholz would incorporate them into the next Boston LP. Scholz did not express interest in using any of Goudreau’s work. In 1980, Goudreau recorded his first solo LP titled Barry Goudreau, using Brad Delp and Fran Cosmo (who would join Boston in 1991) on vocals, and Sib Hashian (then drummer for Boston) on drums. The record company sought to cash in big time with this “almost Boston” line-up. The LP successfully hit with the songs “Dreams” and “Mean Woman Blues”. Tom Scholz was not pleased with this and asked Barry to leave the band Boston.

In 1984, Barry formed “Orion The Hunter” and released a debut LP. The band included Fran Cosmo as lead vocalist, with Brad Delp provided backing vocals and co-writing five of the album’s songs. The album included the single “So You Ran”. Keyboardist and backing vocalist Brian Maes joined the band.  They toured in support of Aerosmith in 1984 but ultimately broke up in 1985.

In 1990 Goudreau formed the band RTZ (Return To Zero). Brad Delp left Boston to join the band. RTZ experienced some success with the hit “Until Your Love Comes Back Around”, written by Brian Maes. Delp left RTZ shortly after to rejoin Boston.

Barry continued to play off and on with Delp and Hashian in various configurations.  He Barry Goudreau - Brad Delprecorded “Delp And Goudreau” with Brad in 2003. On October 16, 2007, Goudreau released one final song with Delp on vocals titled “Rockin’ Away”. According to Goudreau, “‘Rockin’ Away’ was written in the summer of 2006 for the 30th Anniversary of the release of the first “Boston” record. It was the last song that Brad and I wrote together. In it, Brad reflects on how he became involved in music, and thanks his many fans for their years of loyalty.”

His current band, Ernie and the Automatics features Sib Hashian, Tim Archibald, Brian Maes, Michael Antunes and “car guy” Ernie Boch, Jr. Their debut album Low Expectations was released on February 17, 2009.

Barry Goudreau resides in Massachusetts with his wife Connie, son Sean, and daughter Michele.  He is a strong advocate of music education and is very involved with Music Drives Us, a non-profit organization which funds music programs in the schools and local communities. Kenny Aronoff is also a supporter.

We are pleased to have Barry at RockOn this Summer at BCC.


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