Friday, March 16, 2007
Suicide confirmed in Delp's death
By Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa
Thursday, March 15, 2007 - Updated: 01:29 AM EST
Brad Delp lit two charcoal grills in the bathroom adjacent to his master bedroom and committed suicide via asphyxiation last week, according to New Hampshire police who yesterday confirmed that the lead singer of the band Boston took his own life.
"He was a man who gave all he had to give to everyone around him, whether family, friends, fans or strangers," the singer's family said in a statement. "He gave as long as he could, as best he could, and he was very tired. We take comfort in knowing that he is now, at last, at peace."
Delp, 55, a Danvers native, left two sealed suicide notes taped to a door and letters to his family and his fiancee, Pamela Sullivan. But Atkinson, N.H., Police Lt. William Baldwin said the cops were not told why he took his life. Toxicology tests by the state medical examiner's office showed that Delp died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
"It's very sad for all of us who loved this guy," said ex-Extreme drummer Paul Geary, a close friend of Delp and his family. "Whenever I called him for anything he’d drop everything and help, and whenever he called me it was for someone else."
Friends said it was Delp's constant need to help and please people that may have driven him to despair. He was literally the man in the middle of the bitter break-up of Boston - pulled from both sides by divided loyalties.
Delp remained on good terms with both Tom Scholz, the MIT grad who founded the band, and Barry Goudreau, Fran Sheehan and Sib Hashian, former members of Boston who had a fierce falling out with Scholz in the early '80s.
Delp tried to please both sides by continuing to contribute his vocals to Scholz' Boston projects while also remaining close to his former bandmates. The situation was complicated by the fact that Delp's ex-wife, Micki, is the sister of Goudreau's wife, Connie.
"Tom made him do the Boston stuff and the other guys were mad that they weren't a part of it," said another insider. "He was always under a lot of pressure."
As you may know, in 1976 the band's first album, featuring Scholz, Delp, Goudreau, Hashian and Sheehan, was the best-selling debut album in history, spawning rock staples "More Than a Feeling," "Peace of Mind," "Foreplay/ Long Time" and "Rock and Roll Band." But shortly thereafter things deteriorated.
Scholz' penchant for perfection and his well-chronicled control issues led to long delays between albums. As a result, Goudreau, Delp and Hashian released an album without him, which led to an irretrievable breakdown.
Scholz claimed that the other band members - with the exception of Delp - attempted to steal the name Boston. While the bitter battle raged, Delp tried to keep peace with both sides. He continued to perform with Scholz and the reconstituted Boston but also did projects with Goudreau and remained friends with the other original members.
But the never-ending bitterness may have been too much for the sensitive singer to endure. Just last fall the ugliness flared again when Scholz heard some of his ex-bandmates were planning to perform at a tribute concert at Symphony Hall for football legend Doug Flutie - and then had his people call and substitute himself and Delp for the gig, sources say.
In fact, the wounds remained so raw that Scholz wasn't invited to the private funeral service for Delp that the family held earlier this week.
"What does that tell you?" asked another insider. "Brad and Tom were the best of friends and he's been told nothing about anything."
In an interview with Rolling Stone after Delp's death, Scholz said he and Delp were "friends and collaborators for 35 years but our bond ran much deeper than just Boston."
But Scholz also made reference to the ongoing feud in the interview when he told the rock bible that "unlike other individuals eventually involved with Boston, Brad’s down-to-earth personality never wavered."
Police discovered Delp's body in his southern New Hampshire home at around 1:30 p.m. last Friday. Sullivan had gone to the house after failing to reach her fiance by phone. Police said Delp was alone at the time of his death.
Some friends expressed surprise at the timing of Delp's suicide. He had been planning to tour with Boston and to marry Sullivan this coming summer. He was also content working with his first love - a Beatles tribute band called Beatlejuice. But friends say there was a dark side.
"He was a sad character to begin with," said one close pal. "He didn't think highly of himself. He was always very self-deprecating. He's always been that way, though, so there was really nothing to lead anyone to believe that he would do this."
Delp leaves two children, Jennifer, 26, and John Michael, 22.
posted by Paul Dickinson at 9:17 AM | Email Us