Friends Testify Boston Singer Brad Delp Felt ‘Taken Advantage of’ and ‘Beaten Down’ by Guitarist Tom Scholz
Heartbreaking testimony has emerged from friends and former bandmates of the late Boston vocalist Brad Delp regarding the tragic circumstances surrounding his 2007 suicide.
Boston guitarist and leader Tom Scholz is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with the Boston Herald regarding three newspaper columns that he contends imply that he drove Delp to take his own life.
Former Boston member Fran Sheehan testified that the writing was on the wall shortly after he joined the band in the '70s. Sheehan was one of approximately 20 people to take the stand with regards to dialogue between each of them and Delp. The chronicled the singer's inability to confront Scholz, while also offering their personal opinions of what drove Delp to his own death.
Former Boston member David Sikes told the court that Delp "didn't like Tom and didn't trust Tom. He felt that Tom had taken advantage of him financially, especially." Not long before Delp's death, Sikes recalled a conversation with the singer in which Delp told him, “how much he envied me, that I had the guts to stand up to Tom Scholz and the guts to quit the band and to move on with my life, to leave Boston.”
Lifelong Delp friend Steve Frary also offered insight on Delp's relationship with Scholz. Frary says that Delp told him that Scholz was “driving him crazy,” and was surprised when Delp used an expletive to describe Scholz, the only time that Frary heard Delp swear in the 35 years he had known him.
The court documents paint an unflattering portrait of Scholz.
Delp’s friend Joy Baker testified that in her opinion, “Brad just could not stand one more minute of feeling like he could not stand up for himself or do the right thing, if you will, in any aspect of his life, because he was so afraid... he would run from confrontation and I think he was just beaten down by the years of dealing with Tom Scholz.”
The Boston Herald had denied that it has blamed Scholz for Delp’s decision to take his life. In his case, Scholz has argued that an extremely upsetting and embarrassing incident which occurred between Delp and a close friend on Feb. 28, 2007, was what drove Delp to take his life. However, the summary of testimony filed in court indicates that in late January 2007, six weeks before the incident, Delp visited his doctor and reported he was suffering increased anxiety because of Boston and Scholz, and was thinking of quitting the band.
Scholz has said that he “had a very strong personal connection” with Delp and was his friend for more than 30 years. In his lawsuit against the Herald, Scholz claims that the newspaper falsely asserted that Delp committed suicide “because of turmoil and extreme stress from his professional life caused by Scholz.”
Tom Scholz has until June 30 to respond to the summary of testimony compiled by the Herald’s lawyers and submit his own evidence to the court.