Boston Needed Lead Singer, Found One Online
N.C. man becomes famed band's new singer after daughter posts karaoke songs.
June 1, 2008 -- Tommy DeCarlo of Charlotte, N.C., dreamed of becoming a rock star, listening to his favorite band's albums and memorizing their songs.
"A Boston song would come on and I'd get fired up and I'd start singing it," said DeCarlo, 43, a father of two kids -- Talia, 19, and Tommy Jr., 17.
But dreams didn't pay the bills, so DeCarlo worked as a credit manager at a Home Depot store in Charlotte to support his.
Still, he never gave up singing along to his Boston CDs, and his daughter Talia took notice. She posted a MySpace page of DeCarlo singing karaoke to Boston songs after the band's lead singer, Brad Delp, committed suicide in March 2007. And, in an instant, DeCarlo's whole world turned upside down.
"I wanted to share [the karaoke] with ... other Boston fans," he said.
DeCarlo had to sing with the karaoke track because he had sold his keyboard in 2006, using the extra cash to buy Christmas presents for his children.
Meanwhile, up in Boston, members of the real band were struggling to continue playing as the coped with Delp's suicide.
"My wife was at her computer playing our tunes, and I asked whether it was us playing live," said Boston founder Tom Scholz. "She said, 'It's some guy in North Carolina singing your songs.' I said, 'I know Brad's voice, and that's Brad.'"
Still, a skeptical Scholz was intrigued.
"In order to believe it, I had to plug the computer into the big speakers so I could listen to the background music and see if it was the band," Scholz told ABC News. "And I realized it wasn't the band, it was a karaoke track. Somebody was singing to it, and it wasn't Brad."
So the band decided to give DeCarlo a shot -- as their new lead singer.
"I was like, 'Wow!'" DeCarlo told "Good Morning America." "I remember calling my wife and kids in the bedroom and I said, 'Look at this e-mail!' I couldn't believe it."
"I was like, 'Oh my goodness, I can't believe this is happening," said Talia DeCarlo. "It was crazy."
DeCarlo made his debut onstage at a tribute concert to Brad Delp last August. It was the first time he sang with a band in his entire life.