As a child, Scholz studied classical piano. He also had a penchant for tinkering with everything from go-carts to model airplanes and was always building or designing. A top student and a member of the varsity basketball team, he graduated from Ottawa Hills High School in 1965. Prior to his musical career, Scholz received both a bachelor's degree (1969) and a master's degree (1970) in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked for Polaroid Corporation as a senior product design engineer.
Scholz had a keen interest in music and began recording demos in his home studio while working at Polaroid. These demos attracted the interest of Epic Records who signed Scholz to a recording contract. Scholz believed his demos were good enough to be the released album but Epic told him to rerecord them. Most of the guitar, bass, and keyboards were performed by Scholz, although other players were involved sporadically throughout the recording of the album. Epic did not want the album recorded entirely in Scholz's home as Scholz intended (they suggested using a recording studio) but most of what ended up on the album was ultimately recorded by Scholz in his basement. The album was released in 1976 and became the biggest selling debut album by any artist up to that time. Scholz's reputed perfectionism delayed the followup for two years - he was unhappy with Don't Look Back and claimed it was released under pressure from the record company. Scholz declared he would not be forced to release any more music unless he was completely satisfied with the final product. Boston's third album Third Stage consequently did not appear until 1986 but was another success, featuring the chart topping single "Amanda". Only Scholz and original Boston vocalist Brad Delp remained from the original group on the third album.
Tom Scholz also started his own line of guitar effects under the name Rockman. These were supposed to sound like the "true Boston" sound. The boxes were arranged in cabinets and played through a stereo signal (analog) path. The originals have today become collectors' items.
Boston played the National Anthem at the Fiesta Bowl in 2002.
After the death of Delp in March 2007, Boston held a concert in his memory on 19 August 2007 at the Bank of America Pavilion in the group's home city. Fran Cosmo was unable to sing due to a vocal injury, so Tom invited guest singers including Michael Sweet from Stryper and long time Boston fan Tommy DeCarlo who after auditioning live in front of Tom made a guest appearance on lead vocals.
Scholz has been a vegetarian for 31 years and a supporter of many organizations including PETA and Greenpeace. He set up his own charitable foundation, the DTS Charitable Foundation, in 1987 to help support such causes as animal protection, providing vegetarian resources, stopping world hunger, creating homeless shelters, food banks, as well as animal rescues and sanctuaries, and advocating for children's rights. Through his work with his foundation, he has raised millions of dollars. Scholz married his second wife, Kim Hart, in the Florida Keys on January 11, 2007. They live in the Boston area.
From his first marriage, Scholz has one son, Jeremy, who graduated from MIT in 2005 with a degree in mechanical engineering. When asked if his son likes his music, Scholz joked, "I think he does... but he's such a nice kid that he would pretend he did even if he didn't."
Scholz has remarked on the relationship with Boston's various record labels that "The [music] business would be a good thing, except that it's dominated by drug addicts and businessmen". In regard to the theme of his album Corporate America, Scholz told the Sierra Club that "The thing that made me decide to break with previous albums and include an overtly political song, was when I discovered that for the first time in American history big business owns the news media". He also stated that "The public has been sold a bill of goods about the free market being a panacea for mankind. Turning corporations loose and letting the profit motive run amok is not a prescription for a more livable world".
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Donald Thomas "Tom" Scholz (born 10 March 1947) is a US rock musician, songwriter, guitarist, inventor, and mechanical engineer. He is best known as the founder of the hard rock band Boston. He is also the inventor of the Rockman guitar amplifier. As noted by Allmusic, he is 'a notoriously "un-rock n' roll" figure who never enjoyed the limelight of being a performer' but instead concentrated on his music. After achieving commercial success with Boston, Scholz has spent much of his time working with charities.
Tom Scholz was born in Toledo, Ohio and raised in the suburb of Ottawa Hills. His father, Don Scholz, was a homebuilder who garnered considerable wealth from his designs of prefabricated luxury houses and founded Scholz Homes Inc. His mother Olive was valedictorian of her class then became an architectural designer and a landscape architect.