Growing up in Boston, Massachusetts our namesake rock and roll band was part of the fabric of the city. The way Brad Delp sang those songs. The way the guitar wailed. I always loved their music and after Brad Delp took his own life in 2007 those lyrics to songs like “More Than A Feeling” seemed to take on new meaning:
I looked out this morning and the sun was gone
Turned on some music to start my day
I lost myself in a familiar song
I closed my eyes and I slipped away
I worked in Boston radio all throughout college at big stations like WBCN. I met many musicians during my years there, but I never met Brad or the members of Boston. I DID however meet someone named Brett Richards. His last name was really Rushon but everyone in radio seems to have a radio name and Brett Richards was his. This guy was quiet and unassuming. We never went out for drinks or took in a game together but we kept tabs on each other through the years. A couple of years after Brad Delp died by suicide, Brett found me thousands of miles away now living in Los Angeles and in the TV news business. He had a story idea for me. It involved Brad Delp’s daughter Jenna. She was entering a race across Asia to raise money and awareness for Brad Delp’s foundation which was started in his memory.
I loved the story idea. Jenna and I spoke on the phone several times as I set up the story for my reporter Dave Malkoff. When Dave did the story I was so pleased with the results, and my hair still stands on end when you get to that ONE moment in the piece when Jenna talks about the love she has for her dad. It was then and remains now, one of the favorite pieces I have ever been involved with in the news business. Thanks to Brett, I pitched the story to my old Boston station as well. It went full circle from one idea in Boston, to Los Angeles, and back to Boston. Brett made that happen.
Which makes this next part even harder. I had lost touch with Brett after the piece we did on Jenna and her dad. In 2010 I learned that Brett himself had taken his own life. I started to realize maybe that’s why Jenna’s story and the story of the Brad Delp foundation had been so important for Brett to tell. Maybe this was the way Brett was trying to reach out and to spread the word. In the same way Brad Delp had the words he sang on stage, Brett was a radio promotions wizard who was able to sell me on a good story and a very good cause. This is National Suicide Prevention week. Today I went on Brett’s memorial page and donated $25 to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It is a small amount of money I know. But I hope it helps someone else find their way out of the darkness.
So many people have come and gone
Their faces fade as the years go by
Yet I still recall as I wander on
As clear as the sun in the summer sky
It’s more than a feeling…
Here is a link to that original story Brett helped us with: