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“It’s some guy in North Carolina singing your songs”

I just love this story. Tommy de Carlo, a 43 year old Home Depot credit manager in North Carolina, lifelong fan of Boston, is heartbroken when Brad Delp, the lead singer, committed suicide last year. So he sings his heart out on a bunch of tracks, uploads them to his MySpace page as “tribute”, and less than a year later, becomes the lead singer of the band.

I need stories like this, to keep reminding me of the importance of access, of the importance of DRM-free content, of the importance of what Doc’s son Allen called The World Live Web. [ To keep reminding me that what we are doing, what we are fighting for, is about our emerging culture as much as anything else, that we need to understand more and more about open and free while we do this; that open and free can go hand in hand with success, both business and personal.

Boston’s business wasn’t harmed by what Tommy did, was it?

But it could have been. By DRM, by lack of access, by many things.

Just a thought.

Posted in Four pillars .


6 Responses

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  1. James Marwood says

    This a great story, and a good antidote to those who deride the value of openness.

  2. george says

    It is a great story, and it is an encouragement to the everyday man.

    However, it does leave out the part that the previous BOSTON lead vocalist, Fran Cosmo, was not invited on this tour, after being in the band 10 years.

  3. JP says

    George, Ron, James, thanks for your comments. I’ll be writing a longer post on openness following my session at Supernova, I’d love to see what you think of it.

  4. Jimmy Dell says

    It’s a great story, but how does DRM or openness factor into it? Cover bands have existed for decades, and presumably Tommy has been singing Boston songs in the shower since the 80’s. I’m just not connecting the dots.

  5. JP says

    Jimmy, this was my rationale:

    Tommy did the tribute karaoke without getting unduly hassled by copyright issues. He had the connectivity to upload the mp3s, and he had the platform (MySpace) via which to reach others in the read/write web.

    The people connected with Boston wouldn’t have heard of Tommy unless his music was tagged in some way to do with Boston. And then they needed the connectivity and opportunity to listen to him.

    As you say, there are lots of cover bands, and they’ve been around for a long time. What makes this story different is that Boston had a way of finding the Tommys of this world, listening to them, choosing one. And the Tommys of this world had a way of being there to be found.

    That’s where the IPR and DRM and openness and connectivity come in.

    Make any sense?

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Cloudy Thinking » Blog Archive » JP Rangaswami — how Boston found its new lead singer linked to this post on June 21, 2008

    [...] JP Rangaswami “It’s some guy in North Carolina singing your songs,” a remix of the story of Tommy de Carlo, the new lead singer for Boston. Cool beans. [...]



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