Brad Delp 1951-2007One of the major influences in 1970’s-80’s rock is dead at the age of 55 years. Brad Delp, former lead singer for the rock group Boston, was found dead in his New Hampshire home on March 9. While news of Iraq, the political race, and the surprise theatrical hit 300 ran through the papers and tabloids, the death of this man was most deeply felt by the people who were touched by his music. At the time the cause of death was not known. Now, Delp is reported as having committed suicide by charcoal-burning or carbon monoxide poisoning. It was said that Brad wrestled with depression for some time and left a suicide note. (If you know or suspect someone as being suicidal use the tips at the end of this article.)

Delp auditioned for and was immediately signed on as the lead vocalist for Boston in the mid-1970’s. The debut self titled album came out in 1976 and was an instant success. The first three songs, More Than a Feeling, Peace of Mind, and Long Time highlighted Delp’s vocal stylings and incredible range. It was no wonder that fans couldn’t wait for the next album, Don’t Look Back that rolled out amid controversy in 1978.

I remember the first time I heard both these albums. The fine editing and mixing of Tom Scholz combined with the energy and flair of Brad Delp’s vocals left me with goose bumps. I had never heard anything that so captivated the rock and roll sound of that era than the melodic rifts of Boston.

Boston had planned a reunion tour this year but, with Brad’s death the tour has been canceled. Our prayers are with his children, family, and friends.

Depression and Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Extreme withdrawal from friends, family, and usual activities
  • Talking about suicide or “ending it all”
  • Self-destructive or risk-taking behavior
  • Giving away favorite possessions
  • Sudden changes in mood or behavior
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Identification with someone who has committed suicide
  • Preoccupation with thoughts of death
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)

Know the warning signs!

Most suicidal people give clues about their feelings. Don’t be afraid to ask someone you are worried about if he or she is thinking of taking his or her own life. You cannot make someone suicidal by asking a direct, caring question about the warning signs of suicide you may have identified. Tell your loved one that you are worried and give specific reasons why. Stress that he or she is very important to you and to other people. Encourage that person to get help through a psychiatrist, social worker, clergy member, or other mental health professionals.

How to Deal with Signs of Suicide

  • Stay Calm. Don’t overreact.
  • Express Concern. Take your friend or family member seriously. Explain why you are worried. Be specific.
  • Listen Attentively. Maintain eye contact.
  • Ask Direct Questions. It is important to find out if your friend has a specific plan for suicide.
  • Acknowledge Feelings. Do not be judgmental. Don’t take it personally if you can’t help your friend “cheer up”.
  • Reassure. Stress that suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems. Remind your friend that there is always hope, and things can and will get better.
  • Don’t Promise Confidentiality. You may need to consult others, or talk to your friend’s doctor about the signs of suicide you have identified.
  • Take Action, Involve Others. Don’t attempt to handle this alone. Consult others who are trained to help and deal with warning signs of suicide.