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Rock band Boston finds new lead singer on MySpace

For many, social-networking sites are good for little more than keeping in touch with friends and family. For some, it may also be a foot in the door of rock stardom.

One MySpace page gave the rock band Boston more than a feeling about an amateur singer. They ended up hiring the man as their new lead singer.

Tommy DeCarlo lands singer gig with Boston, thanks to MySpace page.

For Tommy DeCarlo, a credit manager at a Home Depot in North Carolina, it was literally a dream come true. DeCarlo, 43, had been a fan of the band since his childhood, often singing along with CDs or the radio when songs came on the air.

When Boston lead singer Brad Delp committed suicide last year, DeCarlo recorded his own karaoke versions of Boston songs and uploaded the MP3s to his MySpace page as a tribute. A friend who heard the recordings later encouraged him to contact the band.

DeCarlo, who had never been in a band and whose recent singing experience consisted of performing for a couple of dozen bowlers in a bowling alley, wasn't too confident.

"I sent my MySpace page link to the Boston camp, and I also offered to sing my song at the tribute show, never thinking I'd get a reply," DeCarlo says on Boston's official Web site. "I did end up getting one about two weeks later thanking me for the offer, but at this point there were not going to be any additions to lineup."

And that was the end of DeCarlo's rock 'n' roll fantasy--for a few weeks, anyway. Boston founder Tom Scholz's wife was fiddling around on her PC when something caught her husband's ear.

"My wife was at her computer playing our tunes, and I asked whether it was us playing live," Scholz told USA Today. "She said, 'It's some guy in North Carolina singing your songs.' I said, 'I know Brad's voice, and that's Brad.'"

That was enough for Scholz. He dropped DeCarlo an e-mail and invited him to the tribute, where DeCarlo impressed the band with his covers (see a YouTube video clip of his performance below). He starts his new job on Friday when the band kicks off its summer tour in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

While it's a rather unorthodox way to replace a band member after a tragedy, the practice of a Web audition could become more common. The band Journey recently hired a new lead singer based on a video clip posted to YouTube.