Many of us rocked to the sounds of “More Than a Feeling” in 1976 when the legendary rock band Boston burst on the scene. The band is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year with a North American tour.

Why is this important to engineers? Boston was the creation of Tom Scholz, a geek turned rock star. With a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from MIT, Scholz worked as a product design engineer at Polaroid (remember them?) by day and wrote and played music at night. He had dreams of making it big but didn’t really expect much as he suffered through six years of rejections. When he finished recording an album in the basement of his Watertown, MA apartment, he told his boss he was staying at Polaroid and he didn’t have to worry about him leaving. But then the music world took notice, and the band’s debut album skyrocketed to sell a record 17 million copies.

Scholz was known for applying his technical expertise to music, as he designed his own studio, gadgets, and musical instruments to create the sounds he sought.

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