Brad Delp's songwriting notebook, 8.5 x 10.5, containing thirteen pages of his working lyrics and handwritten notes (several double-sided). The first seven pages all appear to be working lyrics for a single song, 'Rockin' Away,' a nostalgic look back at the history of rock and roll and his own place within it. These lyrics begin: "I was born a singer / It wasn't somethin' I planned / (but) all I ever wanted was to be what I am / When I was only 5 years old / Saw the beginnin' of rock & roll / And so I guess you could saw we grew up holdin' hands / Yea-yea…I grew up in the 60s / 67 was the summer of love / Those were times when the music had somethin' to say / (I) hitched a ride on with a rock and roll band." The following pages rehash and elaborate upon these ideas, with other lyrics like, "Bought a Sears guitar / and I learned how to play / (that was) back in the day / (The) music was new and exciting," and, "I remember we all got together / held our breath as we opened the letter / from the record execs in L.A. / Sent us back on our way / While the suits tried hard to define us / Nobody wanted to sign us / It was clear there were dues left to pay / And we kept rockin' away - rockin' away."
Following these lyrics is a more mundane page of notes listing some audio equipment, a VCR and DVD player, and various local TV channels. The next page features working lyrics for a sad ballad, beginning: "(And) when the world's gone away / And night falls upon you / just hold on - it's OK / Remember me or remember love / Time stands still / As it sometimes will / Just until / Hey babe / Has it been so long / Hey babe / Does it seem so long / You and I could have had it all / for a song." After many blank pages comes notes concerning recording or production, listing several Boston essentials, in part: "SSB—R & Roll Band Jeff High Parts Chorus, Last Verse Lower Falsetto…Peace of Mind Hi falsetto in choruses…Take a look ahead - Yeah Yeah - Hi Part, Long Time… I think I like it High Falsetto Parts, More Than a Feeling…Foreplay-Long Time: Gotta be on my way." The notebook closes with a final page of lyrics, in part: "Hey - you can be so unfair / and you know / I will remember / You said you'd always be there / When you go…I had a really good time / (Hey) Hey / Well I've been in love / But nothing lasts forever / So just hold on long enough / And maybe you'll end up together / It's alright." A final page has just two handwritten lines: "You can lie to my face / And I'll believe it it's OK." In fine condition.
According to Delp's Boston bandmate Barry Goudreau, 'Rockin' Away' was written in 2006 for the 30th anniversary of the release of the first Boston record. It was the last song that Delp and Goudreau did together, and Goudreau released the single in October 2007 after Delp passed away. As a handwritten record of Delp's creative process in developing the song's lyrics, this is a meaningful piece of Boston history. From the Brad Delp Collection
, and accompanied by a letter of provenance from Micki Delp.