Troop 26’s Paolilli, like bro,

Staff Writer

PEPPERELL — The Nick Paolilli known to North Middlesex Regional High School seniors as a hard-rocking bass player for The Outside Inn also has a softer side that becomes evident when you ask him about Scouting.

The 17-year-old hopes to become a music teacher and, even though his musical career is moving right along, he’ll be stopping for a moment in March to participate in the solemn ritual of becoming an Eagle Scout, the latest in a long line of Eagles from Troop 26, under the stewardship of Scoutmaster David St. Onge.

Nick’s brother, John, 19, is also an Eagle, and is Outside Inn’s singer/songwriter. Little brothers C.J., 15, and Ryan, 14, are also Scouts.

“Scouting is an amazing program,” he said. “You don’t realize what it does for you, the leadership (skills) are awesome, aside of course from knot tying.

“You get to see more behind the scenes, how things run, and public speaking experience. There is a trickle-down effect. Some people make Eagle quickly but the trick is to learn the steps,” Paolilli said. “A lot you learn you don’t apply until you teach it to others.”

Nick’s leadership project for his Eagle award was a food drive to benefit Pepperell Aid from Church to Home, where he brought in 503 cans of food. The price of admission to a concert by the band, on the evening of Dec. 15 at the Knights of Columbus, was three cans of food.

Nick has earned 21 merit badges and used to work as a counselor at a Boy Scout camp in Jaffrey, N.H.

Born in Lowell to John and Jennifer Paolilli, Nick’s family moved to 31 Tucker Street when he was a third-grade student. At Nissitissit Middle School he met the man he views as his mentor, teacher Ron Dube, along with music director Kevin Tellier, whose musical range and knowledge Nick describes as “unreal.”

“My mom and dad pushed me,” he admits, “but that’s good. They’re good people. I like them. I don’t get this being-against-your-parents act.”

Nick said he was raised on rock, Van Halen, Jon Bon Jovi, etc. This is also the type of music The Outside Inn plays, both locally and on the road in such venues as Boston’s Middle East Club and Cambridge’s All Asia Bar.

He finds the Pepperell-area band scene “pretty cool” but one that suffers when students move away for college. On the evening of his food drive, five area bands performed.

One of those bands was Bullet, whose members include NMRHS graduates Jordan Quigley on bass and Jared Quigley (now attending Middlesex Community College) on keyboards, and Ben Phillips on vocals, with current NMRHS students Aaron Gagnon on drums and Ryan Allen on guitar. Three other bands that night were Blame, Illusion, and Three Minute Heroes.

The Outside Inn has Nick on bass, his brother John (Berklee School of Music in Boston) on guitar, NMRHS graduate Tony Marciello on vocals, and Andrew Sepe on drums.

“Mr. Tellier was my music teacher. I’ve played trombone since the fourth grade and (as a member) I’m a big fan of the Nissitissit Jazz Band,” Nick said.

“I want to be a music teacher or maybe a vocal teacher and attend possibly Berklee or UMass-Lowell, Fitchburg State or Salem State College to major in English or music,” he said. “I try to be a good student.”

Somewhat sharing his older brother’s current direction in life, Nick said it was rather awkward at first to be a band member with a sibling “but you get more of an outlook on where the band is going to go.”

“Without a doubt I’d recommend Scouting,” the former Tiger, Cub, and now Boy Scout said. “All my brothers are Scouts. John and I are Eagles. If (C.J. and Ryan) make it, it’d be sweet.”

Nick said information about The Outside Inn and some of its sample music can be found online at