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June 23rd, 2009
09:37 PM ET

STYX: Is it any wonder I'm not the President?

Ahhhhh…the early '80s...remember how fun that was?

The bigger the hair, the better–with the teased mall bangs, the must-have accessories like spandex, white frosty eye shadow, leg warmers and high-top Reeboks.

I would love to insert a picture here, but…well, lets just say, the hair wouldn't fit.  So we'll forget about that.

However, one thing you can never forget if you’re from those head-bangin', rock-n-roll times, is the music.

There I was in my best friend’s Pinto, with two-tone doors, cruising the strip in Mobile, Alabama…windows rolled down, jammin' to STYX.

Styx and REO Speedwagon prove that they can't stop rocking as they play a sold out show in Atlanta Sunday night.
Styx and REO Speedwagon prove that they can't stop rocking as they play a sold out show in Atlanta Sunday night.

When I moved back to San Diego, the jammin' continued, but this time, it was on the beach, with my step-brother’s old surf board on one side, and my AM/FM radio on the other, of course, listening to the DJ spin STYX…wow, why am I feeling so archaic right now?

Oh, how I wanted to be a Renegade...who had it made.

The Styx set list aka the sound track of our misspent youth.

The Styx set list aka the sound track of our misspent youth.

Well, I finally got my chance...

My producer, Sonya Houston, and I got to go see STYX here in Atlanta, Georgia and not only did it throw us back to the strips we cruised and the waves we rode, but we got to meet all "the guys."

Kyra Phillips, Tommy Shaw, Sonya Houston and Larry Gowan backstage after the Atlanta show.

Kyra Phillips, Tommy Shaw, Sonya Houston and Larry Gowan backstage after the Atlanta show.

I was lucky enough to meet Larry Gowan in Canada when he honored my sweetheart, JD, as he was inducted into Canada’s Broadcast Hall of Fame. Larry never forgot what JD had done for him back in his Canada radio days. JD always knew great talent.  He recognized that in Larry and always tried to lift him up within the competitive music world. Matter of fact, Larry pulled the original interview JD did with him for City TV's "The New Music" program and creatively voiced over the entire interview with Larry’s “own words.”

It was classic. Classic “Gowan.”

Which leads me to "Classic Gowan" part two.

As a thanks for "inside STYX," we offered up "inside White House."

The next thing I knew, the band's big silver tour bus was rolling up to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and the rest of the story, my friends, was a made for TV moment...literally.

I guess for a period of just a few hours...whether it was back stage or back in the White House press room,
Larry, Tommy, Todd, Chuck, Kyra and Sonya lived out the lyrics:

Our memories of yesterday will last a lifetime
We'll take the best, forget the rest
And someday we'll find these are the best of times

Roadie Keith Marks packs up Styx stuff and gets it ready to hit the road.

Roadie Keith Marks packs up Styx stuff and gets it ready to hit the road.

Check to see if STYX is rolling into your town on their summer tour. And see what Larry Gowan is up to on his website (also see if you can spot the Davy Jones look-alike album cover.)


Filed under: Kyra Phillips
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Tony L

    Sorry but for me, STYX isnt STYX without Dennis DeYoung!!!

    And that is the truth!!!

    June 24, 2009 at 6:01 am |
  2. jeff clark

    yes, ms kyra... i'm with you (absent the surf board) we don't HAVE to grow up...do we???

    June 24, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  3. fred

    Thanks for sharing that great summer story! And have a great musical summer & otherwise!

    June 24, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  4. Victor

    Dear Kyra,

    What is Styx....im 28 years old by the way?

    June 24, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  5. Jeanne

    I'd like to suggest that when news conferences are planned and assembled, there is more care given to attendees. I'm puzzled as to why there were young girls in the video of Governor Sanford's press conference admitting to his recent affair. In addition, it was disconcerting to me that these young women were laughing during most of the conference. Don't mean to sound prudish, but was this appropriate and responsible journalism?

    June 24, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  6. Ken

    Where did you grow up? We're about the same age; what I remember when I was in high school is how great it was to listen to KROQ (http://www.kroqclassics.com/) when we could get reception in San Diego. In my senior year, 91X started playing the same format (http://www.91x.com/resurrection.html). Many of my classmates and I LOVED it because it was different...it sure wasn't Styx, REO Speedwagon or 38 Special.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  7. Mike

    It's so much fun to see '80s bands on tour and to re-live the memories of growing up in that era. My teenagers and their friends are always listening to '80s music...it truly was a great time for radio!

    June 25, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  8. Cornelius Hofman

    @ Tony – Dennis was an amazing part of the band. But unfortunately his life and desires were "more important" than those of STYX. He was selfish in how he approached everything. He was amazing and wrote some great power-ballads. But I'm sorry to inform you that STYX lives on and Gowan kicks Dennis' trash in terms of talent and stage appearance!

    Styx is amazing and will forever be known as a classic. Their constant tours and overfilled stadiums are a never-ending tribute to their skills and success! STYX ROCKS!

    June 25, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  9. Tani

    Nice article and nice photos, but Keith Marks is not a roadie! I think he's stage manager now, but he's done just about every major job on the Styx tour. Calling him a roadie is like calling a heart surgeon an intern.

    June 25, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  10. Ian

    Dennis who? I have seen many of their shows and been a fan for many years. Styx is as great now as they have ever been.

    June 25, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  11. Milton Smith

    MMM Kyra is the best ever on tv. Hey how about the Kyra news cast on the new CNN sky base just over Manhatten? That would be cool people.

    June 25, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  12. Pamela

    I have been a Styx fan since '78 (I was 9), and believe me, they are STILL awesome, even with the lineup changes!! If anyone doubts that, just go see them!!

    June 25, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  13. Joan

    Styx is enjoying 'the best of times' and that is due in large part to the addition of the amazing Larry Gowan. He is the same now as he was back then, when I first became a fan. Styx has always been a great band and nobody is denying the contribution DDY made, but they have more than doubled the amount of shows per year, found so many new and returning fans, and are having their own best of times. More power to them all, and I'm very glad they can't stop rockin'...

    June 25, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  14. Cindy Downs

    Oh, I so agree with Cornelius! I have seen Styx at least 7 times in the last 5 years and will see them Labor Day weekend. Gowan kicks Dennis when it comes to vocal talent and stage presence. He puts on a fun show! And Tommy and JY are still kickin' it. I absolutely love to see them "own' the stage! They are still producing new albums and their concerts rock. They are still filling venues, ...so I say "Dennis who?"

    June 26, 2009 at 8:17 am |
  15. Cindy Downs

    ...Oh and yes, I forgot...Tommy Shaw for President! Think how fun the White House would be!

    June 26, 2009 at 8:19 am |
  16. James Hermreck

    Dennis De Who?

    June 26, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  17. Mark Fogle

    Been a fan since the 70s and was a bit upset with the split, Dennis has once of the most powerful rock voices of all time.

    I have had the prvledge of seeing the band with and without him on several occasions, and even with Lawrence a front row in Okinawa with STYX was a highlight I will never forget. I do and always will believe Come Sail Away is better with Dennis, sorry.

    I am also glad that they still tour today and sadly had to miss the Columbia concert this week,

    To see how the crowds react to them I can only hope they keep going strong and give us some more new music. If you have heard Just Be take the time and listen – the song has great meaning and the solos are as good as STYX has ever been. Keep Rockin

    June 27, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  18. SnakeBite

    Gowan is very talented, no doubt about it. He may even be a better keyboard player than Dennis DeYoung. However, had there been no Dennis Deyoung, there wouldn't have been a STYX...plain and simple. So all of you who make the silly statements like "Dennis who?" need to grow up, or have a reality check.

    It's far easier to come in and COPY the notes and play them...the notes that another person created. It's easier to come in and SING the lyrics that another person wrote. Uh, that other person was Dennis Deyoung...not Gowan. Furthermore, Gowan may play better (disputable), has more stage presence (disputable), but one thing for certain - Gowan can not sing as well as Dennis can. In fact, Gowan's voice is fairly annoying.

    One more thing - Dennis gave his heart and soul to STYX. He even shared his writing royalities with the ungrateful boobs. So it thrills me to the bone to know that Dennis' success without the other boys in the band has been far better than the "coat-tail-riders" have been without Dennis around! I believe if you check, you'll see that STYX's last album without Dennis sold a massive 55,000 copies! Whoo-freakin-hoo! Yet Dennis has good to borderline great record sales without the "other guys" dragging him down.

    One thing for certain - I know if I were in Tommy's, JY's or Chuck's shoes, I would never allow a mirror to be around because I wouldn't like what I would see when looking into it. Knowing that none of them would have 2% of the money they have today without Dennis...yet, since they do have the money that Dennis made for them, they kick him to the curb - has to be a pretty sick feeling down deep inside to realize that you have no loyality, integrity, or appreciation for what another person created for you. I couldn't live with that guilt but obviously they can. Says a lot about what type of people they REALLY are.

    July 1, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  19. mike avignone

    I have been a Styx fan since the beginning. I have seen Styx recently and went to see Dennis last Year. Both are OK but Neither Dennis or Styx is really STYX. They were probably the Best Band Ever with the the lineup of Dennis,Shaw, JY ,John and Chuck. It is not even Close now. I wish Styx would change their name,it is so misleading.

    July 4, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  20. Marty from LaGrange

    I have seen Styx from the early 70's and first heard on WLS AM890 the Rock of Chicago. They played at my local high school. We also had a great place known as the Corral in Lagrange, Il. I saw local bands including Styx, REO, Muddie Waters, and Koko Taylor. They played on Friday nights from 1970 to 1979. The yearly pass to the corral cost about $20.00 per year.

    The Styx lineup today is not Styx of yesterday. The band was creative with their music such as Light Up, Grand Illusion, Suite Madame Blue to name a few. I know that Tommy and JY do not remember the early days as a garage band. Do you remember Dennis started the band playing the accordian?

    Dennis DeYoung , Tommy Shaw and JY made the best harmonies and power ballads.

    Not having Dennis in the band is similar to not having Mick Jagger with the Rolling Stones!

    July 8, 2009 at 11:34 pm |
  21. frank scott

    ya know, those of us who are true fans, that is really know the band...are well into our 40's.Doesn't it seem rather silly to be sitting at the puter rehashing the band's animos? Dennis was, and is great, and yes no Dennis in the beginning, probably no styx.But Dennis got bigger than the band. the band was, and is a touring machine, and Dennis had other plans, or poor health, or homesickness, or whatever you choose to believe. i personally think he just wanted to be with his family. (god bless him for that)
    The other members spent YEARS waiting on Dennis and filled a whole lot of time on solo projects (most of which are in a bargain bin somewhere) when they could've been doing STYX. that being the case, why should anyone in the band have waited to maintain their livelihood? the classiest member through the whole thing was Chuck pannozzo, and Dennis sued him too.
    So while i am, and always will be a Dennis fan, God bless the boys for carrying on. And thank you to Larry Gowan for not trying to be a Dennis clone...how sad that has made Journey. And shame on all of us posting when we could and probably should be enjoying the music they make for us right now,

    July 9, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  22. Roberta

    Each camp is doing what they were meant to do: Dennis with show tunes (or whatever) and the rest with rock. Fans of each can enjoy what they like, so what's the problem?

    July 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  23. snakebite

    THEY aren't doing what they EACH were meant to do! Dennis would play with Tommy, JY and Chuck tomorrow if he could. Tommy, JY, and Chuck are doing what THEY want to do...and that is cash-in on Dennis' music. They run around the country claiming to be STYX when the real talent, voice, writing machine in STYX is not a part of it. It's basically fraud. I don't care how big an ass Dennis may have been. They (TS, JY, and CP) wouldn't be able to go out and play if not for the music that Dennis created.

    And Frank....STYX is a touring machine all right...county fairs, casinos, and let's not forget the great Idaho Potato Festival this summer they may play. What they have lowered themselves to is very sad.

    The other members waited for YEARS on Dennis? The OTHER members begged Dennis to replace Tommy in the mid 1980's...Dennis refused. That shows what kind a guy Dennis is, and it shows what the others are.

    And as far as Journey goes....at least those boys know what got them where there were (and are)...the SOUND of Steve Perry. Also you might want to check and see where Journey plays, the crowds they get, the money they make, verses the the revised STYX version we have today. I believe the Journey boys got it right. Furthermore, the Journey boys have always said that Steve Perry can come back at any time he wants to....Have the STYX fools said anything like that? Don't be fooled. This isn't about making new music or being loyal to fellow bands members. It's about fooling the public into thinking you're going to see STYX and cashing in for the money....plain and simple.

    July 13, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  24. Martha

    I love the Styx line-up now, and I loved it with Dennis De Young. As far as who created what, I think that they all had their input. The music was not created solely by Dennis, Tommy Shaw did write Renegade, Too Much Time on my Hands, Blue Collar Man, Crystal Ball, Man in the Wilderness,and countless others, so saying that he has no claim to the Styx sound of old is ludicrous. One person is not a band, and It seems like that's what they always wanted to be. When I go to their concerts now everyone in the band has their moment, and that is what is considered a BAND! As far a Journey goes, there was, and always will be only one, Steve Perry. He was the leading force behind their success. Journey had one frontman, Styx has three, and they still put on one hell of a show!!

    Martha S

    July 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  25. tommy-fan-always

    Snakebite, I have to disagree with you in that the Styx of today wouldn't be able to get out there and play if it weren't for Dennis. I agree that Dennis is a powerful and gifted, beautiful singer. And yes, he was a terrific writer for the band. However, Tommy Shaw had also written several songs for the band. In addition, Tommy is a superb guitarist and musician; and Tommy sang harmonies and melodies along with Dennis back in the day. So, why isn't Tommy deserving of fronting the band today? It wasn't such a big thing for Sammy to front Van Halen after the David Lee Roth days.

    As far as Journey goes, I've followed that band for most of my life (just like I have with Styx). I'm in my 40's now. I've never heard or read anything that said that Steve Perry is welcome to come back to the band. The VH1 "Inside the Music" special (years ago) never gave that impression to me.

    The way I look at it, both Tommy and Dennis were major contributors to the band. Each brought his own talent. Those talents were only enhanced by JY, Chuck, and John. I say, if you like Dennis, go see Dennis. If you like Tommy and the boys, go see them.

    I've been to many shows sans Dennis. The boys of today's Styx deliver and delivery greatly. Todd Sucherman is a tremendous contributor and the band is better for having him. True, Lawrence Gowan is not a match for Dennis' vocals. But he has showmanship, and he is perhaps an even better keyboard player than Dennis.

    I hear your support for Dennis. But honestly, what is meant to be is meant to be. Based on what I read in Chuck Panozzo's book, "The Grand Illusion", Tommy and Dennis just wanted two different things; so they parted ways, albeit not the greatest of ways but they did. End of story.

    July 15, 2009 at 12:07 am |
  26. Mike

    The incredible part of this story is how Styx has surpassed even there own expectations. I mean think about it, the year was 1999 and Tommy and J.Y. approached Dennis to go on tour again, a big one planned that would last for several months. Dennis didn't want to be part of that anymore, he wanted it his own way (as seen on VH1 Behind the music), well Styx hit the road without him and amazingly 10 years later they are still going strong, still selling out small and big stadiums alike. Touring with other Rock legends and getting more air play that they did 20 years ago.

    Really this is an amazing accomplishment for a band that could have thrown in the towel as Dennis decided to do 10 years ago. Dennis was an amazing talent, but the plain fact is Gowen just blows Dennis away on stage appearance. I don't really like to compare the two with talent, because Dennis was a completely different time.
    Dennis if you are reading this (or one of your family/friends) you are a man with great morals, with exceptional songwriting skills, a great family man and you will always be in the hearts of Styx fans everywhere.

    With that being said I think what Styx has accomplished the last 10 years without Dennis is as amazing in Rock Terms as what the U.S. Hockey team did in Lake Placid. Nobody could have predicted the success Styx has had over the last 10 years...Like them or Hate them, Styx lives on.

    God Bless J.Y. for continuing with Styx while dealing with his Wife's situation, that is just another testament as to the kind of dedication this band had meant to rock and roll.

    July 20, 2009 at 1:47 am |
  27. Beetle

    Go listen to Equinox. Great stuff!

    July 22, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  28. The Manster

    I hear a lot of fans (and maybe non-fans) bickering about band loyalty, "cashing in" and even fraud (pretty strong claim) but it doesn't seem like many people are trying to see it from JY's or Tommy's perspective.

    Can you imagine having a job you love and doing that job for 10 plus years and then just like that you're unemployed? You try to carry on with a new job here and there but it's not the same?

    Ok, we all know there's big money involved in the equation but you know what...business is part of fame and fortune. And well, Styx is also a business. And hey if you had a job that you loved and it was big business, well even better for you.

    I highly recommend anyone interested in learning more about Styx to read the un-authorized biography of Styx. The author is Sterling Whitaker and the title of the book is "The Grand Delusion – the un-authorized True Story of Styx". There is a lot of insight into the band's success, direction and eventual breakup. And yes, both fans and critics of Dennis DeYoung have valid points but after reading the book it's my opinion things worked out the only way they could've worked out.

    I love Tommy Shaw's songs, his pipes are awesome and any teenage guy would love to have been Tommy in the days.
    JY is just the coolest guy I can think of and he has a style all his own which totally clicks with my personality.
    Kudos to Chuck for surviving his personal battles and just being a great guy.
    John lives on in the music and memorials everywhere and we'll never forget, rock on John!
    Good luck to Dennis...there is no doubt his songwriting was magic.

    As for Larry, Rick and Todd...thanks for stepping in when the band needed some stepping in. You guys rock and any Styx fan who says they would not love to step in your shoes for a day is an outright liar!

    God bless the Young family and get well soon Susie.

    August 1, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  29. snakebite

    I have read the book "The Grand Delusion". I found it interesting for the most part.

    Tommy is a very talented guy as is JY. JY was my favorite member of the band for decades. But here is the problem: Steve Perry didn't want to play with Journey anymore. He is welcome to come back anytime he wants to according to Neil Schaun. Freddy Mercury died and the guys in Queen refused to replace him...even though if anyone ever had a right to do so it's when a member dies. The drummer in Def Leppard loses his arm in an car wreck, they other guys say "learn to play with one arm dude, we'll wait for you." Contrast the above situations with - Dennis gets sick and asks the guys to DELAY going on the road until he gets better...."NO, you're OUT man." We're replacing you for good! " What they did to Dennis is Not even in the same ballpark and we all know it. TS, JY and CP are disloyal, money grubbers, riding on the coat tails of Dennis Deyoung. I hope they enjoy the ride a little while longer because they don't have much time left.

    Dennis WAS the magic in STYX. Or at least with him in the band, he made the magic happen with all of them together. And as further proof of the difference between Dennis and the rest of the blood suckers....never forget that JP, JY, and CP railed on Dennis in the early 1980's to replace TS when he quit. Dennis refused!! Glen Burtnik would have come in and never missed a beat filling TS's shoes, but Dennis was man enough to not do that.

    I don't wish TS, JY and CP any ill-will but they should have changed their name to something other than STYX. It's not STYX. It's the TS & JY show playing the hits of Dennis Deyoung!!!

    PS...what great success has STYX had in the last 10 years without DDY? A few tours with REO that people did attend for nostalga? A major flop new record? Several live releases that were also major flops? If you consider playing the great Iowa Corn and Potato festival "suscessful" then, yea......they have finally made it to the top!!!

    August 3, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  30. Julie

    Wow, me thinks SnakeBite doth protest too much Styx didn't really take off until Tommy joined the band. And Dennis wasn't the founder, it was Chuck and John Panozzo. I just finished Chuck's book, and his experience was that Dennis put himself at the top of the band's "pecking order" and his ego got too big in my opinion. He thought Styx should be his band. Great story line though it was, the other members of the band (not just Tommy) were not happy with the whole rock opera thing on the Kilroy tour. What a testament to those musicians to have rocked their asses off onstage and turned out such great shows when deep down they were not too happy. Incidentally, my first Styx concert was on the Kilroy tour. Became a huge fan after that show. No one would have guessed that Tommy was miserable or any of the others. Personally, I can leave a Styx concert perfectly happy without hearing Babe or The Best of Times, but imagine a Styx show without Too Much Time on my Hands, Blue Collar Man, Renegade, Crystal Ball.... No thanks.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  31. snakebite

    No SnakeBite speaks the truth too much. Dennis was a co-founder, do your research. Styx didn't take off until Tommy joined the band? Do you know ANYTHING about the history of the band? ANYTHING at all?
    5 albums, and a top ten hit is not taking off? Take off those TS colored glasses baby.

    Dennis lead the band. He made all their success happen. He was the main creative force behind the music. How many top ten hits did TS have verses Dennis? JY, JP, and CP zero. Tommy had 1. Dennis had, well let's see now.... 7 if I'm not missing any. Not to mention after they broke up and Dennis went solo he had another top ten hit.

    As to the other members in the band "misery"...TS was doing massive drugs at the time and would have been miserable doing anything, or for that matter playing in a death metal group. Furthermore it always amazes me that so many people buy into this crap that TS wanted to ROCK and not play so many ballads/pop. Ever listen to Boat on the River? She Cares? Just get me Through this Night? Lights? I like all of those songs a lot, but they are FAR from ROCK tunes. Even Dennis had harder rocking tunes than TS did.

    Slice it any way you want to....without Dennis there never would have been a STYX.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  32. Melinda

    WIthout the Panozzo twins, there never would have been a Styx. Dennis joined THEIR band, not the other way around.

    There is a reason that the Tommy Shaw tunes you listed were included on Styx releases, despite being mellow songs that weren't really rock. Dennis had final say on what was included, starting with Cornerstone, and it was HIS decision to leave off anything that actually rocked. With his influence, Styx was headed toward turning into Air Supply. Babe was an embarrassment and it ruined the band's reputation. I don't care how many copies it sold, it was schmaltz and never should have made it to vinyl. Before that foray into prom pop, Styx was respected as a ROCK band. After that, they were dismissed as another sell-out.

    Snakebite, you don't seem to know much about what happened with DeYoung's departure from the band. It was NOT a case of replacing him because he was sick. Dennis was not sick, at least not physically. The claim about being "light sensitive" was nonsense, and I personally witnessed him socializing in BRIGHT sunshine during that time, showing NO discomfort whatsoever.

    DeYoung LIED. His claim of being sick was his way of trying to get more time to sell his musical instead of going on the road. They replaced him because he was refusing to tour, putting his SOLO project above touring to support the STYX album that had just been released. He could have come back later, but he slammed that door shut by suing the band.

    FYI – It wasn't the first time he pulled something like that. The 1997 tour was truncated because he refused to spend more than two months on the road, choosing instead to produce his flop of a musical. Dennis was no longer a team player, always putting his own selfish interests above those of the band.

    As for what success Styx has had without Dennis...what success has Dennis had without Styx? Styx has sold out hundreds of shows without him. They continue to play major venues across the US and Europe while Dennis can't get a booking at Chuck E. Cheese.

    As for recording successes, there isn't a single band from that era that is currently having any major success with new recordings. With radio stations being controlled by corporations and consultants, there are no longer any that will play songs by older bands. When was the last radio hit by Journey, Kansas, Foreigner, Ted Nugent, KISS, Def Leppard, Cheap Trick, Van Halen or Rush?

    My advice for those who are complaining about the band continuing without DeYoung is GET OVER IT. If you're still whining about the split now, ten years after his departure, there's something wrong with you.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  33. snakebite

    Melinda, I don't know what you've been smoking...but I sure wish you would share that stuff with the rest of us!

    I'll try to make this as short as possible as to not waste too much of my own time trying to educate someone that has no desire to be educated.

    Uh how many hit songs did the Panozzo's have exactly? It's listed everywhere on the internet about who the original founders of STYX were Melinda,...the P brothers and DDY. LOOK IT UP.

    Dennis DID NOT have final say on what songs made it on records. Again, pass that stuff around you're smoking. I know for a fact this is not true. Dennis DID get that type of control during the reunion in 1990, but he never had that authority before 1990. Furthermore, if you believe TS had all these great ROCK tunes that DDY kept from making it on STYX records, wonder why-o-why TS did NOT release them on ANY of his, uh, clear my throat, great rocking solo releases!?! Is there ONE....just ONE rock song on ANY of TS solo records that is HALF the ROCK track that Queen of Spades is? Of course not. BTW....the guys wanted DDY to take control of the band in 1990 when they reunited because they wanted to return to the top and they knew DDY was the only way to achieve it....no matter what JY says today.

    I'll make sure that the 12+ doctors that DDY saw during his illness return the money they were paid since YOU know that he wasn't sick!!! LMAO!!!

    Before I move on to the really juicy part, I want to suggest that you read the book about STYX before you embarrass yourself more by making claims that DDY was selfish. All you have to do is show me one single BAND member of another wildly successful band like STYX was, who's principal song writer SHARED his writing royalties with the other members. Of course you can't find one, but good luck looking for one. Yea, all those millions he GAVE AWAY to his band mates was a really selfish thing to do!!!

    NOW...for the ice cream and pudding....Let's talk about success of each after they parted ways. You asked about the success Dennis has had without STYX. DO YOUR RESEARCH before you embarrass yourself like this girl. Here is a direct quote from DDY "I mean, really, having a #1 pop single, rock track and AC, seems surreal. In Canada this, of course, is known as "the hat trick". Never in my wildest dreams could I have expected this. To have a #1 record anywhere is amazing, even if it were Afghanistan, Turkmenistan or StanMusialstan, let alone Quebec, one of the most vibrant and knowledgeable musical scenes in all North America. Quebec, after all, discovered Styx before the USA. (We were actually discovered shivering in the snow on the banks of the Saint Lawrence Seaway). Merci Beaucoup and many thanks again to the people of Quebec.

    On August 18, I performed in front of the largest live audience of my entire career at St. Jean sur Richelieu, outside Montreal. According to an email from Sylvain Latour, Chief of the Cabinet Mayors office, there were over 40,000 people at the concert." Yea....sounds like Dennis is barely hanging on without TS and JY!!!!

    Let's see now....when the revised, watered-down version of STYX plays the Iowa Corn Festival where there is 1,500 in attendance, you deem that as success. I guess that explains why YOU don't get it.

    Without another headliner (REO, Journey, Def Lepperd) STYX is relegated to casinos, county fairs, and mid-level bars that can hold 1,000 people. Dennis is STILL playing arenas and festivals. In fact, Mr. Deyoung is playing the DTE Arena in Detroit on August 28th (seating capacity 15,000) by HIMSELF. The watered-down version of STYX would be lucky to get booked to play my Grandma's birthday party next month without another act to tour with them.

    If you're looking for a classic artist that has had a hit record anywhere...look no further than Mr STYX himself, Dennis Deyoung in Canada last year.

    I don't need your advice....as you don't have any facts correct. Try getting a few of them right and someone may listen to your advice. Secondly, no one that I can see is whining about anything. I find it disgusting that anyone today will follow this bunch of disloyal, ungrateful, coat-tail-riders as if they are the REAL THING. Considering that NOT ONE OF THEM (JY, TS, or CP) would be playing music today without DDY long list of hit songs for STYX.

    I have a problem with fakes and phonies. And I have a problem with people not being clued in on the facts. If people want to go see this version of the TS Group, knock yourself out. More power to you. But don't pretend this version is even close to the best version of the real STYX because it's not. I will admit that I've seen this watered-down version of STYX several times over the last 10 years. They do, and always have, put on a good show. I've always admired TS' eagerness to entertain an audience. I also enjoyed seeing Journey with their new guy. But no matter how much "I enjoyed the show" it's still not as good as it once was because the two guys that made the magic happen are not there.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  34. val

    Snakebite, I don't understand your hostility. You are on a forum about a news article highlighting a recent STYX event. Yes, they are and always will be STYX. What do you hope to accomplish here? You think that by cutting every other user down, you might make yourself look better? I personally love DDY, but I can't agree with your posts less. You are a tool, plain and simple. I don't know how old you are, but I guess it just goes to show that no matter how old you get, some people still have alot of growing up to do.

    I'm so glad you learned how to work the internet, congratulations. Now go to any accredited site on STYX, and learn that it was indeed JP and CP who started the band with another friend on accordian. They later picked up DDY and played as a band called the Tradewinds, not Styx. Styx as a band was formed a few years later, after JY had joined. That was in 1972. Tommy joined the band in 1975, only 3 years after the creation of STYX. By that time, they had only one hit, Lady. Personally, I consider TS to be just as much a founder of the STYX we all love as I do the rest of the band.

    As for not replacing Shaw, you're wrong. They did in the early 90's with Glen Burtnik, because Shaw was having some success with Damn Yankees. They only reunited in the mid 90's and went back on tour in 96.

    DDY got kicked from the band because he didn't want to play rock anymore, he wanted to play broadway style, and STYX as a group decided thats not what they wanted. As a group! DDY got selfish, and now this is his punishment for it.

    The addition of Gowan to the band was, in my opinion, the greatest thing they have done. Gowan has amazing vocals, amazing piano talent, and one of the best stage personalities I have ever seen. I'm not going to argue who is better, DDY or Gowan, I love them both. They both make wonderful music, and in the end, that's all I'm listening for anyway.

    As for your claim that DDY draws a bigger crowd now, let's lay this out. DDY played three gigs this month. Styx played eight in the second half of this month. You say DDY played for a crowd of 40k? How about nearly 80k, twice. Styx has played two superbowls as well as the tokyo-dome. Pretty impressive in my opinion. So what if they play a few county fairs? Did you ever think to consider that maybe they do that so that as many as their fans can see them as possible? I myself live in a town of less than 10k. The closest I have been able to see Styx is OKC, 3 hours away. The ZooAmp isn't the largest venue, but it's all we have, and I'm honored that Styx isn't so big they can't come to a small venue to play for fans who love to see them perform.

    I started this by saying I love DDY, and musically that is true; but I will never get to the chance to see him without driving 8+ hours or flying out. Say what you want about Styx, and DDY. The truth is though, the band today is going as strong as it ever was, and it looks like it's only getting better. If you can't handle that snakebite, then I would suggest you stop caring as soon as you can, because as my favorite band would say, they can't stop rockin.

    August 27, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  35. punker

    Thank you Mr. Hofman. You said it. Tony must have not heard the band since the DeYoung days. Tommy's solo projects are awesome. Tommy is like "Fine Wine" He gets better with age. In the looks department as well!!!!!! Though I love the old ballads, which the best were written by Tommy! The ones since DeYoung's departure or the best.

    September 6, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  36. snakebite

    Val, glad to see that you can write. As for thinking...well, that is another story. Your facts, are, well, incorrect. I've simply pointed out the disloyality of the remaining band members by my posts. If you will go to the top of the page, you'll see that. DDY is, and has always been, STYX. Uh, the accordion friend you mentioned was of course DDY.

    DDY has blown away the "success" of the current version of STYX. In every way you can measure success. You do realize don't you, that the QUANTITY of shows means nothing. Considering STYX plays every corn festival they can find where there is 800 to 1,500 people there speaks volumes. The "band is going as strong today as it ever was"? HELLO? McFLY??? They sell 30,000 copies of a new studio album; they can't go on tour without another big name band; and still play for a few thousand people even when they do have another big name band; and you think that is going as strong as they were in in 1979? JESH! There is no getting through to you.

    For the record, they stopped rocking a long time ago and need to get their reservations for the rest home before it's too late. And they can thank DDY for their ability to PAY for the rest home costs.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  37. keith

    I've seen them on Grand Illusion, Paradise Theatre, Killroy was here twice, Return to Paradise twice and once post Dennis. Dennis was a great showman. The first Paradise Theatre tour was one of the top three shows I've ever seen with Rush Mooving Pictures and Kiss new years eve 77/78 being the other two. I've see hundreds of rock shows and Christina Aguilera, Alicai keys, Katty Perry etc. Let me tell you Dennis is a great showman. He was the glue that held it together. It just is not the same without him. I've read the books and watched the shows. TS instigated JY and the others into it. They should have waited for Dennis. On behind the music Dennis' wife tells of how ugly Tommy Shaw got. Lawrende Gowan can't hold a candle as a showman, player or singer to Deyoung. IF Styx wants to ever do anything creative again GET Deyoung back. Heck, Queen should have asked Dennis instead of Paul Rodgers. Rodgers tours with Howard Leese of Heart who is a monster player. It is very sad to me. Todd S is one heck of a drummer too. The real Styx could kick. Brave new World was a good CD. That one Styx did without Dennis was bassically rewritten old songs. I don't mean to cover CD. I mean Cycloramma or whatever it was. It was cold stale tired stuff. Bring the great showman back from Desert Moon to once again Rock the Paradise---as sure as dogs can fly.

    September 13, 2009 at 1:12 am |
  38. Bill Flowers

    Kyra,
    I am also a big Styx fan and friend of the band. Are you from Mobile? I am, and them worked after that at KFMB-FM in San Diego. Small world.
    Bill

    September 27, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  39. snakebite

    Keith, excellent post and dead on right. You get it.

    I do have to take exception with one thing you said though...Gowan is a fantastic keyboard player. Even Dennis says he is better than he ever was at playing. I have to agree. I personally think that Gowan is a good song writer as well. I actually like the tunes he penned on Cycloramma.

    But he is not the showman, and certainly not the singer that Dennis is. What I miss most about Dennis not being in the band is his harmonies with the JY and TS.

    They have maybe 2 years left to get Dennis back in the band; make one last good record; and do one last big arena tour before their careers are done (being rock stars that is). i wish for their sake and all of the fan's sake they would do that for us.

    September 29, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  40. Tim

    I keep thinking in the back of my mind that some how some day Styx
    will reunite. I'm a huge Styx fan since the seventies, and I saw the
    band this past summer. I have to tell you that it was a complete
    disappointment . Three bands trying to cram as many songs in the
    hour they were given was annoying to say the least. Get Dennis back
    in the band and start selling out big venues on your own. It very sad
    the fans have to suffer because of hard feelings.

    Tommy, JY,Chuck your not Styx without Dennis, please reunite one more time for the FANS!

    September 30, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  41. Melinda

    My last post in response to Snakebite is missing, so I guess I have to try again.

    Snakebite, thanks for the laugh. Telling me that I need to RESEARCH Styx is pretty funny, since I've known the band for 30 years. I’ve worked with these people, including DeYoung, many times, so kindly can the condescension.

    You speak from ignorance, and you prove that with your claims about shared royalties. It's too bad that MTV didn't air ALL of the Behind the Music footage, because then you'd have a clue about what really happened with royalties. He never shared HIS royalties with anyone; in fact, it's just the opposite. Your claim that he GAVE anything to his bandmates is 100% false.

    What you don't seem to understand is that people in the music industry can't stand Dennis DeYoung. He has a long-standing reputation as someone who is extremely difficult, who complains constantly, and who would cancel a show if he got a hangnail. You'll notice that even before Dennis left, all radio interviews were with Tommy or JY...that's because nobody will deal with Dennis.

    You're being quite disingenuous about this "#1 single" that you claim Dennis had. Dennis sang WITH an extremely popular Canadian singer. It was NOT a DDY release. It sold well because of the main singer, not because Dennis was on it too. The same goes for that crowd of 40,000 that you claimed he had. He performed at a balloon festival with a dozen other artists. He was NOT the headliner…but you’re trying to give him credit for the entire audience!

    Your claim that DDY is playing such large venues is laughable. He rarely does any shows at all, and when he played the Los Angeles area, he played at a small venue in Anaheim, while Styx played the prestigious Nokia Theater, the Staples Center and the Gibson (formerly Universal) Amphitheater.

    As for the doctors DDY saw, he himself admitted that they couldn’t find anything wrong with him. He claimed that he was light-sensitive, but I saw him with my own eyes, standing in the bright California sunshine, obviously suffering no ill effects.

    Your problem seems to be with living in the present. If you want to cling to the past and keep whining about the band’s line-up, fine, but don’t expect everyone else to go along with it. Like most people in the industry, I don’t want to deal with his insanity. Frankly, if DeYoung returned to the band, that would mean having to listen to garbage like Babe and Don’t Let It End, and like many fans, I’d rather stay home.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  42. snakebite

    Melinda, just because you have a relationship with TS makes you, well, more than a little biased!!! But nice try.

    Facts are facts, no matter what you WANT them to be Melinda.

    FACT - Dennis DID share his writing royalties with the other members of the band. That cost him personally millions of dollars. Spin it however you like, wish as hard as you like....it did happen. Dennis put up his OWN money to get out the the Wooden Nickel contract. Yea....that's real selfish right!!!!!

    FACT - Cycloroma sold a pitiful 30k copies....that is just sad. Dennis sold over 100k copies of his album. It went gold in Canada.
    It was not a DDY release???? What drugs are you taking? GO DO YOUR RESEARCH and stop repeating what TS tells you to say!!!

    FACT - Dennis has appeared on the Canadian version of American Idol; has had as many or more solo records as TS; Still is releasing records; still is touring at LARGE venues on his own without other bands to draw a few people there....these are all undisputed FACTS, but you seem to deny those FACTS.....hummmmmm....who is the ignorant one? Uh, that would be YOU. Dennis is despised in the music industry? Why because he made them tens of millions of dollars? Because he didn't let the record companies/promoters steal the band's money? Yea, OK....shame on Dennis for looking out for the band's best interests. How dare him!!!!!! There is no question DDY is a control freak; most likely can be an ass when he doesn't get his way but he also has one of the funniest senses of humor I've ever seen - that unless you're quite intelligent, you won't understand or "get".

    FACT - Dennis posts his tour dates, so go take a look and see for yourself.

    FACT - The doctors said he a reaction to a virus.....does that not count in your book as an illness? Guess not. Dennis has NEVER said they couldn't find anything wrong with him. And honestly, it wouldn't matter anyway because the TS/JY band would have insisted on playing the Iowa Corn Festival at some point where DDY would have said "no way...we're not going to degrade this band in that manner." So it was just a matter of time until they kicked him out of the band.

    I don't care who goes along with anything Melinda. I don't like the line-up and never will. TONS of other styx fans don't like the line-up and never will. The "line-up" is NOT styx and never will be. Take a look at other posts on here Melinda (and mention that to TS) just like Tim's post above yours.....says it all doesn't it? We all realize that the new TS/JY band is greedy and needs the money....that's why they play shows like the great Idaho potato festival !!!!

    If DDY returned to the band it would mean this Melinda - national press; a tour of arenas with a band to open for THEM (instead of them opening for DL or REO); and yes it would mean getting to hear songs like the #1 Babe and the #6 Don't let it End and the #3 The Best of Times and hopefully the #3 Mr. Roboto and.....let's see here songs like Queen of Spades (which is a harder rocking song than anything TS EVER did)....and perhaps even Castle Walls. It would also mean that we get to hear the songs Lady, Loreli and Come Sail Away actually done right....not to mention the harmonies sang on other songs done they way we all would like to hear them.

    One last point Melinda....I realize that I am biased toward DDY, but you DON'T realize that you are biased toward TS. With that said, just keep in mind that without DDY existing, TS would have been relegated to sing at the bowling ally for countless years and eventually working at the car dealership like his brother. DDY put styx on the map with Lady. Then DDY busted it wide open for styx with Come Sail Away. DDY refused to replace TS when all the other guys begged him to in 1983/84. Dennis is a believer in loyalty and sticking together for the benefit of the whole. NONE of the other members in that band today have those qualities....and their doing nothing but cashing in on the music DDY created; the band name that DDY took to the top; and along the way cheating the real fans that supported that group for over 30 years.

    And guess what Melinda.....MOST of us real fans of STYX do sit at home when the TS/JY band comes to town. I've seen the TS/JY band at least 6 times over the years....I've gone to their shows trying to make myself like them...forgive them....and I want to be cool with what they are doing these days. Truth is, I was always a huge JY fan. He was the main reason I "got into" in the early days. So I'm not some DDY worshiper. But what TS/JY is doing now is just wrong....

    October 1, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  43. TxBabe

    Wow, what an interesting thread. I have been a Styx fan since the 70's and I always thought I was a Tommy fan... that is until Dennis left. I've seen Dennis in Anaheim and I've seen the new Styx a few times, (the last time at our local Rodeo) and I will say it is not the same without Dennis. I took my daughter to see them a few years ago, because she grew up with me singing their songs to her; Crystal Ball being one of our favorites. After about the third song I looked down at her (she was 18 at the time) and she was just standing there with her arms crossed and a sad look on her face. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "This isn't Styx".
    To me, Gowan is goofy and his voice is not very good. Although not all the additions to Styx have been bad. Glen was wonderful, Todd is awesome, and Ricky is really good. So, if you want to hear the old Styx songs go listen to your old CDs. If you have to see them live, then go with an open mind.

    October 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  44. barb

    In my opinion Snakebite is a jerk.. Larry Gowan is a TALENTED and PHENOMENAL performer. He is WAY better at playing the keyboard than Dennis DeOld. He has won countless awards for his singing songwriting and keyboard playing. Truthfully I don't care about anyone's opinion but mine but don't bash someone you don't know. Larry is a great guy and an AWESOME performer.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:49 pm |