If you know anything about the band STYX, then you about the conflict between two talented musicians who just were on different journeys. Such was the case of Dennis DeYoung & Tommy Shaw of STYX. DeYoung’s signature high pitched vocals were perfect for the great harmonies of the band. His forte’ was love songs and ballads which even though were the biggest chart hits for the band, served to divide he and Shaw, who preferred a more “blistering rock” sound in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
After a split in the mid 80’s the band went it’s seperate ways for a time. Tommy Shaw spending time with Jack Blades & Ted Nugent in Damn Yankee’s. When Nickel Records refused to give up rights to ‘Lady” to A&M after licensing ran out, the band was forced back together to re-record the track and time had healed old wounds and the guys decided to go back on the road.
That homecoming launched the “Return To Paradise Theater” tour which went great and last for several years and several tours. In fact another tours was ready to roll when Dennis DeYoung decided that he could no longer perform due to a light sensitivity issue. He wanted the band to wait until he could recover but the band had other ideas. Some members were concerned that they, (STYX) had to strike while the iron was hot and didn’t want to wait on Dennis to recover. That was the final in the relationship between DeYoung and the band that he had helped created so long ago. A legal battle ensued and the two parties were left with each owning rights to the STYX name but each doing their own thing. Styx replaced DeYoung with Lawrence Gowan, a canadian artist who is a dead ringer vocally for DeYoung and STYX has continued on.
DeYoung, whose preferences always leaned towards the stage as in “plays and theater” is now doing his own thing and doing quite well. Depending on which camp of STYX you prefer, the rockier version led by Shaw or the “heart strings” version led by DeYoung, their music is timeless and as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of The Grand Illusion. Join Dennis DeYoung and his brand of STYX on October 1st at Knight Theater at The Levine Center for The Performing Arts. TICKETS
Watch the story of how this all happened below. Below that, the Dennis DeYoung version of “The Music Of STYX”