By: Dr. Nancy Berk - Parade
James “JY” Young is no stranger to hard work. With an aerospace engineering degree under his belt, the guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, who has been credited with steering the multi-million-selling band Styx toward their first recording contract decades ago, continues to play hundreds of shows a year. I caught up with the non-stop rocker and real life renegade for my podcast shortly before he headed to Las Vegas to take the stage with the band and former Eagle Don Felder in their collaborative mini-residency Renegades in The Fast Lane.
According to my calculations, James Young has been a rock star for most of his life. As he gets closer to half a century of keeping fans screaming for more, the Styx band member is as enthusiastic about performing as he was during the early years. In fact, the rock life just might be a factor in keeping Young so, well…young. “Forty-five years of doing this, and to me, it’s the Fountain of Youth. And I may be in my 60s, but when I get on stage I feel like I’m in my 20s,” he says.
The steady stream of hit Styx songs including “Lady,” “Come Sail Away,” the cult-like classic “Renegade,” “Blue Collar Man,” and “Babe” continue to resonate with multi-generational audiences today, which keeps Young busy and happy. Fans have always been drawn to the power of Styx ballads, but is he still able to find inspiration within songs that he has sung for so long?
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