by Joe Malan

photo by Jason Powell

For Styx keyboardist Lawrence Gowan, it was two nights that changed his entire career.

“In 1997, I happened to be touring entirely solo because I had a new solo live record,” said the Scottish-born Canadian musician, who will perform with Styx in Enid on April 1. “Even at that point, I had several platinum records, gold albums. But I had never released anything in the U.S.”

It was then that Styx called Gowan’s manager, wanting him to open for the group.

“My tour manager said, ‘You can’t do that! You haven’t opened for anyone in (about 12) years.’ I told him no. First of all, I had never seen Styx, and I wanted to see them. Second of all, it was the new Montreal Forum, and I wanted to play the new place.”

After Gowan’s impressive performance, several members of Styx greeted him after his act.

“They said, ‘I hope we get a chance to work together in the future.’”

That time began two years later, with a call from James “J.Y.” Young.

“He said the band had decided to move on (from former band member Dennis DeYoung), and we need a new keyboard player, and we want it to be you,” Gowan said. “Can you come to Los Angeles?”

So he went down to sing with the band, and they must’ve liked what they heard, because the very next morning, Styx’s tour manager invited him to breakfast, and that’s when he received their offer.

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