by Ashley Bles

photo by Jason Powell

Hagar. Page. Nugent. Cocker. Beck. Money. White. Jagger.

Ricky Phillips has been referred to as "the Kevin Bacon" of rock and roll for his connection to so many legends. Phillips, who joined Styx in 2003 and has been with them on bass ever since, is his own legend too, however. Prior to Styx and a wide swath of collaborations and studio work, Phillips played with The Babys and Bad English. Styx is currently on tour and will be coming through Lincoln on August 9 and Phillips--the band's mouthpiece when it comes to interviews--agreed to have a candid phone call with The Reader before the event.

The Reader: Styx isn't the first big name you've worked with by any means. Can you kind of walk me through some of your musical journey and history?

Ricky Phillips: Well, yeah. The Babys was probably the first big band and that was John Waite, Jonathan Cain [of Journey] and was my first sucess as far as getting airplay, touring, all that. Bad English was ten years after that. I mean, my career hasn't really evolved so much as you never know what's around the corner in six or 12 years. If you had told me told me 20 years ago that I would be having this phone call, doing an interview for Styx...I probably wouldn't believe it. I feel blessed to have had these opportunities to play with great people and to end up in all these great places. I think it's everyone's dream to be musically satisfied and being in a band is like a brotherhood but it's also whether or not you're able to express yourself as a player. I'm in a place where I'm able to do that more than I've ever been able to in my career.

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