Many classic rock-era bands have found second lives and extended careers by taking their shows on the road, but Styx not only survived the departure of two key members – Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw – but reformed and thrived.
Styx became a year-round touring act in 1999 and in the intervening years has created a well-oiled machine and learned the fine art of balancing personalities, crew schedules and creating opportunities to keep the performances and music fresh. It’s a model that could be unique in the concert business.
Certainly, it could be emulated by any artist hoping to have a career last decades. Moderator Danny Zelisko, whom the band credits with being one of the promoters who unfailingly believed in it over the course of some 40 years, led the discussion with Styx manager Charlie Brusco of Red Light Management, agent Rod Essig of Creative Artists Agency, tour manager George Packer and band members John “JY” Young, Shaw (who returned to the band 20 years ago), and Lawrence Gowan.
Styx had its greatest success in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, but had been inactive for some time when its record label decided to issue a greatest hits album but couldn’t get permission to add “Lady” to the record. Young called Shaw, who had just wrapped a tour with Damn Yankees, to see if he’d be interested in re-recording the track for the album.
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By: Deborah Speer
Photo By: Jason Powell