Styx Co-Founder James 'JY' Young Talks About Guitars, Def Leppard, Tour, AXS TV, And Subliminal Messages
James "JY" Young was one of the founding members of Styx when they signed with Wooden Nickel Records in 1972. Over the course of their career, the band has released 15 studio albums and eight live albums.
Styx became the first band to receive four triple-platinum RIAA Certified albums in a row: “The Grand Illusion” (1977), “Pieces of Eight” (1978), “Cornerstone” (1979), “Paradise Theater” (1981). They are one of the few groups who have achieved Top 10 singles in three different decades under four different presidential administrations.
Take us back to the beginning. What inspired you to pursue a career as a musician and form Styx?
The origins of Styx began on the south side of Chicago where Dennis DeYoung and The Panozzo brothers [John and Chuck] lived across the street from one another. I grew up about 5-6 miles from them. I had my own band called The Monterey Hand and we were doing quite well for ourselves. The first rock festival in Illinois was at Kickapoo Creek the year after Woodstock in 1970. My band did quite well and got a standing ovation playing there.