by Markos Papadatos - Digital Journal

Lawrence Gowan, lead singer and keyboard player from the rock band Styx, chatted with Digital Journal about their summer tour with Def Leppard and future plans.

Last month, they performed at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on Long Island, where they shared the stage with rock group Tesla and headlining act Def Leppard. "I love that venue," Gowan said. "I think we played there for our 10th time. That was the best night we ever played there: the weather was incredible and the crowd was spectacular. We have had so many downpours during our shows, but this was an absolutely beautiful night."

On opening for Def Leppard, he said, "We toured with them in the past, and we enjoy each other's company a lot. Personality-wise and humor-wise, both bands seem to click. As a bonus, we are playing for a lot of Def Leppard fans, and they are playing for a lot of Styx fans."

Regarding Styx' future plans Gowan said, "This tour goes on until October, and we have had one of the highest-grossing amphitheater tours this summer. Every night we played for a sold-out crowd. We have 75 more shows to go. We are loving this current mission that we are on. In November, we will be doing a tour in my country, Canada, and I am very much looking forward to that, of course. Then, we will be headed back in to the studio."

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by Tommy Mann - The Orange Leader

photo also by Tommy Mann

The hottest tour of the season is one most may not have suspected but is one which has been consistently selling out across the country this summer.

Def Leppard and Styx bring the one of the most popular tours of the summer to Texas this week and arrive in Spring for a performance at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Saturday, Aug. 22. Opening the show is well known rockers Tesla. Tickets are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at and charge by phone at 800-745-3000.

Although the tour may not seem like a perfect match on paper, in reality it has been one of the hottest tickets of the summer. Just ask Styx bassist Ricky Phillips.

“The tour has been just great,” Phillips said in a telephone interview. “This tour is selling lots of tickets and selling out lots of venues. There are a lot of great tours out there this summer, but this has been a sleeper tour, you know, kind of flying under most peoples radar.

“We’ve had great crowds, and the weather has even been great at most shows,” he continued. “Tesla rocks, plain and simple, Def Leppard is just amazing. It’s one hell of a show.”

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by Ginny McCabe

photo by Jason Powell

Center with Styx and Tesla Monday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. as part of an extensive North American summer tour.

Following Def Leppard’s successful run with KISS this past summer, the tour will hit close to 50 cities across the U.S. and Canada. With Def Leppard headlining, the three rock legends kicked things off in Tampa, Fla. June 23.

In addition to the tour, Styx released Live At The Orleans Arena Las Vegas on CD and in digital formats on July 24 from Eagle Rock Entertainment. The project, recorded on July 25, 2014, features a number fan favorites, including “Lady,” “Too Much Time On My Hands,” and “Come Sail Away,” and many more. Last summer, Styx toured with Foreigner and Don Felder from The Eagles.

Averaging more than 100 shows a year, multi-Platinum rockers Styx is comprised of Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitars), James “JY” Young (vocals, guitars), Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums) and Ricky Phillips (bass), along with an occasional surprise appearance by original bassist Chuck Panozzo. Over the course of their four-decade career, Styx has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.

We recently caught up with Gowan while he was on the road from New York. Gowan talked about the tour, and offered insight on what area fans can expect from the show.

Q: How is the tour with Def Leppard and Tesla going?

A: We have a great following in Cincinnati. Of course, Def Leppard and Tesla do as well. So, this is a way of amalgamating all of those faithful people together in one place, and having one extended evening of incredible classic rock.

Q: Tell us a little bit about the show and the format. What are some of the songs we can expect to hear?

A: We determined at the beginning of this tour, when we were doing the pre-production that we would go on in the same order every night, so Styx is always on in the middle, which is a good spot for us. So, it’s Tesla on first, then Styx, and then Def Leppard. It amounts to about four hours of music over the course of the night. That’s pretty amazing. It is our guarantee, at least what you’ll hear from Styx and Def Leppard, we stick very closely to the biggest songs from the catalog for these shows, because we are playing so much to the other band’s audience, you know. People that would not have seen Styx, who are huge Def Leppard fans, are seeing Styx for the first time, so we give them the highest energy, most intense Styx experience that we can cram into just over an hour of us playing. And, Def Leppard seems to be doing the same. They know there are a lot of Styx fans in the audience as well as their faithful fans. They deliver everything from Pyromania and Hysteria, with a few other things tossed in there as well, but you are pretty much guaranteed to know every single song that you’ll hear over the course of the night.

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by Jonathan Turner - Dispatch Argus

photo by Jason Powell

The river of fame, fortune and happy fans for Styx -- in its fifth decade -- is flowing stronger than ever, according to bassist Ricky Phillips.

"The crowds have been really loud this summer, really well attended," he said in a recent interview. "Some people have seen their 200th show, their 40th show," he said, noting some rabid fans follow Styx for a few weeks on tour, for each show.

This summer, the band mostly has played outdoor shows, and the friendly, 61-year-old Iowa native is back in the Hawkeye State for tonight's 8 p.m. gig at the Mississippi Valley Fair, Davenport. Styx last played the Q-C at the iWireless Center in April 2013, on a bill with REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent.

The band prefers playing on its own (as opposed to a multiple bill), where they can play longer, Mr. Phillips said.

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by Max B. O'Connel - Rapid City Journal

photo by Jason Powell

Ricky Phillips and Lawrence Gowan have only been with Styx for a quarter of its 40-year history, but they felt like they fit in the group right away.

"Within the first 15 minutes we felt like this was a transition we could weather," said Gowan, the group's keyboardist and co-lead vocalist. "There was a sense of quiet confidence."

"The very first day we played together, I was surprised at the chemistry," said Phillips, the group's bassist. "It took time to get to where I was satisfied with my performance, but as soon as we played I saw it was going to work."

Styx will play at Buffalo Chip Campground tonight from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. It will be their third time at Sturgis, according to Gowan.

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by David Burke

photo by Jason Powell

The audience for Styx is not just those on nostalgia trips, Lawrence Gowan said, especially over the past several years.

“The audience is skewed to where half the people in the crowd on any given night are under 30 years of age,” said Gowan, the band’s keyboard player and co-lead singer since 1999.

“They’ve discovered classic rock and they’ve discovered this band on their own,” Gowan said in a phone interview from his home in Toronto. “They’re not necessarily inundated and saturated with the songs that were the radio staples, but they’ve discovered a track like ‘Man in the Wilderness’ from (the 1977 album) ‘Grand Illusion’ that’s a huge favorite among diehard fans and those who have discovered the band later on.”

The set list for Friday night’s grandstand concert at the Mississippi Valley Fair, Davenport, may include other non-singles such as “I’m OK” and “Pieces of Eight,” both from the 1978 album also called “Pieces of Eight.”

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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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Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children (CSAAC) invites you to join us as superband, Styx, performs in the intimate Music Center at Strathmore. Get up close and personal with one of the greatest bands of all-time as they perform an array of chart-topping hits all in support of Montgomery County-based non-profit, CSAAC – a nationwide leader in autism services.

Buy your tickets HERE!

(All proceeds benefit CSAAC)

by James Wood

photo by Jason Powell

To fans of classic rock and arena rock, it just wouldn’t be summer without the music of Styx.

For more than 40 years the band, whose hits include “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights),” “Renegade,” "Too Much Time on My Hands” and “Come Sail Away,” has been delivering the goods the only way it knows how: through infectious live performances.

This summer, Styx—Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitars), James “JY” Young (vocals, guitars), Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums) and Ricky Phillips (bass)—are teaming up with Def Leppard and Tesla on what promises to be one of the season’s hottest tour packages.

I recently caught up with Phillips to ask him about the new tour as well as his time with Styx, the Babys and Bad English. He also gave me an inside look into his new album project, the final recordings of Ronnie Montrose.

GUITAR WORLD: What can fans expect from the new tour with Def Leppard and Tesla?

We’ve been wanting to work with Def Leppard again for quite some time. We did some dates with them around 2007 and it was a really good fit. If you’re familiar with Tesla’s catalog you already know that they're a very aggressive, cool, no-frills band. They just come balls out and do it! Then we go everywhere from a little bit of prog to the guitar duo of Tommy Shaw and James Young to having three lead singers. Then Def Leppard come out with their big arena rock show. It’s a special package where fans will really have a great time.

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by Paul Byrne | Read Junk

About 14,000 people gathered at the beautiful Bethel Woods Center For The Arts on a hot July night to see formerly hugely popular acts Def Leppard, Styx and Tesla perform their hits. I say “formerly hugely popular” acts, but judging by the capacity crowd that came to see them at the Woodstock site on a hot summers night you would easily be forgiven for thinking that these bands were/are still as relevant today as they were in their respective hey-days. Bethel woods, of course was home to the iconic 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, and today is the site of this state of the art and well groomed venue...

Styx, of course were greeted like Heroes, They got straight down to business as soon as the curtain fell, which, as soon as it did hoards of fans came rushing back to their seats- the line for the $13 beers can wait! Though not their original singer, Lawrence Gowan owned the songs and the audience throughout their set. Arguably the highlight of their set was the Medley of hits they played from Elton Johns ‘Rocket Man’ to Queens ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ into Otis Reddings ‘Sittin’ On the Dock Of The Bay’ which had the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs….from there they (or he- Lawrence Gowan) went into Styxs’ biggest hit ‘Come Sail Away’ which had a deafening singalong from the audience. They finished with ‘Renegade’ which was also very well received but no ‘Mr. Roboto’ for some strange reason.

Read more of this review at!

Written by Gary Graff

Between them they have more than 30 Top 40 singles on the Billboard chart and 15 platinum or multiplatinum albums.

No wonder Def Leppard and Styx — on the road this summer with Tesla — make good touring partners.

The tandem worked for the two rock acts back in 2007, and Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott says nothing has changed during the intervening years.

“I think it’s a great package. It’s exciting,” Elliott, 55, says by phone from his home in Ireland. “We’ve always been keen on taking out bands that people know. It’s done us a world of good to go out with a name on the poster that doesn’t just say, ‘Plus special guest ...’ We’ve tried it. We had Tripping Daisy in the ’90s, who were great people to work with but nobody knew who they were, and it didn’t make for a great evening of anticipation, if you like. People would go, ‘Who’s this lot onstage?’

“Nobody’s going to go see us with Tesla and Styx this year and not know who they are. They’re going to say, ‘I know all those guys and all those songs. That’s a show I want to see!’”

Def Leppard is, of course, a generation younger than Styx, defining ’80s mainstream rock as much as Styx did the same during the ’70s (and early ’80s). Styx guitarist James “J.Y.” Young says his band “had such a blast” with Def Leppard eight years ago, and also appreciated what touring with the group meant for Styx.

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Written by Dave Lifton

On July 24, Styx will release Live At The Orleans Arena Las Vegas, and we are pleased to have the premiere of one of the songs from the CD, “Come Sail Away.”

Recorded on July 25, 2014 in Las Vegas during last year’s Soundtrack of Summer tour with Don Felder and Foreigner, the CD features 12 songs, including such beloved Styx hits as ‘Too Much Time on My Hands,” “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” and “Renegade,” as well as deep cuts like “Light Up,” “Superstars” and “Suite Madame Blue.”

“Come Sail Away” was featured on 1977’s triple-platinum The Grand Illusion. It reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sealed down the No. 2 spot on our list of the Top 10 Styx Songs. The song was recently put back in the spotlight when a video of a homeless man performing it on a public piano went viral, causing many to donate money to help him get back on his feet.

Styx are currently on their 2015 U.S. tour as part of a triple bill with Def Leppard and Tesla. The stretch will run throughout Oct. 4.

‘Live at the Orleans Arena’ Track Listing

1. “The Grand Illusion”

2. “Too Much Time on My Hands”

3. “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)”

4. “Lady”

5. “Suite Madame Blue”

6. “Light Up”

7. “Crystal Ball”

8. “Superstars”

9. “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)”

10. “Come Sail Away”

11. “Rockin’ the Paradise”

12. “Renegade”

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by Mike Mettler

Come on in and see what’s happening: Styx’s biggest-selling album, The Grand Illusion, turns 38 years old today, having been released on the magical date of July 7, 1977 — or, as it’s better known on the back of many a t-shirt, 7/7/77.

Recorded at Paragon Recording Studios in Chicago, The Grand Illusion reached as high as No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart, spawned two Top 30 singles (“Come Sail Away” and “Fooling Yourself”), and has been certified triple platinum by the RIAA, selling over 3 million copies to date. Styx played the album in its entirety when it was paired with Pieces of Eight on a 2010 tour that’s since been commemorated on CD, DVD, and Blu-ray, and its core songs remain as indelible fixtures in the band’s live set, which also tends to feature Illusion album-track gems like “Man in the Wilderness,” “Superstars,” and “Castle Walls” during many a headlining show.

In a Styxworld exclusive, bandmembers recount the impact The Grand Illusion has had over the years — and continues to have, night in and night out. (A more in-depth look at The Grand Illusion’s historical anniversary can be found in next Monday’s installment of Styxology, which is available as exclusive content for Styx Lounge members. Click on the JOIN header to see how you can become a member yourself if you’re not one already!)

James “JY” Young (co-founding guitarist/vocalist): Dennis [DeYoung] is the one who gleaned the idea that it was our seventh record. I think the release date had originally been scheduled for 7/8/77, or something like that, and we went, “No, we want it on 7/7/77.” Just trying to stack the deck — not that we’re superstitious, or anything. (chuckles) So they changed the original release date to the 7th — fantastic! It has such a beautiful resonance and synergy. Do we have any plans to commemorate the upcoming 40th anniversary [in 2017]? I’m waiting for Tommy Shaw to tell me. (chuckles)

Tommy Shaw (guitarist/vocalist): It’s 7/7 again — the date that changed everything! We made a record that sounds really good, and we worked really hard at trying to get it right. It wasn’t always romantic and sometimes we lost sleep over it, but what matters is how it turned out. It’s the creative process. I run into people almost daily who tell me that “Man in the Wilderness” and “Fooling Yourself” are the songs that helped them get through high school. I like hearing that. And now, to look out in the crowd when we’re playing “Man in the Wilderness” and see people singing along who weren’t even born yet when it came out — that’s very satisfying.

Lawrence Gowan (keyboardist/vocalist): When we did The Grand Illusion-Pieces of Eight tour in 2010, we discovered what a cohesive composition that album is from beginning to end. Delving into the parts and playing the songs in the actual running order reignited my enthusiasm for that album as an album. I was a fan of it then, and I’m a fan of it now. I should also mention that the album’s artwork has stood the test of time. It looks so engaging today, when I see that equestrian image mixed with the forest and the woman’s eyes projected onscreen behind us. It’s one of the great icons of rock history.

Ricky Phillips (bassist/vocalist): “Fooling Yourself” has always been my favorite composition by Styx. But being able to play “Castle Walls” is awesome, because I come from a heavier place. I appreciate that it’s a great track — and it’s bass-heavy, on top of that. The first time I heard [the song] “The Grand Illusion” was when I was with The Babys, and we were touring with Styx. It has that very clever, “Welcome back my friends”/ “here we are tonight” vibe — it’s grand and pomp, with that bolero beat. So very cool.

Todd Sucherman (drummer): The Grand Illusion will always have a soft spot in my heart because it’s the first full Styx record I ever heard, or bought. My uncle Dennis happened to put that one on during one of our visits with him, shortly after that record came out. My brother and I immediately went home and bought it, and we would play that record every day. It was the first record I ever bought from the band, and I continued to buy all of their records in succession after that. To me, that album was the genesis of me liking the band, really.


A classic rock band and a bunch of NASA scientists met in a lab in Maryland this week, all because of a name - Styx.

WESTERVELT: As in the legendary 1970s band from Chicago and Pluto's smallest moon. Dr. Mark Showalter led NASA's New Horizons team, which named the planet. He said he was over the moon to meet the rock and roll version of Styx. The band got to see mission control and the latest images from the space probe. The unmanned New Horizons probe is currently on its final approach to Pluto and its moons, and on July 14, is expected to deliver the most detailed photos of the dwarf planet ever. Soon the band can get to work on adding the far reaches of the solar system to its tour schedule.

Listen at!

Written by Dave Lifton

The latest classic rock-related viral video making the rounds is of a homeless man in Sarasota, Fla., playing the opening passage of Styx‘s “Come Sail Away” on a public piano.

Since the video was uploaded on June 30, it has registered close to 4 million hits. With so much attention being paid to the two-and-a-half minute clip, local and national news outlets have gotten to know more about the mysterious musician.

Find out more at!

Written by William Clark

Photo by William Clark

Three resilient forces in hard rock have partnered up for one impressive live show, which thousands of fans gathered to witness during the launch of Def Leppard‘s summer tour with Styx and Tesla at Tampa’s Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheater.

During the first few hours of the evening, however, it seemed as though the first night of this extensive run wouldn’t even happen as a ferocious lightning storm had it’s way with the fairgrounds.

Rock and roll doesn’t hold a reputation for having a weak fan base, however. Instead, crowds of fans stood firm at the venue’s front gate, enduring the elements while chanting their demands for entry.

The odds were seemingly stacked against this unification from the start; Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell went public with the latest development in his cancer battle prior to the start of the tour, which would prevent him from playing during the first few shows while he received medical treatment.

In his absence Trixter‘s Steve Brown once again stood at attention, but it was uncertain whether this thunderstorm would prevent the show altogether.

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The members of Styx recently shared their thoughts and feelings about the June 27, 2015 death of founding Yes bassist Chris Squire, who passed away at age 67 at his home in Phoenix, Arizona of acute erythoid leukemia. See the June 29, 2015 News post, “Styx Reflect on the Passing of Founding Yes Bassist Chris Squire (1948-2015),” for the bandmembers’ heartfelt rememberances of the man.

Styx bassist/vocalist Ricky Phillips felt he needed some extra time to gather his own thoughts about Chris, and he shares the following sentiments exclusively with Styxworld:

I’m finally at a point in my career where I’m somewhat OK with giving my opinion and answering questions in interviews. I realize it’s an important part of the process for any rock band. But speaking about someone as iconic in my field as Chris Squire leaves me feeling a bit unworthy, if you will. Yes, I frequently mention him over the course of a year when asked for my short list of major influences. But I’m not sure it’s possible to properly scratch the surface of all of his musical contributions over his short stay on this planet.

When I first heard of Chris’s passing, I privately sent out a short paragraph or two to 20 or more friends who were Chris admirers as well. It was probably more of a release for myself than anything. I have now been asked a few times if I wanted to make a public comment on his passing. So without presumption, I will humbly try to recall and share what struck me initially.

He was truly larger than life. We were not close friends, but I enjoyed Chris, and we had definitely become friendly over a 25-year span.

The first time I met Chris, I made the confession that I owed him for being such a big influence at an age when I was trying to develop my own style. He thrust his huge, Chris Squire-sized hand forward and said, “Well, pay up!” I invited him to a show I was doing with Bad English in L.A. the following week, and much to my surprise, he showed up. What an honor.

He set the bar the highest I’d seen when it came to originality. He found ways to get the crazy-cool bass tones living in his head. His style was aggressive yet lyrical, and he used these sounds we’d never heard before to color the musical landscape of Yes. When I was about 18, I heard he had shaved down an English coin into the shape of a pick to get that scraping sound of metal on metal. I immediately began cobbling out my version by shaving down an American quarter. It opened my mind to finding and creating other textures and solidified pick playing being as important as developing your finger technique. Another dollar in the kitty to Chris.

I was fortunate enough to tour with Yes a few years back [on the 22-date “Progressive U.S. Tour” in 2011], and I truly enjoyed my conversations with Chris. One day, at lunch with Chris and [Yes drummer] Alan White, he asked me a few questions about my gear and what I was running through to get my sound. Really? He’s just being nice.... But that lead to more conversations over a period of time, and it allowed me to ask him questions I’d always wanted to know about his amazing setup and equally amazing playing. I’ll always have that as a cherished memory.

Thank you, Chris. You’ll forever be missed, but fondly remembered and revered as a good man with amazing gifts. An absolute pioneer on your instrument, and a true original. And that is something rarely accomplished or even witnessed, in any field, within a single lifetime.

With great respect,

Ricky Phillips

Written by Allen Foster

Ricky Phillips has been with Styx for the past 12 years. It wasn’t a decision he made hastily because Ricky knew that if he joined the legendary band, it was going to be forever.

“Tommy called me and we talked for a good hour,” Phillips told AXS in a recent interview. “He said, ‘If you come in, I want you to be the last member of Styx. You’ll be number ten -- we’re in the double digits! We have two who have passed away and one who has left the band, so that’s it, we’re done. Don’t say yes if you’re only going to try it out for a couple of years. We’re gonna rock till we drop and whoever comes on, we want them to be on board with that.’ And, that’s what it took for me to quit everything I’d been building and working on in my studio to join the band.”

At the time of Tommy’s call, Ricky had been doing a lot of production work. “Staring at a computer screen and playing a bunch of instruments can be very satisfying in one regard, but it also can be exhausting because you’re taking on all kinds of projects, and some of them, you don’t even really care about.”

“The best part of music is being in a band,” Phillips noted. “A rock ‘n roll band is a special place... if you can get one that has longevity -- which is very rare. So, Tommy was making me an offer that I could not refuse. I have a lot of friends who are great musicians, but to have that kind of an opportunity presented to you... there’s just not enough of these opportunities out there.”

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Legendary Band Starstruck by NASA's New Horizons Team

Photo courtesy of NASA/Joel Kowsky

What do a classic rock band and Pluto’s smallest moon have in common? Answer: they both share the same name.

The popular 70s and 80s rock band Styx met with members of NASA’s New Horizons team today, including the scientist who discovered Styx – Pluto’s faintest moon - in 2012.

The unusual convergence took place at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, mission operations center for New Horizons. The unmanned New Horizons spacecraft is on final approach to Pluto and its moons, just days away from a historic July 14 flyby that will return the first images of the mysterious dwarf planet.

Styx’s Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitar), Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboard), and Todd Sucherman (drums) were treated to a tour of New Horizons mission control from mission operations manager Alice Bowman. Principal investigator Alan Stern wowed the trio with the latest images from New Horizons, while Stern and dozens of project members gathered at APL’s main auditorium for a group photo as the band’s hit “Come Sail Away” hung in the air.

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