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Rockin' the Paradise with Chuck Panozzo

Panozzo When it comes to retelling the history of a band as legendary as Styx, it was "The Best of Times" and it was the "Mr. Roboto" of times. But founding member and bassist Chuck Panozzo wasn't going to shy away from either in his new tell-all book "Grand Illusions: Love, Lies and My Life with Styx."

This week's Stuck in the 80s podcast is a tribute to Styx and features an interview with Panozzo, who called us from his home in Fort Lauderdale shortly before leaving for a tour in Canada. Styx plays Tampa's Ford Amphitheare on Aug. 24.

Panozzo talked about his secret life as gay man in a rock band (he came out in 2001), his struggle with AIDS, dealing with female groupies and the possible return of Dennis DeYoung to the band.

Here are some highlights:

On the band's reaction to his book: Tommy (Shaw) gave me a glowing review. JY (James Young) was a little concerned. He said, 'You know, Charles, this is the first definitive book about Styx.' I said, 'James, this is the first definitive book about Chuck Panozzo.' Once he read it, he was very happy. I think it was more concern that we might be sued by Dennis, which I said, 'I'll take the blame for that.' It's not a bash book -- Styx is in the background of my life."

On Dennis DeYoung's reaction: "I haven't heard any reponses from him. The whole thing is a misfortune. I've known Dennis since we were kids. It doesn't make me feel any better that he's not in the band, but he's gone his direction and we've tried to stay true to ours."

On the breakup of Styx in the '80s: "My (opinion) was ... we have these three incredible songwriters. All of them should be represented on an album. All of them should have a shot at a single. And when that wasn't happening, there was just a lot of unhappiness. Because I wasn't a writer, I couldn't say too much. We're talking about ego, greed and money."

On the album "Kilroy Was Here": "There's nothing wrong with the product, but I think it was geared toward 9- and 10-year-old kids as opposed to 19 and 20 year olds. When my nephew goes 'Uncle Chuckie, I really like Mr. Roboto.' I want to say, 'Chris, when your voice changes 10 years from now, I want to hear you say the same thing.' "

On DeYoung's possible return to the band: "Before any more of us die, I would hope that it could happen. Every year that it doesn't happen is another year that goes by. And if you wait too long, who will care?"

There's plenty more to hear, including a special "Name that Styx tune" challenge. Click here to download the podcast, or click here to subscribe for free via iTunes.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:23pm]


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