Styx's Grand Illusion
Just finished reading "The Grand Illusion," the autobiography of Chuck Panozzo, the bass player for Styx. Fascinating stuff. The main revelation of the book, if you didn't know already, is that Panozzo concealed the fact that he was gay during most of his years with the band. In fact, he only recently came out publicly in the last few years.
For fans of the band looking for insider scoop on Styx itself, Chuck doesn't disappoint. Here are some of the nuggets you can find:
- Dennis DeYoung first played the accordion when he joined the band started by twin brothers Chuck and John Panozzo on the south side of Chicago. (John Panozzo was the band's original drummer but died in 1996 after losing his fight with alcoholism.)
- The original name of their hit "Show Me The Way" was actually "Roll Me Away." But Chuck didn't think it made any sense, so he suggested "Show Me The Way."
- Styx and DeYoung broke up briefly after the "Cornerstone" album, but it wasn't publicized.
- Speaking of Cornerstone, the song "Babe" was a last-second addition to the album. The band didn't like it, but relented after a bridge was added featuring more rock and harmonizing. "Babe" became Styx's first No. 1 hit.
- Producing the concept-album "Paradise Theater" was the band's way of luring DeYoung back to Styx.
If you want more, you'll have to read the book. Or listen to our upcoming podcast -- an interview with Chuck Panozzo. No need to say "thank you" -- "domo arigato" will do just fine.