Classic Rock Corner

For Dennis DeYoung, It's Still the Best of Times

To many classic-rock fans, it would seem a bit of unnecessary clarification to bill a Dennis DeYoung show as "Dennis DeYoung: The Music of Styx."

After all, as the band's main vocalist, chief songwriter and keyboardist, anyone with a ticket to the show surely knows they will hear the headliner belt out classics like "Lady," "The Grand Illusion," "Babe," "The Best of Times," "Come Sail Away" and -- yes -- "Mr. Roboto" in that utterly distinctive voice.

Despite all that success, though, DeYoung himself felt that his name alone doesn't have enough familiarity; thus the extra wording he is allowed to use after some messy legal wrangling upon his unceremonious 1999 ouster from the band. After all, it's his legacy too.

"When I was replaced, I had to find a way to work it out. I worked really hard at promoting a certain four-letter word my whole life," DeYoung says today. "And there is a genuine honesty to Styx music. It was heartfelt. We weren't trying to be ironic or smarter than anybody. And I'm proud of that."

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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero