| Letters from Dennis
The Grand Illusion
In 1975 I happened to see the 1937 French film classic La Grande Illusion directed by Jean Renoir. A terrific anti war movie set in a German prisoner of war camp during WWI. I made note of the film's title and thought immediately it would make a fantastic title for an album. I mentioned it to one of my best friends Tom Short and he agreed it was way cool. In 1979 Tom would quit his job and come to work for the band as an assistant to the tour manager. I wasn't sure what the significance of the title would mean in terms of a rock record but I was convinced it was very memorable.
Two years went by with many upheavals for me personally and professionally not least of which were changes in personnel within Styx. JC left and Tommy filled his spot and we recorded Crystal Ball in 1976, January of 1977 came and we prepared to start to record a new album. One day the phone rang and it was Tom Short calling to have one of our thousands of chats about music, or sports or whatever when the conversation turned to the new album. He said whatever happened to that idea you had about naming the album The Grand Illusion. The minute he said it I thought thank God he remembered it because I had completely forgotten about it. And so it began. I sat down and attempted to write a song that could not only be a theme for the record but also the ultimate show opener. It's good to have high expectations and goals because every once in a while you could fall over yourself head first into something special. Most times however you simply bump your head but not that time. The song Grand Illusion with help from everyone in Styx became not only the albums theme but one hell of a show opener.
Thanks to Tom Short for remembering something so important from my big blabbing mouth. Sadly Tom one of my very best friends passed away in his early fifties from colon cancer, far, far to young to say the least. His two favorite bands in the world were Led Zeppelin and you guessed it Styx. Go figure. Thanks again Tom, I'll picture you now in a gathering of angels.
More Than A Feeling
The last time I stood on a stage with the band Boston was in 1976 at a Toys for Tots show. Their first album "Boston" with tunes like More Than A Feeling, Long Time, Smokin and my favorite Foreplay had saturated the airwaves since it's summer release. The ground breaking guitar sounds and the immediate catchiness of the songs guaranteed them headline status. We opened the show and as I recall it was a great success primarily for the kids and the Marines who sponsored the show for underprivileged children. Both bands did a fine job for the sellout crowd at the Omni. Tom Scholz the guitar player and keyboard wiz was the mastermind behind the group and remains so to this day. Throw in Brad Delps supersonic vocals and Ya got somethin. Turn on any classic hits or classic rock station today and you might think it's still 1976, thats how monumental that record was.
I would like to thank Tom, his wife Kim and the entire Boston band and crew for their kindness and generosity toward Suzanne and me and the boys it was certainly appreciated. During soundcheck singer Tommy DeCarlo, drummer Jeff Neal and bass player Tracy Ferrie stopped by for a chat and a photo. They told me they had marked the date on their calendar knowing that we would performing together. I was truly shocked and humbled by their kind words and man did they do a fantastic job recreating that Boston sound. It was so good that after the show I pahked my cahh in Havahd yahd.
By the way I wrote this last night after watching Ray Donovan.
ps Thanks to the Boston crew for my logo projection they are a real class act.
Recent video of our concert in Phoenix:
I just received the new Styx Vinyl Collection in the mail and decided to pop it open to have a look. I called the local fire department to assist me seeing as how to open anything you buy these days takes considerable ingenuity and effort. After they had gotten it open I decided to buy my own set of "Jaws of Life" for the next time I have to open something, you know like a bottle of Listerine. The child proof cap on this thing should state that this product is safe for all children under the age of 114 cause ya ain't agittin it open. Squeeze the marked sides and twist, only to realize after 72 attempts that your gingivitis and plaque will be celebrating and your breath will have to remain questionable. Buy one bottle and it will be yours for life, What would you give to have 5 minutes alone with the murdering, tamperingTylenol guy who stared all this idiotic protective packaging crap. I believe, though I could be wrong that hospital emergency rooms have invested heavily in this protective packaging. Obamacare does not cover this. But I digress.
Here is an interview I did this morning with Donald Boone Gould the homeless guy who played Come Sail Away on the streets of Sarasota that went viral. The interview was on The Drive WDRV in Chicago with Pete Mc Murray and Danny Mac. Good luck Boone I hope the attention you are getting will have a long term positive effect on your life.
By the way now that I have officially gone viral I am searching for an effective vaccine.
Backstage Wonder Woman congratulates Tony Bennett and Dawn on their triumphant return to the Tropicana. That dude can still sing. Look closely and you'll notice Tony has neutralized Wonder Woman's powers by covering her magic bracelets. He finished his show with Tie A Yellow Ribbon Around That Old Guy's Leg. The crowd went nuts.
MARIO LOPEZ reporting.
Red Beard has this series of interviews on his site promoting the Universal release of the Styx record albums from 1975 to 1983 on high grade vinyl. This vinyl has been hand picked from used Goodyear tires provided by fine junk yards across America. Hence the made in America sticker. Makes sense to me since wheels go round and round like records. (Those last two sentences are absolutely false)
Read the Red Beard article
It appears that these interviews were culled from Beards vault, some dating back to the late seventies while some others by JY and Tommy seem to be very recent or as the Romans would say A.D. or Anno Dennisme). My guess is the most current from me are from either 1991 or 1996 I can't be certain.
All in all a good job and some interesting points being made. For instance Tommy talking positively about the variety of our songs and the three song writers and vocalists coming together to make albums that sounded like radio stations with different formats. Could not agree more considering my belief that this was in fact the greatest strength of Styx. That and tight satin pants. Another was JY and I discussing the apparent risk of Kilroy yet joining hands and jumping in the pool together, together. Dr.Righteous and Kilroy finally hold hands and go for a swim, the MMM certainly never saw that coming.
Then there's discussion about Babe and it's long term impact on the band's image and the paranoid fear (fostered primarily by our manager) that it would be our ruin. This question was never allowed to come to it's obvious conclusion that this damn song caused a protest that led to our fans refusing to buy any more of our records, or concert tickets. And then we released Paradise Theater and we all know what a disaster that turned out to be. A few more mistakes like that and I might have been able to purchase Phoenix.
Also I my have misheard this but it sounded like Beard said that JY and I co wrote Lorelei and Lady. Lorelei yes but everyone knows by now that Lady was written by a Tibetan monk after a particularly bad meditation session. Ommmmm ommmmm Lady!
Give it a listen kids after you've given thanks to the men and women who are willing to serve this country so that back yard barbecues are possible with our only fear being Uncle Fred getting drunk and going face down in the Guacamole.
Cheers and Have a Safe Memorial Day.
By the way I am writing from Charlotte NC across from the Nascar Museum preparing to play the big show. America, America,America, America. Sung to Suite Madame Blue.
In My Silence
This is the only recording of this song. I wrote it for the Bailiwick production that won the Joseph Jefferson Award for best musical in 2008. The production was a bare bones affair that was staged so that I could work on the structure of the book and new songs. The director David Zaks was kind enough to offer me this opportunity because he loved the music.
In this scene Quasimodo has just been harshly admonished by his mentor Father Frollo for his participation in the Fools Day celebration where he was crowned King Of Fools for being the ugliest of all Parisians. His only wish to be treated kindly with a friendly hello, heart breaking.
This is the first known photo of the Tradewinds shot around 1963. It was taken by my mom in our basement in Roseland. Chuck on guitar, John on drums and me with the squeeze box. Look carefully and you will notice the music stand holding the black book(black books were illegal sheet music compilations with hundreds of songs) and also John's bass drum head has the letters d and e which are from the word Trade. Obscured from view is the word Winds and the palm tree which was hand painted in black by the twins sister Emily.
The basement walls and floor were concrete and painted white and dark green respectively. This is where we became a wedding band having yet to know of the Beatles.
So many wonderful memories from this basement despite the pounding on the ceiling from my grandfather Charlie's cane who lived directly above. He felt the music was too loud, he was right. If we would have lived to see our success I would have thanked him publicly for his tolerance. When we practiced he would drive his old 1954 Chevy to the tavern and wait it out. No human being ever drove slower then grandpa Charlie. Six year olds on their tricycles would race him down 101st Place and be victorious.
I'm back in my hotel room in Quebec City with nothing much to do so caveat emptor.
Here are some explanations to Styx photo's that I found on line. The first official group photo was our first album cover. We had nothing to do with this concept other then follow instructions from the record company. As I have said before the name Styx was suggested by Bill Trout the president of Wooden Nickel records the man who signed us to the label.
Styx was the name no one in the group hated so Styx it was. (Other suggestions were Torch, Kelp, Miguelito Loveless, and my contribution, Dime Novel). Dime Novel got voted down for fear of this headline, "Dime Novel ain't worth a plug nickel". Little did we know that we could get Styx Stynx. Thinking back it most likely became Styx because the suggestion did not come from a band member.
For this photo we were asked to buy briefs then have them tea stained to look flesh color.
The idea was for us to look nude without actually being nude. John and Yoko copy catted us years later, hey wait that's wrong they actually were nude. If we had been nude you would have witnessed the real Grand Illusion. It was shot at the photographer's home with the help of his wife Blair. I think his name was Murray but I can't check it from here.
I remember her name because she was in charge of the smoke machine which was used to cover our privates. Here's what we heard throughout the entire shoot, imagine this in a New York accent, "Blairrrr Blairrrr more smoke crotch level". For years to come whenever there was a lull in the conversation one of us blurt out Blairr, Blairrr more smoke crotch level. The green painting we are surrounded by is of Dante's Inferno. And though it's warm there in the winter I give it two thumbs down as a vacation spot.
Bonjour mes Amis
Je suis ici. See everyone tonight at Le Capitole.
Photo left to right: Jean Ravel, our new drummer Dave Anthony, August, Jimmy, Kilroy, Suzanne, John, and Craig at Cafe Teatro. Jimmy and I have different shirts on really we do.
Suzanne, Matt, John and I left Chicago yesterday Mar. 3rd from O'Hare airport at 11am en route to Newark to connect to a flight to Quebec City. The QC flight was cancelled so we rebooked on a 7pm flight through Toronto to connect on 11pm flight into QC. The Toronto flight did not leave until 10pm so we missed the connection to QC by 15 minutes. So at midnight with a power outage around the airport most of the hotels were full so we found lodging further out. Finally caught a flight at 10am and arrived in QC around noon.
Fortunately the Toronto plane had individual movies in every seat so while we sat on the Tarmac for 3 hours I got to watch Hard Days Night. Never have those lyrics had more meaning. All's swell that ends swell.
Before and after cocktails, "in vino veritas".
Back on the road since last Friday at Penn's Peak. Thanks to all of you who sold the show out, this was my fifth visit, always great people there. The YouTube clip is from last night at one of the best venues in the US, Broward Performing Arts in Ft. Lauderdale. This was my fourth time there and were we glad to be out of the cold up north, you betcha. We haven't done the symphony show in some time so I had forgotten how thrilling it is. I like to think of these concerts as rock shows with breast augmentation, "I'm not all about da bass, I like treble"! The maestro Arnie Roth was conducting and his wife Marcie came down from Chicago for a lovely reunion. Arnie and I first met in1979 when he wrote the string charts on Cornerstone. The incredible orchestra arrangements we perform are his.
Yes This is February 18 and I can no longer do the joke about being 67, I am rewriting it to be 68, there that was easy.
By the way I threw a curveball last night at the band and put in an extra song which required retuning an acoustic guitar. I stalled while August retuned by playing the first verse of First Time by myself. That was the first song Arnie and I worked on together so it seemed relevant.
Check out this video on YouTube:
Borrowed Time 1979
Given the supposed political makeup of our country which purports that about half of us are liberals and half are conservative, stating a preference about nearly anything involving politics would be idiotic for a performer such as myself. No matter what you say half are with ya and half are agin ya. Too many actors and musicians whom I admire artistically take public policy stands that I strongly disagree with. Does this make me like them less, sure a bit although I try and keep an open mind. I have told my kids several times when they feel the need to relive past experiences by filling me in on details of what crazy things they did when they were younger of which I was unaware I tell them this, "I do not have to know everything about you to be happy". Same goes with performers.
I have believed for some time that the current political climate pitting the left against the right in a theatrical setting actually began with 60 minutes in the 70's with a segment called "Point Counterpoint". Liberal Shana Alexander and conservative James Kirkpatrick would debate whatever topic was presented. I found myself agreeing and diasgrreing with both of them. These two represented the extreme positions of each of their parties. It became so popular that SNL spoofed it many times with Dan Akroyd and Jane Curtain. This allowed the audience the opportunity to choose sides like some sporting event. Hooray for my team boo for yours. The extremes held sway and any of us who might like some from column A and some from column B were left unrepresented as if there were only two paths one could follow. This show begat several others including Crossfire and the MacLaughlin group to name but two. This brings us to today when so much of what we hear demands a loyalty to a strident party line with no road in between. Both the far left and right pretend that the other side has never been right about anything which history consistently disproves. I find it disturbing that this political theater has become so pervasive in our culture(because it's dramatic and sells) that it corrupts any real chance for reasonable discussion. So it is with that in mind that I dissect Borrowed Time and what I was thinking in 1979.
January of 1965 was when I graduated high school, hence the reference in the opening line. It was a time when all things seemed possible. The turbulence of the middle to late sixties had not yet reached my naive front door. I had worked in the band and at a grocery store for threes years and had saved every penny so I could purchase a brand new 1965 Mustang. Total cost $2600 which I made monthly payments on for three years. What a car and that's why it's used in the Desert Moon video although mine was a hardtop and burgundy. The original script called for an MG convertible and I said no way.
" I HAD MY CAR AND I MADE THE SCENE DIDN'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT NO GASOLINE". It was 30 cents a gallon in "65". WOW. This song was written in 1979 after years of Opec oil manipulations and helicopters burning in an Iranian desert. Hence the "THEY CAN GO TO HELLl" line. "THE PROMISED LAND WAS OURS WE WERE THE GREAT SOCIETY" The Great Society was President Johnson's name for his administration. The next line is the one pertaining to the beginning of the theatrical political divide we were witnessing," I'M SO CONFUSED BY THE THINGS I READ I NEED THE TRUTH BUT THE TRUTH IS I DON'T KNOW WHO TO BELIEVE THE LEFT SAYS YES AND THE RIGHT SAYS NO AND I'M IN BETWEEN AND THE MORE I LEARN WELL THE LESS THAT I KNOW". Chorus LIVIN HIGH LIVIN FINE LIVIN HIGH ON BORROWED TIME This refers to not only my feelings about the undisputed power of the USA but also the nature of success and fame the band had enjoyed. Was Styx living on Borrowed Time as well. The Yes No bit was an attempt to mock the idiotic political discourse. "FAITH BE WITH ME NOW I"M JUST A DREAMER IN A DREAMLAND" refers to America as well as Styx were we both dreamers living on borrowed time? The tag on the fade is actually the bands addresses at the time. Lake Shore, Drive Redbud Trail etc. I wrote the lyrics to this song and Tommy and I wrote the music together. An underrated Styx song and a true rocker with a tricky rhythmic structure on the chorus, which I came up with. When performing this I always had to concentrate while cursing my trickiness.
To all you younger folks who come to this site I hope this ancient history does not bore you. The next post will be an examination of songs I wrote before the invention of the light bulb.
HAPPY 45TH ANNIVERSARY
This past January 18 Suzanne and I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary, I'm so glad I went to that Mendel dance in 1964.
This is the Perfect Man premiere. I was going to post a wedding photo but I still can't scan to the computer." The problems plain to see when your a dope like me". Plus I need to replace my computer it's working so slow that today I received an email reply from 1953. It was from Eisenhower.
My friend Chris Taylor sent me this. Brilliant except Macklemore won't stop calling me. He thinks I'm the Na Na guy.
The theme of this article concerns the regimen I go through before I perform each concert. Actually I had to make stuff up considering what I do is virtually nothing. That's me considering the playlist minutes before going on stage, (hmm should we play Don't Stop Believin or Plexiglass Toilette tonight) me adjusting Suzanne's wireless pack, ( yeah sure I am) me and the band warming up vocally, me and Jean Ravel adjusting Windsor knots and finally me singing in the shower at the hotel. Normally I do this without stage clothes but this is after all a family newspaper.
Here are some quotes from radio, TV and print translated into English by ours friends at Le Capitole. Come this spring I plan to run for president of Quebec on the Suite Madame Blue platform which promises every Quebecer a sample of me holding the long morrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre note in that song. That should cure them. Wait I have just been informed that they do not have a president and if they did I would have to have been born here and at the very least be able to order food en Francais without making hand gestures and make clucking sounds to order coq au vin. Not true I can say poulet without prompting not to mention poutine.
I am also doubling as Rick Steve's DeYoung today with some pics from my hotel room. Next I will be making you sit through some home movies of our family vacation to Starved Rock Illinois.
CRITICS - DENNIS DEYOUNG
"The most Quebecer of all Americans delights Le Capitole."
"Quebec City loves Dennis DeYoung. And Dennis DeYoung repays it well in return."
"In sober decor lit by delicate light show, DeYoung appeared in great shape, having fun with the public and multiplying the theatrical dance steps."
"Denis’’ is off to a good start."
"Throughout the very well-oiled and smooth-running show, we felt the great complicity which united Dennis DeYoung to his guitarists."
"Mister DeYoung carries well his name. We appreciate the way he moves, the way he plays the keyboard, his impeccable voice and the quality of his repertoire. A beautiful present. "
"It is impressive to see him on stage. At the age of 67, he has lost nothing of his voice and still masters the art to move on stage. A perfect show for nostalgic people! "
"Seizing… stunning... astonishing…!!! Dennis DeYoung’s voice is frozen in time; it forgot to age... Same for the successes of Styx. Run to see and hear this living legend!"
"A moving return to the past. Supported by a young energetic group, DeYoung finds the magic and energy of Styx’s golden years. We sing, we shed a few tears, and we still ask for more!"
"At 67 years old and fitter than ever, the great Dennis DeYoung made us relive marking moments in our youth by making us travel in time. Everything was there in this well-oiled and smooth-running show. The vocal harmonies, the sound effects, the lighting effects, but especially the unique voice of this rock legend which made us vibrate, leaving us an immortal souvenir, pure Styx, what a pleasure!"
"Classics, a perfect complicity, enchanting solos... A magical evening! It’s a must-see!"
"It is impressive […] He has a lot of fun, he moves all the time, he is accompanied by two guitarists who give it all […] In shape, very complicit with his public, very generous!"
Quebec Shows - French Website Article
This is a True Story
Hey look it's GUITAR WORLD. Congrats to August and Jimmy you deserve all the attention you have been getting and I don't mean those pesky IRS agents.
Here is a quick sampling of the more than 100 interviews I have been doing.
Certainly some repetition but some good laughs along the way. Make sure you finish all the important things in your life before wasting it here.
Thanks to Andrew for the kind words.
http://www.wbab.com/Player/102416201/ bab Long island good listen
CBS Radio New York Interview
Happy Birthday Suzanne,
Because of all the hoopla this year concerning the 50th anniversary of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan I began thinking about that night that forever changed the course of my life, and then a funny thing happened. I suddenly realized just how momentous the month of February 1964 would become in my life.
Gathered around the tv in my parents home were my sister Darcy, mom and dad and a couple of friends. My friends and I were on our way to our Sunday night ritual which was the Mendel Catholic High School dance. In those days this was the place to go in our neighborhood for boys to meet girls and visa versa. I was not interested in the Beatles for I had heard the hype incessantly on the radio and I Want To Hold Your Hand and was not impressed. My friend Dave had Meet The Beatles and had bought Beatle boots, good grief. After they performed their first song All My Loving I was totally transfixed like some many of the 74 million other who saw the show. After the program we were off to Mendel to check out the bands and the girls. Exactly two Sundays later we were at the same dance trying to twist and jitterbug our way into the hearts of some of the cutest Catholic school girls on the South Side. The dances ended at 10 pm and this night like too many others my friends and I were scoreless, no dates no phone numbers nada. As we filed out onto the streets on our way to our cars we passed a group of girls. Me, Mickey Bogie, Dave Heaster,Tom Ebert and Lary Leugoud (who posts on this site often hey Lar) approached them and I was instantly taken with a gorgeous brunette who stood out like a leko was focused on her and her alone. I immediately engaged her in a conversation that seemed much too one sided, so I took her hand out of her overcoat pocket to look for a steady ring which in the those days would have meant she was taken. No ring. She pulled her hand back as though I was intruding on her space and remained aloof for the remainder of our time. Shortly afterward the girls were picked up by one of their parents but a group connection had been made and it was decided as a group we would meet at a dance the next week over at St Anthony's. We did and that night I fared much better getting the girls phone number. It was of course Suzanne. By the way she told me later that she was interested initially in one of my friends not me.So within a two week period in February of 1964 my personal and professional life was set in stone without me having the slightest clue as to what had just occurred. Amazing! I came to this realization when talk about the Beatles and 50 years and Suzanne and mine came together. The night we met was captured in the second verse of Beneath the Moon from the Boomchild album.
Great Reviews for Dennis DeYoung And The Music of STYX Live In Los Angeles Keep Pouring In
This is an interview I gave to Jeb Wright for CRV.
I will save you time and translate this article for you. It says Dennis DeYoung is so handsome, charming and talented that he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, the Pulitzer, an Oscar, an Emmy a Tony, The French Legion Of Honour and should be elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame under the category of, "Who Else Really Matters Anyway".
They are very smart up there although some snarky people may say they only like me because their brains are frozen. Either way I love em. By the way that painting behind me Is by Claude Teberge a French Canadain aritist and a favorite of both mine and Matthews. Several of his prints hang in Matt's home. This was shot in the lobby of Le Capitole.
cheers and eh bientot, d
Getting ready to finish our Halloween three day run here at Disney Epcot. Sold out all Nine shows and I am happy to see so many familiar faces especially the guys in the band. This is our third time here so I guess you folks like coming here, I notice lots of comments here on Facebook. Some photos with captions are now being made available. If you would like some 8 by 10 glossies go ahead and make some. Unless you have my printer copier which always has a paper jam.
Moments before going on stage I am relieved to find I have met the stage weight requirements.
I just returned from two shows in Missouri and a week of promotion in my second home, Quebec. The band and I had a great time at the Family Arena in St Louis a venue we played four years ago where the band with Craig and August played one of it's first shows. I rarely have the opportunity to perform in arena's but when I do this band really shines. I am reminded of the days when every night was a show in a big hall. It's exhilarating! Thanks to all those in attendance, St Louis remains a strong market for me.
My thanks to Jeb Wright for his interview (which will be appearing soon) and for this wonderful review. I would say more but I'm giddy with excitement.
Hey everybody here's the Grand Illusion from the Blue Ray dvd.
Just some clarification, if you have a regular DVD player then you can purchase the standard HD video in the DVD CD package and it will play wonderfully. As I now understand it the Blue Ray is available as a stand alone purchase. The problems plain to...
This is an interview I gave about the new DVD CD to a London based magazine called Fireworks. Ian was a wonderful lad who encouraged me to travel to jolly old to play some shows. Nice work if you can get it and it turns out I am exactly two pints down on my bangers and chips. Go ahead now everyone let's start the banger jokes, you notice I restrained myself.
Midterm elections, ISIS, Ebola, Putin in Ukraine, Iran nuclear threat, hurricanes, crazy stock market, and DeYoung releases DVD CD package in Times Square. Be afraid, be very afraid!
Hey look everybody it's Dennis the dog whisperer.
During a photo shoot at home for The Illinois Entertainer CarrieAnn's dog Aspen decided to get into the act. He's a Standard Poodle which I much prefer to the sub standard ones.
Some of the photos were hysterical, one in particular which Suzanne says will be on our Christmas card. Unfortunately Aspen has refused to sign a release, something about residuals.
Show biz, it's dog eat dog. (Sorry about that).
Huffington Post Article and Grand Illusion Premiere
Thanks to Mike for a great interview.
Click here for the Huffington Post article and Grand Illusion premiere
I have been doing several overseas interviews and the response to the dvd which journalists were able to obtain in advance has been incredibly complimentary.
They love the energy and precision of the performance, not to mention the set list. I asked the gentlemen from Sweden his thoughts and he said it made him wish he had been there.
We got caught up this weekend in the O'Hare mess and had two flights cancel on us day before and day of the show in Greenville, so I was forced to charter a Falcon jet to get us there. This was the 3rd time in the past year that we have flown on a private jet to shows and I have decided to travel this way from now on. In order to accomplish this I will be playing all future shows for free. On second thought commercial is just peachy. Thanks to my friend Bob Sayad for arranging the last minute flights which saved the day down in Greenville. In gratitude for my efforts the Greenville chamber of commerce has decided to erect a statue of me that will be displayed in the town square alongside the one of president Andrew Johnson who called Greenville his home. I may decline the offer due to a long fear of pigeon poop.
The last video tease will be coming soon and it will be Best Of Times.
Christmas In Quebec City
We will be playing 10 shows in Quebec City during December and I invite anyone who has never been there to come on up and experience this marvelous gem of a city. The French European atmosphere from the cobblestone streets and architecture to the great food and sights are a tourists dream. This city really celebrates the holidays in spectacular fashion. Oh and I will be there too. It's just a short trip from most east coast cities.
Click here for more information and to purchase tickets
Another year come and gone wow! Thanks to everyone who bought a ticket, bought a cd (as if) downloaded a track or simply came here to see what I'm up to. Still 5'11", same as high school though I swear my pants are getting longer. (I was 6'2" in my platforms and my ankles still remember)
Taking a little break this January to recharge my batteries and have my nails done. I'm trying to decide between the Barbra Streisand or the Steven Tyler. Cast your vote below.
New DVD. I've toyed with the idea of recreating the Paradise theater tour one more time, janitor, back drops, simulated marquee and all but I'll have to get permission from the United Tour Association of That Again. Possible tour names are Paradise Now and Forever, Return to the Return of the Return of Paradise or simply Tonights The Night We'll Repeat History. We did recreate the scenic elements for a show in Montrreal in I think '08 but without some of the songs we currently perform. I have a copy of the original setlist from 1981 and It could be great with this band. I've already ordered one blond wig, an afro wig, a tux, a fake Tom Selleck moustache a space suit and a Shakey's Pizza uniform. Nothing like red satin pants on a 65 year old.Seriously I think this show will make a great DVD. Or maybe will just do The Serpent Is Rising start to finish including Handel's Messiah done with the Moron Tabernacle Choir. They're not as good as the Mormons but their cheaper. I believe I just heard the sound of no tickets being sold. Good grief get this guy a shot at open mic night at Zanies Comedy Club.
Fans at the meet and greets have asked me several recurring questions.
Q: Any chance of a reunion?
Q: Where did the name Styx come from?
Q: What happened between you and Tommy at the Children's Miracle Network
Q: Did Kilroy cause the bands breakup?
Q: What's it like playing Styx songs that you did not write, and how about Castle
Q: What's your favorite color?
People have speculated on my nickname the Dr. and it's origins for some time, so here's the real story.
When the band was first starting out in the early Styx days John Panozzo supplemented his income by working part time in a music store in the drum department. Tells ya what kind or money these rock stars were making. I worked part time for the C.I.A. (no I didn't) One day a young man came in the store and struck up a conversation with John about drums and such. He had recently seen one of our concerts. During the conversation he asked John "How does doc tune his organ?" John said who, what? To which the guy responded "doc your keyboard player".
Well first you do not tune an organ and second how this guy thought my name was doc is still a mystery.
After John related this story we laughed our cookies off and little by little John, then the other guys began to refer to me jokingly as doc. It stuck, how stupid is that. Real stupid. But there my friends is the true story. Later we worked this nickname into the show in this manner. During the encore everyone but me would return to the stage. Tommy would then proclaim that someone was missing and had anyone seen the doctor. He would then get the crowd to yell come on out doctor whereby I would come out onstage with a white coat and stethoscope and prescribe more rock and roll for the audience. High class stuff. Hell the audience loved it.
Years later when Glenn joined the band we began referring to each other as Denny and Glenny as a joke, this also stuck. No Sting or the Boss for me, oh well.
What a summer whew! The audiences keep growing and growing as witnessed in Blue Ash Ohio a Cincinnati suburb this past Saturday when over 20,000 people showed up for a good time. We played there in 2007 to a nice crowd but this was ridiculous.(The word has spread) Wherever we have gone whether South Dakota, Quebec or Florida the enthusiasm and sheer number of fans has been stunning. Over 4000 at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood Florida on a Monday night, great Caesar's ghost. Largest crowd ever at the Quebec city Expo all singing Suite Madame Blue at the top of their lungs, simply remarkable. At the meet and greets fans keep telling me how much they love the set list which allows them to hear all their favorites and how much this band brings back their fondest memories of days gone by. I feel the same way. Over 10,00 in Watertown, Kokomo, Milwaukee, and St. Agath. This makes a 65 year old quite grateful for the fans who have literally believed these lyrics "If the world turned upside down baby I know You'd always be around", here's to the Best of Times.
- ddyHey everybody,
I write today with some bad news. My sister in law and former band member Dawn Feusi is in the hospital fighting a brain tumor. This has all transpired in a matter of weeks seemingly out of the blue and as you can imagine it has been quite a blow to all those who have known and loved her. She is receiving great care in her home town of San Diego where she and her son Thomas had recently returned. Thomas is only six so Dawn's brother Jim and wife Beverly have taken on the responsibility of his care until Dawn recovers. Sometimes life stinks and this is one of those times in spades. Please keep her in your prayers.
I have just returned from my first concert ever in San Juan Puerto Rico and what an unbelievable experience it was. For years I have been telling the story of the first Styx concert in Montreal as the most memorable in my life but I must admit this one was equally and perhaps even more incredible. The sold out audience at the Centro de Bellas Artes was quite simply astonishing and humbling. They treated me as if I were a long lost friend who had saved their dog from being hit by a car and also promised them a considerable inheritance. Now I know what the Publishers Clearing House folks feel like when they knock on some winners door. Only this time I was the winner.
They sang nearly every song at the top of their lungs with such intensity that at times I could not hear myself or the guys in the band, Fabuloso! To the people of San Juan I can only say Muchas Gracias and Los Quiero. Can't wait to come back with my full band and do the rock show.
Below are some YouTube videos and although the quality can be varied I think you'll get the idea. Remember the occasional person singing off key is not me (oh sure). Having said that, as a group I have never heard a better singing audience. Biggest responses were to Don't Let It End, Show Me The Way, Desert Moon and Mr. Roboto.
I met House of Representives Dan Lipinski at a concert where I was performing a few years back and he mentioned to me how the lyrics to Rockin the Paradise held special meaning to him. I began to think about it and realized that these words I had written in 1980 sadly were once again relevant. The reason is simple, they were describing my feelings about the worst recession America had faced since the great depression, that is until now. The Reagan Carter campaign and the general malaise in the country are reflected in this song, and Best of Times. Hit rewind.
ROCKIN THE PARADISE
HEY WHAT YOU DO'IN TONIGHT
ROCK'IN THE PARADISE ROCK'IN THE PARADISE TONIGHT
THE BEST OF TIMES ARE WHEN I'M ALONE WITH YOU
THE HEADLINES READ THESE ARE THE WORST OF TIMES
Memoriam - Charles Lofrano
This is the case for me with the loss of my brother-in-law and best friend Chuck Lofrano.
As a friend he was a man's man, fiercely loyal and always supportive of me without any expectation of quid pro quo. What friends are supposed be but so often are not. He wished the best for me and my family as though it were his own.
Joined by marriage and both of Italian descent "a la familia" was something we would toast each other at our many family gatherings. He loved his family, his wife Pam and children Dena, Lisa and Allison but oh how he reveled in his grandchildren, 7 to be exact.
A born optimist, his glass was remarkably half full regardless of the seriousness of the situation. Never was this more apparent than with his dire health struggles of the last 7 years. He was first and foremost a Marine. Disabled in battle and recently plagued by kidney disease, heart disease and finally cancer, he somehow remained determined and optimistic about the future.
Even spear-heading next summers Grant Park 25th reunion of the Welcome Home Parade for Viet Nam Veterans. He kept working on this event despite the knowledge that he might not live to see it. No "Why Me'ing" from this guy. I don't know how he managed it and I told him so many times.
Don't get me wrong now, like all of us he was not without his flaws, many of which were ultimately attributed to undiagnosed PTSD from Viet Nam. He came to grips with fact only after he began writing about his wartime experiences in his book, "In Spite Of It All", in the last years of his life.
The dignity and stoicism he exhibited as he fought his final struggles with his health made him a hero to me more than anything he could have ever accomplished in the jungles of Viet Nam. Once we were chatting about this and that when he told me if necessary he would lay down his life for me and they weren't just words, he meant it. No man had a better friend.
Farewell good soldier, the battle done, rest peacefully. Semper Fi
Love, Dennis and Suzanne
I began stage one of these solo journeys some 10 years ago with an out of the blue offer from Tim Orchard to put together an orchestra show for a single concert at the Rosemont Theater in 2000. I enlisted a group of fine musicians I had worked with several times in the past. There was no intention to create anything other than a good show with rock band and orchestra. Dawn Feusi was brought in to sing Styx harmony and perform selections from the Hunchback of Notre Dame as part of a retrospective on my career. This included Styx, my solo rock work and Broadway. Because of the success of this show I was chosen to be the pilot for the new Public Television Soundstage program. "Dennis DeYoung and Friends" went on to be the most lucrative pledge show for PBS from this series, pledging over 100 cities across the country raising over 2 million dollars in the process, thanks to viewers like you. From this initial concept I began to get offers to perform with and without the orchestra and simply kept the same band for both shows. My set list consisted of the Styx songs that I had written and sung and remained that way until January this year.
Hank Horton my bass player and high harmony singer informed me last fall that he would be leaving the band to play in the pit orchestra for 100 Dalmatians, so I was compelled to consider changes. As I searched for a bass player Craig Carter was suggested and a demo was sent. "Great Caesars Ghost" was it good. Not only could he play bass and sing lead but he was an accomplished songwriter as well. So the search was over. Not so fast, late one night my son woke me at 12:30 at night and told me to go down to the computer and check out something he found on youtube. There was August Zadra singing Blue Collar Man in a Styx tribute band, "Mother Of Pearl" are you kidding me. I knew then and there it was time for action. Needless to say my son Matthew is still in the will and may be receiving a slightly higher amount then my daughter CarrieAnn. (Not really). August was so good at recreating a sound that both you and I have come to love that I knew I must give this thing a shot. And what a shot it has been to me personally. When we perform our new show the audience is ecstatic for they're finally getting what they have wanted from the beginning and that's ALL the songs they have come to know and appreciate. No longer would they have to settle for less. Alleluia!
The new blood has given more responsibilities to Jimmy Leahey on lead guitar and brothers and sister he's laying down guitar work that's both dazzling and tasteful. Tom Sharpe has found the perfect balance between being true to John Panozzo and modernization, without trying to over complicate. Good drumming should always serve the song. John Blasucci continues to recreate layers of keyboards that best remind us of the brilliance of the original keyboardist. (Sorry John I couldn't help myself) These changes have also brought me back to the keys, something that many of you have been wanting for some time. I must admit it has been great fun reminding myself that I was the guy who invented that stuff and played it.
The interaction between August and Jimmy both musically and in terms of stage presence has made feel like I'm back in 1981 until I look in the mirror and wonder how my dad has gotten into this band.
Special thanks to August for authenticating a vital part to our sound and to Craig for the effortless high harmonies. (Remember dude as a rule I never hire any band mate taller than me so practice the crouch). As always Suzanne sings her heart and always has my back.
Finally if you haven't seen the new band I urge you to come out and take a look see, you won't be disappointed.
The delay was due to many factors not the least of which was the unexpected amount of time needed to work on the Hunchback. It's extended run and Jefferson Award for Best Musical were welcomed but not anticipated situations. When we extended the show a new cast was required and rehearsals became necessary. This did become quite time consuming. Here's hoping I always have these kinds of problems.
With the addition of the German tour, which by the way was quite a spectacle, I performed about 70 concerts last year and added two new tracks to One Hundred Years. Caution: Do NOT have an album you have already finished siting in your home studio for nearly two years. You will hear the sirens sweetly singing, luring you back to the mixing console to fix all the little things that you didn't like about the album. Note to self, if you're looking for perfection son, you've come to the wrong planet. I did remix some tracks on the original CD and I believe I have improved them, however my left ear is still periodically spotting blood. Which I guess is still an improvement over that Van Gogh dude.
As for One Hundred Years From Now the song, those of you who have written me and expressed your desire to hear me sing it by myself, you have gotten your wish. The president of Rounder Records John Vi rant has held that opinion for over a year, this after I'd sent him the all English version with me singing both parts.
After performing this song in concert by myself and with three different French artists I realized that when the original vocalist who performed on the record is not available it seems a bit odd. Problem solved, I intend to be there now every time I perform it. Well nearly.
The two new songs are Private Jones and There Was A Time, welcomed editions both. I did drop one song from the Canadian version, My Sharrona, I admit it was a bit repetitive.
Also I noticed that the band's most watched video's are Come Sail Away, over a million views, Babe over a million views(although unfortunately this week it appears to have been taken down) Lady over 700,000 views and had Mr. Roboto not been taken down earlier this year it would now most likely have been over 1,500,000 views. I based this on the fact that Roboto always substantially led all of our other video's including Come Sail Away by a wide margin. That Roboto, he's like the Energizer Bunny. I wonder what the process is as to the comings and goings of these videos? Perhaps Babe and Roboto are resting peacefully in cyberspace plotting their return so they might continue to annoy a small group of people who somehow believe these tunes were a mistake. If they were I wish we would have had another 10 mistakes just like them, and I mean it. It is so difficult to write a song that first passes muster with your record company,(they will need to be convinced, see "Lady", Lorelei and Sweet Madame Blue as examples) then radio,(who are skeptical that anything is a hit record)to finally satisfying millions of strangers who must then go forth and put down their hard earned cash on the counter, well you get the picture. So when it does happen and then has the good fortune to remain popular for decades, I say fall on your knees and give thanks for your good fortune, cause that's what I do nearly every day. To all of you who have supported me these 37 years whether from the beginning or since last Thursday I offer a heartfelt THANKS FOR EVERYTHING.
I will be touring this year as I have since 2003 although who knows what the economy will be like. My time spent in Germany, England, Belgium and Italy this year informs me that after the USA jumped down the rabbit hole the whole world gladly went with us. To all of you who have been hit hard by the greed and stupidity of those supposedly watching the store I wish only good things, and though it sounds corny, health is always the most important thing. May the wind always be at your back and may the Bird of Paradise not fly up your nose.
There's that damn Paradise word again, I swore I'd stop using it...
From the luckiest guy I know,
Some quick thoughts and updates: I am pleased and proud to announce that the release in the USA of "100 Years From Now" will be on Rounder Records. The president of Rounder, John Virant, and I first met in New York at my rock symphony show at the Beacon. His company is the distributor of my live album in the states and now much to my surprise he has decided to be the official record company for "100 Years".(100 Years the CD, not the duration of the record contract.) The record business is in such a state of flux that quite frankly I'm gratified that John has belief in me. When he received the Canadian CD he called me and talked enthusiastically about the music. How refreshing! The album will have two new tracks, "Private Jones" and "There Was A Time." In addition, there will be an all English version duet of the title track. The release date and my duet partner are still being determined. The album is ready to go today except for the duet. John and I are looking for the right match. Some early candidates: Jim Nabors (the southern strategy), Florence Henderson (that Brady Bunch thing), Axl Rose (projected release 2030) and of course my first choice Jerry Lewis, my inspiration for "Lady".
New Year's Eve was something else. We performed in Queen Victoria Park on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. From the stage looking left we had an unbelievable view of both the American and Canadian falls. It was nationally televised throughout Canada. Just for the record, it was 25 degrees Fahrenheit when we began to perform the first of two sets of music. We played for 55 minutes then broke for fifteen, came back for TV and did 5 songs. They had placed some portable propane heaters around the stage. Too close to one and you'd get third degree burns, two feet away and they could chip ice off your tush for a frozen Daiquiri. That being said the audience was incredible, after all they had no heaters and they stood there for nearly three hours. Once again the people of Canada have been enormously supportive of my music. By the way it was the first time I have ever performed Suite Madame Blue, and actually turned blue.
'08: I'll be on the road performing both the band and the rock symphony show hopefully in a city close to you so you can come out and enjoy the party. As I have already mentioned my CD will be released in the US and The Hunchback will be produced at the Bailiwick in Chicago May and June. In my spare time I plan to be sleeping and have Suzanne peel grapes for me for nourishment.
See ya in the funny papers.
Truth be told, I would have bet the farm that such a thing could never in million years happen. Wow! That sentence sounds like Damon Runyon. Any moment now, I half expect Nathan Detroit to place odds on such a long shot possibility. I mean, really, having a #1 pop single, rock track and AC, seems surreal. In Canada this, of course, is known as "the hat trick". Never in my wildest dreams could I have expected this. To have a #1 record anywhere is amazing, even if it were Afghanistan, Turkmenistan or StanMusialstan, let alone Quebec, one of the most vibrant and knowledgeable musical scenes in all North America. Quebec, after all, discovered Styx before the USA. (We were actually discovered shivering in the snow on the banks of the Saint Lawrence Seaway). Merci Beaucoup and many thanks again to the people of Quebec.
On August 18, I performed in front of the largest live audience of my entire career at St. Jean sur Richelieu, outside Montreal. According to an email from Sylvain Latour, Chief of the Cabinet Mayors office, there were over 40,000 people at the concert. On stage with me were my band, Glen Burtnik, guitarist Stephane Dufour and Eric Lapointe, who joined me to sing "100 Years From Now".
What a night! It has been a very, very long time since I have performed a new song and received a response like that - long live radio!
The release of my new CD in the USA will be in the first quarter of next year. It will contain at least one new track and an all-English version of "100 Years From Now" with another guest vocalist. Sorry for the delay but the success in Canada has caught us by surprise. (By the way, my reference to a new CD called, "The Grand Pieces Of Paradise" was meant as a joke, although some have written to us in earnest about this project. FYI the title's been changed to "Man of Serpent Crystal Cornerstones".)
Back in 2000, I had come to a crossroads in my life, unsure about what career path I should pursue. Shepherd, bouncer, philosopher king, ventriloquist or perhaps man on the flying trapeze. Fortunately, I was guided by Tim Orchard and my wife Suzanne back unto to the path of the Magical World Of Music. Primarily because of the smell of the goats and my overall appearance in circus tights, I believe whole-heartedly I've made the correct choice. I will continue to sing, write and perform as long as you allow me this privilege, or 'till I just flat get pooped.
Thanks again for your continued support.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame:
Hopefully you know how this ends. See you soon on TV, on tour, at the Bailiwick in May or, see you in the funny papers.
Seriously, I'm very proud of the music on this CD and I hope those of you
who have the chance to hear it will be bewitched, bothered and bewildered.
(I was kidding about the seriously.)
One Hundred Years From Now
Hal Sparks and Dennis singing
Dennis on Canadian Idol
First, let me say that Suzanne and I have just celebrated our 37th year of marriage and as has been the case on more than one occasion the celebration took place was while I was performing. (No, not that kind of performing you nasty little buggers, I'm referring to singing and playing piano.) Many times over the years Suzanne has allowed me to put my professional needs over birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and family vacations.
Suzanne, for this I say thanks for always being supportive of me in every way. I have said this before but it bears repeating as to how fortunate I was to meet you and fall in love with you when you were just 15. You are the only girl I have ever loved and I feel lucky to have had you in my life. If there ever was a guy who made the perfect choice for a spouse it's me. Happy anniversary, and here's to 37 more. ( Let's see that will take us into our 90's, egad's!)
From the multi platinum success in Canada, to Star Academy, to Canadian Idol to Celebrity Duets to VH-1's Big IN "06" to countless usage's of my songs in movies and TV, to a Yamaha endorsement, I feel a bit overwhelmed by my good fortune. Never in my wildest dreams did I think such things were possible yet again. Suzanne, Tim, Dianna and I have worked very hard these last four years with little guarantee for success. But hell, a lot people work just as hard and never see results, I know I have been one of them. So to all whom have helped make this possible I send my heartfelt thanks.
To name a few: Paul Jessop, Maurice and George and everyone at DEP. To John Virant and Rounder Records Chris Taylor, Dave Harris, Randy Lennox at Universal, Julie Snyder, John Oshima, Paul Setzer, my band and my LD Matthew DeYoung, my publicist CarrieAnn DeYoung. Also Sujata Murthy, Todd Nakamine, Lori Lousararian, Our sound and road crews and Craig Bauer. Most importantly, to all of you who have come to my concerts and bought the CD and DVD, many thanks!
The threat is real! Yes it's true, I have been recording my first solo rock album since 1888, I mean 1988, and it just feels like 1888. The working title is "Back to the 10 on Desertchild". Just kidding it's actually "The Grand Pieces of Paradise". I have decided to return to my roots and I feel this is my edgiest and rockin'est record ever.(Hell everybody says this same BS don't they?) Truth be told the songs do not suck, and If your interested in a middle aged white guy who can still sing high you just might like it. For more cryptic discussion of this coming "masterpiece," keep an eye on this web site.
Who is SPARKY THE FLYING DOG?
• Step one, drag out your "Paradise" record album or CD and get yourself
a magnifying glass. On the album cover depicting the old rundown theater, look
under the marquee on the right hand side and you will see a poster. With your
magnifying glass in hand you will notice a picture of a dog with this banner, "Appearing
Thru July 7, Sparky The Flying Dog."
Yeah, so what you say! Who the heck is this mutt?
To me, Sparky was symbolic of many metaphors for the underdog, no pun intended. For instance, "The Little Train Who Could," "The Tortoise and the Hare," "Dumbo" etc. Those of whom little was expected but much was accomplished. A theme that I have explored many time in my lyrics, you know "Winners are losers who got up and gave it one more try."
I knew the odds against me realizing my dream of being a succesful musician were astronmical, but I believed I could fly, just like Sparky! Hell everybody knows dogs and guys like me can't fly, but we did. So Sparky represents that spark in all of us that refuses to take no for an answer. Here's to all the the Sparky's of the world, the ones who have flown and those about to.
PS. When traveling on the road throughout the 80's I stayed under the name of Sparky Allen. Souvenir Sparky T-Shirts are available at all live concerts.
Hey Everybody, or perhaps I should say bonjour mes amis.
Because of this, Canadians and especially French Canadians will always be dear to my heart. When we played The Forum in Montreal for the first time, the entire audience stood with lighters in hand and sang every word to Suite Madam Blue, Because of that, I knew success would soon be ours!
Once again the French Canadiens have shown their love and support for my music. I recently appeared on a TV show in Montreal called Star Academie. It's a combination of American Idol and Fame all rolled into one. My good friend Paul Jessop from Universal Canada arranged my performance through Patrick Binnette and Julie Snyder the host of the show. I'd like to thank everyone at Star Academie, the contestants, Scott and the band, Julie, and of course the people of Quebec for their unbelievable response to my performance and the upcoming concerts, and all the support from my good friends at CHOM radio....and DEP. Check out the streaming video .
HAPPY 36TH ANNIVERSARY TO MY WIFE SUZANNE
Like most men this is for all the times I forgot to tell you!
First, THE CHICAGO WHITE SOX WIN THE WORLD SERIES! That's right SEIRES DLROW EHT NIW XOS ETIHW OGACIHC EHT, backwards. forwards anyway you like it it's still true.
My dad took me to my first Sox game when I was nine years old and to this day I still recall the moment we emerged from the dark concourse stairs leading us up to the field and into a magical world of emerald green and blinding sunlight. One hand in my dad's the other in my glove, with the dream of catching a foul ball, I stood at the crossroads of innocence and hope. Oh the sights of the uniforms, the scoreboard, the upper deck and the enormity of the park itself. The sounds of "peanuts, get your peanuts," "hey ump get's some glasses," the organ playing "Take me Out To The Ballgame" and of course the crack of the bat. The smells of fresh grass and hot dogs mingling perfectly with the aroma of beer and cigars.
A day to remember, a day forever etched in my mind.
When I Hear A Christmas Song
To name a few: Gary Sinise, Vince Vaughn, George Wendt, Joe Mantegna, Robin Tunney, Larry Minetti, Peter Cetera, William Petersen, Mike Ditka, Jim MacMahon, Jimbo Covert, Matt Suhey,Shaun Gayle, Steve McMichael, Leslie Frazier, and last but not least Greg Maddox who informed me that growing up in Las Vegas he was a Styx fan. I'm waiting for that group photo to arrive, and when it does I'll post it.,
At present I've begun work on a new CD that I'Il hopefully finish by the end of the year.(Though which year I'm not completely sure.) The songs deal with topics such as sailing away, to robots, to really big illusions to...hey wait a minute somethin fishy here. Truthfully this collections of songs are the greatest I have ever written in my entire life. (Which is musician code for, they don't suck as much as I thought they might.) Some working titles are, Hey Juice, Stairway to Hefner, Sweet Home Alla snackbar, and A Whole Lotta Luft, a song about Liza Minelli's sister. Many of you are now wondering why you took time out of your busy lives to read this, sorry I have no answer for you. Seriously the actual song titles have been hermetically sealed in a vault in Berwyn Ill. and will be posted just as soon as I'm sure they will not embarass my friends and family.
Enough nonsense. I have been moved to tears as many of you have by the images of our fellow Americans and the scope of the destrucion and misery caused by hurricane Katrina. My families heart goes out to all those affected by this national tragedy. I urge everyone to contribute in any way they can to help. There but for the grace of God go I.
"The Perfect Man" In Theaters June 17, 2005Copyright Universal Pictures
As we walked the red carpet shouts of "Dennis, Dennis over here to your left, right behind you" were heard. I was really excited until I realized I was blocking their view of Heather and Hillary. Hmm, Heather and Hillary, I believe that's the Democratic ticket for 'O8. Seriously it was quite exciting and the after party at the Hard Rock was..well noisy and crowded.
Free food and drink brings out the worst in people. The movie is fantastic. Warm heartfelt and funny, Marc Rossman did a terrific job telling the story and most importantly incorporating my songs into the plot. It's great family entertainment without being sappy. Everyone is great and Mike O'Malley is especially good as the die hard Styx fan. I of course play a singer in a Styx tribute band named "Kilroy".
If you have trouble recognizing me I'm the guy who looks like the love child
of Tommy Lee and Mike Reno. The band consists of Matthew my son on drums, Hank,
Tommy, and John from my band all in disguise. I must say it made me laugh. Remeber
now this is all in good fun and meant to bring a smile to your face.
If a few years back you would have told me four of my songs would be in a movie, again and I'd actually be in it, well...you know...
"Winners are losers who got up and gave it one more try"
Through this very difficult time, Suzanne stood by me, sheltering me, protecting me, loving me and encouraging me to get back on my feet and return to my music. She understood it was what I needed. I did, but not until she agreed to accompany me on the road. I needed her there for moral support. She agreed immediately and took our daughter CarrieAnn out of school to join us on tour. She home schooled CarrieAnn by visiting her teachers every two weeks to gather all the material CarrieAnn would need to continue her education. When Mathew was born in 1980, he became part of our family entourage. Both Suzanne and I took full responsibility for our children while touring over 100 cities each year. Most of the work fell on Suzanne's shoulder, for we never used nannies or outside help of any kind. Everyone out there with children, imagine if you will; you, your spouse and your kids in a hotel room over 125 days each year, that's right, twenty-four hours a day. Did I just hear a giant gasp? Instead of being relaxed and comfortable in our home raising our children, Suzanne made the sacrifices needed, so that I could continue touring. I owe her a lot. Without Suzanne, I doubt that "Crystal Ball", "Grand Illusion", "Pieces of Eight", "Cornerstone", "Paradise", "Kilroy", or any of my solo albums would have been recorded.
Since we were teenagers Suzanne has shared my dream of becoming a professional musician. Hell, she loaned me four hundred dollars to help pay for my first electric organ. When it came to me or my career, she was selfless and dedicated to my goals. She is the only woman I have ever loved and I'd like to thank her for all she has given me over the years. It is in my humble opinion, more than I deserve
If memory serves this was the first official photo taken in 1976 of the new band. It was January or February of 1976 and it was hovering around 10 degrees. It was taken in the historic Pullman district in Roseland on the far south side of Chicago where Mr. George M. Pullman had constructed row houses for his employees to live in while they worked at the Pullman Works building his rail cars. We are standing on the porch of one of these houses which also have been declared historic landmarks. The politically incorrect fur coats were fake except for JY's which was rabbit. Imagine Bug's surprise. The coat that Tommy was wearing that day was borrowed from me seeing as how Montgomery Alabama had never seen weather like this. It was made by Suzanne for me with material given to her from her aunt Emmy. In those days a fur signified stature rather than murderer. Fake fur signified fake stature. I have donated these coats to the cast of the new hit show "Empire". They have been sent back with this note. "Get Real".
Just found this going through unopened email.
This is from 2011 when we played a corporate show at Wrigley Field. They did not know that I had White Sox underwear on under my pants. That's CarrieAnn, Suzanne, baby Zoe, daddy Tim and some guy whose head is glued to Tim's coat.
Zoe took her first steps ever that night, in foul territory down the first base line. I'll never forget it. This was October and of course their were no games. Wait till next year.
Computer troubles have kept me from posting sooner but August 6 I flew to Newtown Ct. to witness the dress rehearsal of 101 Dalmatians being performed by the students of the Newtown, Sandy Hook area. The ages ranged from 4 to 14 with mostly grade schoolers participating.
Click here to see the photos
What a night! I have had many memorable experiences in my career but this one was something special. You can tie it but you can't beat it. Several times during and after the show I was taking big gulps, "because there is no crying in musical theater" wait a second that's all there is for goodness sake. Many memories came flooding in that night reminding me of my teaching days before Styx.
The kids were terrific every single one and Michael Unger did a splendid job directing this new version for the community. Hat's off to him. The highlights for me are still three moments, specifically "Breakout" (when the pups are reunited with their parents) My Sweet Child (Peridta reassures her daughter that she is the most perfect child in the world) and finally 107 kids singing Be A Little Bit Braver. Especially appropriate here. Special thanks to Broadway actress Kristine Zbornik who brought to life Cruella De Vil.
I also was privileged to meet Maryrose Kristopik the brave music teacher who saved 15 students on that tragic day. She is everyone's hero. Everyone stand up and take a bow everyone you deserve it.
Look What August Found
Congratulations Tony La Russa
Congratulations to my good friend Tony La Russa on his induction today into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Tony and I met in 1982 at the old Comiskey Park and have been friends ever since. He has revolutionized the way pitching staffs are utilized in the late innings of games, not to mention being the third wining est manager in baseball history. To Tony and his wife Elaine we send our love on this special day. Dennis and Suzanne
Just found this searching for a picture of me and Tony on the internet. No luck. I have tons of photos of us together but I still don't know how to scan them to email. I am going to ask my neighbor who is 6 I'm sure he will know how.
Click here to see the photos and poster
This past Friday I performed in Ridgefield Connecticut. The next afternoon before traveling to Mohegan Sun I visited Newtown and met with director Michael Unger and some of the kids in the cast of 101 Dalmatians. I watched a read through of the show and offered suggestions concerning lyrics and music for the new revised edition which will be performed August 6th through the 10th. It was one of the most fulfilling and gratifying moments in my career. To be sitting there among some of the children and parents who experienced the events of December 14th 2012 was very emotional. Hearing these kids sing Be A Little Bit Braver and Breakout from the show gave a new and deeper meaning to the words.
BE A LITTLE BIT BRAVER, DON'T WOBBLE DON'T WAVER, BE A LITTLE BIT BRAVER THEN YOU THINK YOU CAN BE YOU MUST REACH A LITTLE HIGHER AND ASPIRE TO ASPIRE THEN IN TIME I KNOW YOU WILL SEE THERE'S A POWER INSIDE YOU TO HELP YOU AND GUIDE YOU BE A LITTLE BIT MORE BRAVE AND SOON YOU WILL BEHAVE THAT WAY
WHEN YOU SEE THE ROAD CRUMBLE AND YOU STUMBLE AND TUMBLE BE A LITTLE BIT STRONGER THEN YOU WERE YESTERDAY YOU MUST STAND A LITTLE TALLER WHEN YOU'RE FEELING SMALLER DON'T BE AFRAID WE ALL LOSE OUR WAY WHEN FEAR COMES TO GREAT YOU AND TRYS TO DEFEAT YOU DON'T EVER GIVE UP NO KEEP YOUR CHIN UP COME WHAT WAY BE A LITTLE BIT BRAVER BE A LITTLE BIT BRAVER BEA LITTLE BIT BRAVER EACH DAY
What an afternoon. If you are in the area please come and join in the joy of seeing these kids sing and dance to Dodie Smith's classic tale complete with 107 kids on stage and of course everybody's favorite Cruella De Vil.
We played Summerfest in Milwaukee this past Saturday night and as always the good people of Wisconsin turned out in mass to see me and the band. The temperature was near perfect. The only problem was what we thought at the time was a technical problem that had August running off stage and not playing part of two songs. Suddenly at the beginning of Best of Times this horrendous tone overwhelmed the entire stage and August thought it might be his guitar rig acting weird. It wasn't till after the show that we discovered a helicopter was hovering behind the stage causing the problem. Poor Auggy was running around with our road crew trying in vain to stop what appeared to me some crazy low feedback.
I guess I should be happy is was just a helicopter and not a drone.
REO was playing on a stage that faced ours so from time to time when the music stopped we could hear "Heard from a Friend who". Outside of the Ride of the Valkyrie during Best of Times it was a fantastic night.
This week we will playing in our hometown for the big fourth of July celebration in Elgin with Creedence Clearwater Revival. Then after that to the east coast for a very busy July.
A Worthy Cause
While in Ridgefield Connecticut for a concert I will be visiting Newtown for a meeting with my friend Michael Unger to watch a read through by the students from the area who will be performing a revised production of 101 Dalmatians for the 12 14 Foundation. The musical will run from August 6th through the 10th. Michael called a few months ago and asked me to join him in reinventing the show for the Sandy Hook, Newtown community. We have been rewriting some lyrics and book in an effort to make the musical a little shorter and gentler. The cast will be comprised mostly of kids from four to fourteen with a couple of high schooler's and of course Cruella will be portrayed by an adult. I volunteered to play her to save money because we would only have to dye one side of my head black. Michael said I did not look good in heels. Apparently he never saw me in the 70's in my platforms. At one point in the show there will be 107 kids dressed as Dalmatians on stage singing Be a Little Bit Braver, I can't wait. I you live in the area please buy a ticket to support a more than worthy cause. For more info click this link (http://www.1214foundation.org/). Hey that Rhymes.
Wednesday night Suzanne and I attended the world premier of Sting's musical "The Last Ship" right here in Chicago. (Click here to read more about the musical.) I have been following the show since he released his cd of a group of songs he was working on as a basis for a show not yet written.
Someone emailed this photo to me.
I was telling Sting how great the song Practical Arrangement was from the cd as well as the entire musical. How could I not like this show there's a song called Sail Away in it. Randy Newman likes it too.
Very similar to Hunchback in that a songwriter who has never done any Broadway begins with what he know, writing songs. The music on the cd only hinted at what the story might actually become and Wednesday we saw the result. Between the director Joe Mantello and the book writer John Logan a heartfelt and powerful tale based loosely on Sting's life has emerged. The dynamic of fathers and sons and their relationship is at the core of this show and for me contain the most compelling parts. There are other stories being told, one being the loss of dignity when an entire way of life is lost as an industry such as shipbuilding collapses, the other is a love triangle.
First attempts at musicals are a tricky affair but this show was much further along then most I have seen. It was passionate, poignant and polished. Yes that three P's. I really loved the show and told Sting so. Best songs were The Last Ship, Dead Man's Boots, and The Night the Pugilist Learned How to Dance. The very best song was cut which was Practical Arrangement due to character changes. Sting said it would be the first song to a new musical. One can never be sure how a musical will be embraced by an audience but for me this show is terrific. The after party was a place for old reunions. I talked to Jerry Moss former owner of A and M records and to Jeff Frankel who I worked with on the Show me the Way video. Jeff is now at Spotify and we both lamented the loss of the golden age of the music business.
I haven't posted much lately because I have been holed up in the studio mixing the dvd, cd package for Frontiers and the tv show for AXS. That's a lot of mixing since all three are very different. I just received the airing date for the AXS series The Headliners Club of which my show will be one in the series. The date is October 20 2014. It looks and sounds great and I am thrilled to finally have this band and show on video.
Will the real Dennis DeYoung please stand up?
I was watching the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions last night and it struck me after Cat Stevens and John Oates pictures were displayed that there was some eerie 70's cloning going on. As you can see I hold the Let it Be album responsible.
Before this the only guys I ever saw with beards were the Smith Brothers on their cough drop box. Oh and the House Of David baseball team.
Can you name these hirsute guys?
I LIKE THIS REVIEWER. HE SMART
Great weekend in Anaheim and Phoenix with standing room only crowds... in the men's rooms. Back at the Grove and a new place for us the Wild Horse Casino. Read the review
I LIKE THIS REVIEWER AS WELL, HE SMART TOO
Funny thing, back in the day rock journalists were not exactly in the Styx mutual admiration society. Then there was the period where most bands from our era were labeled dinosaurs, now we are vintage or classic's. I prefer this last phase how about you. What comes through in nearly all these reviews is two things, one how great the band is at replicating the original sound and spirit and two my voice and keyboarding. I'm glad I went back to playing because it's too easy for some to forget that I was the guy who came up with that stuff. By the way my hokey moves on stage are on purpose, I can't suppress the desire to be funny and to poke fun at me acting like a 25 year old at this age. I keep telling the ban tonight I'm going to play it straight and be totally rock star as though it were 1977 and then I look at the audience and Jerry Lewis invades my psyche. Besides if I pull out my platforms and satin-pants I could twist and ankle or pull a groin. There I go again. Read the review
Oh what a night!
The DVD CD shoot in LA at the El Rey was simply fantastic. The new set and lights designed and run by my son Matthew truly added a lot to the concert, thanks Matt for all your talent and hard work, you can go to sleep now it's over. Thanks to the AXS people especially Devin De Haven the director, everyone who has seen the footage has raved about it. I will see it some time this week when I open the pro tools files. After the show I had to do an interview with AXS for the tv show and for the DVD so I never made it out to the truck to see any of it. I was told it was in color which is great unless of course we had decided to do a remake of Casablanca instead, "here's lookin at you kid".
The crowd as you will see were quite energetic and sang along mightily throughout the entire concert never wavering. The majority of the audience was new to me and was reflected when I asked how many were seeing me for the first time live. I expected more of you die hards but the distance and the fact that it sold out before we actually were able to promote it caught us by surprise, a pleasant surprise, not like Oh my God Freddie Kreuger is in the rec room and he looks angry.
The band equated themselves very well as I knew they would and it was non stop energy start to finish. Except for the 10 minutes I had to rest from a slight case of the "vapors". "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers". As far as clothes go I told the band to wear something that they have already performed in and felt comfortable moving in. The last thing you want to find out is that the crotch on your new pants are so tight that all your smooth moves have been reduced to an occasional smirk.
Besides if you guys are mostly interested in what I wear at this point you have somehow missed the whole point.
Now the mixing begins for me and the final editing begins for the AXS folks. No date has been set for either broadcast or DVD package but I will let you know as soon as I do. Many thanks to all who helped with this production especially Dave,Tim,Matt and the good people at 100.3 the Sound
Live DVD & CD Release Later This Year
At long last the contracts are signed and I can announce with great pride that Frontiers Records will be releasing the live deluxe DVD, Blue Ray and CD package later this year featuring the show at the El Rey theater for AXS television. I am constantly amazed at the good fortune that has been afforded me at this point in my life. Baby I'm amazed. (Which by the way was what I thought the title of the Mc Cartney song was for years)
I'd like to thank Serafino Perugino the president of Frontiers for his belief and support and for being such a fan, who knew? In a recent phone call I asked him what was it he liked about me other than my wicked good looks and he said your songs and your voice. He has now made a friend for life for not saying my jokes and The Grove Of Eglantine. He told me he loved CarrieAnn and Love at First Sight from Edge of the Century plus all my ballads and that he was looking forward to exposing me to a world wide audience. I asked him if that included Joliet Illinois and he said yes. "Yippie yi yo ki yay" is all that I can say. And that rhymes. He also told me that he would like to have an album of new music from me, wow!
"I wash my hands of your self destruction"
While all these negotiations were taking place I was offered the chance to reprise my role as Pontius Pilate in the new Andrew Lloyd Weber produced "Jesus Christ Superstar" arena tour coming to north America this summer. I thought long and hard about this generous offer knowing that the tour would undoubtedly garner great attention in both the US, Canada and Mexico.The show will be playing in places like Madison Square Garden, Staples Center and Chicago Stadium, venues that would be thrilling to perform in. Oh how I really wanted to take this opportunity. Unfortunately at the same time the tour was being planned I had already agreed to deliver the mixes and the artwork for the live Frontiers project. In the end I decided that the DVD CD was of the utmost importance. My thanks to Clint Mitchell of William Morris for even considering me for this role.
Mr Roboto on Glee
I just finished watching Glee and all I can say is booyah!!!
It was the first time Mr. Roboto ever beat More Than A Feeling at anything, take that Tom Scholz. Oh and take that Neil Diamond and Bono and Edge and Larry and Adam, and...
Obviously I'm kidding. While I was watching I thought, Oh no we're gonna be the bad guys but it really didn't turn out that way. I told Suzanne and CarrieAnn while we watched that I thought the Glee kids were not going to win because from a writing perspective there was more drama and lessons to be learned if they came in second.
Sure enough the plot thickens as the ax falls on the arts, very timely I might add. I sense a resurrection is coming.
It was thrilling to see that they more or less used our video as a template for the choreography, staging and lighting. They even did the bit where the lead singer had his initial outfit ripped away to unveil another underneath. The last time I saw that many Roboto masks in one place was 1982 at the Wiltern theater where it was filmed. I would be remiss if I didn't give credit to those who were responsible for the video so let me thank Kenny Ortega who choreographed the Roboto's, two time academy award nominee cinematographer Steven Goldblatt and the late great Brain Gibson who story boarded and directed the Kilroy film and video.
I remember the first day of shooting, I walked in the theater and saw all the par cans on the floor instead of hanging from truss's above. I assumed they were running late but no Steven told me he had the idea to put them all on the floor pointing up like an upside down world, brilliant. To my knowledge this was a first. Anyway it was certainly cool to see old R refusing to go quietly into the night. DOMO ARIGATO to the Glee folks. By the way good old Mike O'Malley from Perfect Man shows up again with Mr Roboto, it must be in his contract. By the way he told me his favorite album was Pieces of Eight.
It 's been a while since I last posted but we have been working for nearly 6 months putting this thing together. The whole story will follow in the next few days. No man is an Island. (FYI To me this has always meant we all need help from others to accomplish great things.)
- cheers ddy
The Problem's Plain to See Too Much Technology
Over the years I have read that some people believe Kilroy Was Here was a rip off of Rush's album 2112. Mostly Rush fans. So today for the first time ever I looked up 2112 and read the plot line and song list(have I mentioned were in the grip of a polar vortex here and...I'm bored).
Though I have great respect for Rush I have never owned a Rush album and know them mostly from their songs that made the radio,Tom Sawyer, Fly by Night, Closer to the Heart. I was surprised to find that I didn't recognize any of the song titles on this album. I guess what I'm getting at is if there are ANY similarities between 2112 and Kilroy it's totally coincidental.
Remember great minds think alike, unfortunately so do mediocre and stupid ones.
Neill Peart who wrote the lyrics and story of 2112 based his concept on an Ayn Rand book entitled Anthem. He has since denounced his love of her writings and blamed it on the musings of his youth. I have never denounced Kilroy but I do regret not making him Chinese given the way there world has turned. Thank you very much Mr Roboto in Chinese is Fei Chang Xie xie Xiansheng Ji Qi Ren, catchy huh, on second thought.
2112 has the Red Star of the Solar Federation and the temple of the Syrinx. Neil's thinking big thinks here while Kilroy only has little old Dr Righteous and the Majority for Musical Morality. Wimpy by comparison. Hell Rush had the whole damn galaxy no wonder their in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Rush's hero finds a guitar learns how to play it and attempts to bring back the old ways but finds resistance from you know who, the Syrinx cat's. He becomes despondent and commits suicide. Bummer.
In Kilroy Jonathan Chance has the guitar passed to him by his mentor Kilroy and vows to fight to keep rock alive. ("Damn it Kilroy")Does he succeed, who knows, but it's hopeful. However if current music trends are any indication Miley Cyrus's tongue, Lady Ga Ga's designer and Bruno Mars fancy footwork have done more to kill rock music then twenty Dr Righteous's. Face it kids Pop rules!
I could keep blabbering on here but I noticed the sun just came out and it's nearly reached 10 degrees so in conclusion, I never ever knew anything about 2112 when I came up with the Kilroy concept (it would be fun to say it was all Neil Peart's fault) and to me the similarities are oblique at best, besides if you are looking for the originators of these kinds of ideas I suggest Fritz Lang's Metropolis and of course Orwells 1984. By the ray Rush fans Syrinx...Styx...Syrinx...Styx...hmmmm I wonder.
One Hundred Years From Now
This performance was the first time Eric and I ever sang together. That afternoon we rehearsed then let it fly for television and a live radio show simultaneously in front of 200 radio listener winners. The great Stephan Dufour on lead guitar playing his solo from the album. The song went to #1 on all three charts in Quebec. If someone would have told me at 24 that at 60 I would have a #1 song anywhere in the world I would have suggested they empty their bong water.
The Return of Crystal Ball
We debuted Crystal Ball in Montreal and the reaction to August's version was spectacular. So in the set it shall remain. This may turn out to be my favorite song August sings in the show, not to mention the guitar solo. The classic Styx repertoire is now complete. Thanks to the people of Chicago who made this show at the Arcada in St. Charles another sell out.
Set list in St Charles
THE GRAND ILLUSION
BLUE COLLAR MAN
SHOW ME THE WAY
BORN FOR ADVENTURE
TOO MUCH TIME ON MY HANDS
ROCKIN THE PARADISE
SUITE MADAME BLUE
BEST OF TIMES
COME SAIL AWAY
If you loved these songs don't miss this show.
Triumphant return to Toronto's historic Massey Hall. Not the best sound given where the person was standing but hell the love of the audience for this song still amazes me. The first headline show we did in Canada was at Massey Hall in 1976. Thanks Toronto.
This just popped up and thought you might get a kick out of it. Me Tony and Andy chat about forming a power trio and doing Rush covers. Andy was so chatty we could hardly shut him up and I told Tony how I always preferred his voice to Franks which explains his grin. I think I went one more time for a charity event. Overall my view on clubs mirrors Groucho's who once said, "I've got a good mind to join a club and beat you over the head with it". Or "I would never want to belong to a club that would have me as a member".
Click image above to play the video
I was up in Montreal this past weekend appearing on two TV shows, En Direct which is like This Is Your Life
and Belle Et Bum which is a music program both of which are live. Live TV for music is like tight rope walking especially in this circumstance where I rehearsed that day with two different bands and two different arrangements of the songs. The guy Joselito Michaud whose life was being featured told the producers I was his favorite vocalist so they flew me up there in secret as a surprise guest. At the end of the first show we got into a car and went directly to the Belle et Bum show. All in all not bad. God Bless Quebec.
Watching the Oscars last night was like a dagger in my heart. Once again overlooked for my performance in The Perfect Man. Oh sure Daniel Day Lewis had fake ears, a slouch, whiney voice and a big hat but lets' see him act and manage that Roboto head. Maybe next year.
Seth McFarlane began his career with radio bits, one of which referred to me as a disguised disgruntled caller on a radio talk show complaining about Kiss. When the host recognizes my voice he calls me a high pitched voice bastard. Funny stuff. He has graduated to insulting real celebrities. The last song broke the show biz rule of better one song to little than one song too much.
No way would Hollywood let Lincoln win after all he was a Republican The movie was good but a tad reverential. It was Lincoln though.
Figures Argo would win after all the Hollywood community is the hero. I liked Argo.
I am watching Silver Linings Playbook tonight.
Zero Dark Thirty was also very good but committed the sin of not ruling out torture completely. Ms Bigelow please take a seat with Mr. Eastwood.
Jessica Chastain is different in every role. Check out The Help.
Music was the highlight. Shirley Bassey nailed it. Jennifer Hudson was great though I have never liked that song, Les Miz kids were good too. Adele whom I love seemed like her voice may have been giving her problems and Norah Jones whom I also like was out of her element.
Hugh Jackman should have gotten a special award for doing two things at once - acting and singing.
Impossible to compare Lewis and Jackman they are two different animals. If Lincoln had sung Dixie instead of having the band play it... well maybe then.
Didn't see the other movies and don't know that I will.
I love the movies and the Academy Awards but by the time it was over I had to shave again,
Check it out at 7:33 then watch the whole thing. Come Sail Away gets 20 million hits with the help of DC Shoes and Ken Scott. 20 million holy cow.
• See the Video
Rock of Vegas
Thank you to the TFE photographers for all the great photos
Shots from the Drummer's Chair (2012)
Vegas Freemont Street
12,000 at Milwaukee's Summerfest