Dennis DeYoung Issues Sharp Response to Styx’s Tommy Shaw

Dennis DeYoung has issued a pointed response to his former Styx bandmate, Tommy Shaw.

During a current interview, Shaw explained how he was in a position to let go of his “resentment list,” which incorporated lengthy harbored animosity towards DeYoung. The Styx guitarist claimed he had “no hard feelings” towards the band’s former singer, adding that he was “honored to play” the DeYoung-penned song “The Best of Times” for the duration of Styx’s shows.

In a message shared with fans through Facebook (see beneath), DeYoung took an acerbic tone.

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“A quarter of a century after the fact Tommy Shaw has an epiphany,” the singer started, noting Shaw’s aforementioned praise for “The Best of Times.” “Well thanks, T, that’s mighty kind of you. And you are correct, your solo on the song is perfect. So is the one on “First Time” — you sure can pick the right notes given that (there) are so many to choose from.”

“I sure wish you would have invited me back this tour to sing this one, it is one of my favorites,” DeYoung continued. “In case you have forgotten there’s a bunch more that youze guys are playing that I could sing and play as well, like ‘Mr. Roboto.’”

As most Styx fans know, “Mr. Roboto” is a point of contention in the band’s history. Though the 1983 single was a huge hit, it is theatrical style – element of the broader futuristic idea album Kilroy Was Here – rubbed some men and women the incorrect way. DeYoung was Styx’s inventive force at the time and the LP has historically been regarded as the starting of his discourse with the rest of the band.

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‘Think of Me Each Night’

DeYoung was fired from Styx in 1999. For lots of years, the band refused to play “Mr. Roboto” in concert. In 2018, Styx added it back to their set list at the request of fans.

“I know you have been playing [‘Mr. Roboto’] as an encore for some time,” DeYoung continued in his current Facebook post. “You also had very kind words for that one as well calling it ‘a timeless song with an incredible arrangement.’ No need for you to come up with any songs about robots when ya got that one in your arsenal don’t ya know. Even though that song isn’t about robots but the concerns I had regarding the technology humans could create. Thank goodness that never happened.”

DeYoung went on to point out that Shaw was an vital element of “Mr. Roboto”’s creation, even if he later distanced himself from the track.

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“But you know that you were there adding the vocoder to the song and that was you me and JY [Young] singing in Japanese that JY’s friend’s parents came up with, man we had fun doing that one,” the singer continued. “All the band members and two engineers gathered round the board, mixing it in real time, each of us with hands on knobs with individual responsibilities, a real team effort. We wanted it to sound like machines had recorded it which even dictated the way John played his drums. It was also why the guitars are underplayed. Guitars sound too human. This song was our way of saying here come the machines.”

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DeYoung closed his message by saying: “It does an old guy’s heart glad to know my ballads and my one foray into techno are still loved by so many of our fans. Think of me each night when the audience goes nuts over ‘Roboto’ and when they get all weepy over ‘The Best of Times.’ I know they will cause I’ve seen it myself countless times these past 25 years.”

Styx’s summer season tour alongside Foreigner is scheduled to run via the finish of August. Meanwhile, DeYoung, who issued his final studio album in 2021, has no touring plans at this time.

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Gallery Credit: Loudwire Staff

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