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2/27/13 8:38 PM
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DasBeaver
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Your pal, Das
2/27/13 8:46 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 02/27/13 8:50 PM
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See... I don't have to click "play" to see what it is. So now I have to decide if I should subject myself to that just for you, Das. Just for you. VTFU for the thought.
I'm still thinking.

By the way, I thought the VH1 'Behind the Music' on Styx was possibly the greatest thing I've ever seen on television. It was thing of wonder and beauty. And poignancy. And deep, deep belly laughs.
2/27/13 8:54 PM
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DasBeaver
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Don't watch it! No, watch it!

I still need to see that Behind the music, sounds so great. I got an email that Dennis DeYoung is playing near me and it reminded me of your love for STYX.
2/27/13 9:16 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 02/28/13 11:43 PM
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Oh... so I've held forth on all that. Yeah, I forgot.

I did a lot of searching for a copy (VHS, DVD, whatever) of that VH1 episode many years ago. It was never re-broadcast, it was never released, because of all the upset it caused, primarily to Dennis. I was saddened by that, but understood. I still hold out hope that somebody recorded it and it will be available unofficially, somehow someway. There was an updated "remastered" version that cut out some of the very best parts. It's still worth seeing just for the Kilroy footage....

I know you don't deserve this, really, you're too good a guy. But in the interests of science...: http://www.vh1.com/video/behind-the-music-remastered/full-episodes/behind-the-music-remastered-styx/1677385/playlist.jhtml



I also think I told you the story of running into whats'is-name, the guitar guy who sings high... and being talked out of engaging in conversation.

Yeah, I clicked play. I got the strings intro and then about halfway through the first stanza when the vocals came in.

I'm not kidding when I say it was even worse than I predicted.
2/28/13 10:03 AM
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DasBeaver
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Awwww, not available in Canada! It will be my mission to find this, I've heard too much to turn back now.

I don't recall your guitarist story, was it Tommy Shaw? There is an unrelated story I don't know if you've heard. I had a friend who used to install satellite dishes in Chicago, back when they used to be monstrous planetarium looking things. This guy was a serious musician into serious music, and hated pop music.

So he goes to install a dish at some mansion, which happens to be Dennis DeYoung's place. According to him the job took a few days, it was summer so all the windows were open, and DDY sat at his grand piano all day, everyday, composing and singing along to his new musical. I can't remember the name, but it was along the lines of 'hobgoblins.'
2/28/13 12:11 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 02/28/13 6:14 PM
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Well.. the "remastered" version that is available does, indeed, cut some of the stuff the band regretted allowing out there in the first case. And that means it is missing things that do specifically relate to my almost-encounter with (yes, thank you) Tommy Shaw.

There's a big segment of the original broadcast about the band hating "Babe", which was a huge hit. And Dennis being all kinds of attached to it because it was written for his wife. There's an interview with his wife, who is wearing a low-cut dress, cleavage soundly cleaved by a big cross on a necklace. Tearful about the cruel treatment of this beautiful song, her song.

Dennis appears as gay as can possibly be, but closeted to himself, and attached to "Babe" for that reason. (I don't know for sure this is the case, mind you, but that's the subtext of the video for anyone with ears to hear and eyes to see).

After Tommy joined Damned Yankees....

They parodied "Babe". Tommy would start to play it, and The Nuge would come over, rip the guitar from Tommy's hands and smash it in disgust.

Dennis and his wife were truly, truly, deeply, inconsolably, hurt by this.

Tommy "didn't mean anything by it". He was so apologetic and sweet, after the fact, agreeing with the assessment of himself-as-asshole in the situation. Tears. Like, TEARS from Dennis and his wife.

And the "what next" section first talks about Dennis doing the Vegas act with strings.... and also being (I believe) the musical director for.... Liza Minelli.

Ok, the gay is outed on a whole 'nother level to everyone but the protagonists at that point. Never mentioned explicitly, but again.... just watch it with someone. Anyone. And watch yourselves exchange the knowing looks when "... for Liza Minelli" is the end-game for Dennis.

Just amazing, heart-touching drama.
2/28/13 12:17 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 02/28/13 11:45 PM
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So literally... a week or two after this was broadcast, I was shopping for broccoli and lemons and potatoes at the farmer's market in Hollywood.

And I get caught staring at a statuesque blonde. Not even "my type" but undeniably gorgeous, and taller than everybody else in the vicinity. She Stood Out. So I'm staring, from 15 feet away. My girlfriend asks (very confusingly) "Is that Tommy Shaw??"

And my immediate, internal reaction is "I'm pretty sure Tommy Shaw is not a super hot lady...." But then I notice, the woman is the arm-piece of this much shorter dude. And of course, it's Tommy Shaw. And of course he pulls that kind of tail.

I tell my girlfriend, "I'm gonna go tell him to NEVER mess with 'Babe', man...."

This, I was talked out of. In part just because my girlfriend did, recognizably, have more sense than I did. And in part because I remembered trying to be funny when I met Charlie Haden, and just confusing and scaring him. Which I felt really bad about.

The blonde was smokin', though. Encounter avoided. Or scuttled.
2/28/13 1:59 PM
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DasBeaver
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I'm pissing myself already. Even if I can't find it, your description will stay with me, haha. Thanks for that.

You can safely stop reading now.

Maybe Tommy Shaw really does have a crystal ball!
Maybe his jig really is up!
Maybe he's got more in his hands than too much time!
Maybe he prefers keeping his eye to the keyhole!
Maybe he took his best shot and didn't blow it!
2/28/13 2:16 PM
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hugomma
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Edited: 02/28/13 2:21 PM
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LMFAO.  I really wish you would've fucked with Tommy Shaw rather than Charlie Haden.

BTW, what exactly did you do to Charlie Haden?!?

2/28/13 2:23 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 02/28/13 2:27 PM
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LMFAO at "hobgoblins", too, btw.

I'll tell the Haden story soon... it'll take a bit of typing. And it's not nearly as clear and funny (so don't get your hopes up). I made a joke, but what really bothered him is that I grabbed his lapel in doing it. And he recoiled, not knowing what I was up to. It was a bad move, honestly, in retrospect. But I was trying to be funny and I thought he'd get it. Nope. But, while I didn't move super fast or anything, the physical gesture was startling. And celebrities get attacked by crazies, so ... I regret it. I see why he was focused on some dude "grabbing" rather the the whole context. I see why even though it wasn't in any way fast or violent or whatever... it's in his peripheral vision, and some dude just grabbed his lapel.

Bad, bad, me. I didn't mean it.
2/28/13 2:28 PM
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hugomma
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Ali - LMFAO at "hobgoblins", too, btw.

I'll tell the Haden story soon... it'll take a bit of typing. And it's not nearly as clear and funny (so don't get your hopes up). I made a joke, but what really bothered him is that I grabbed his lapel in doing it. And he recoiled, not knowing what I was up to. It was a bad move, honestly, in retrospect. But I was trying to be funny and I thought he'd get it. Nope.

Hobgoblins...man I'd love to hear THAT.

YOU PUT YOUR HANDS ON CHARLIE HAYDEN?!?   

Oh man...LMMFAO!

2/28/13 2:30 PM
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Ali
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Yes.. I put my hands on Charlie Haden. Or his clothing. Fuck me. Unlike Frank (S, not Z), I do not have too few regrets to mention. That is one of them.
2/28/13 2:35 PM
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hugomma
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I can't listen to this at work (& don't want to for any other reason than science), but I think this is what your friend might have heard, Beave.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_DeYoung#Post-Styx_career 

In February 2000, DeYoung was approached to perform a concert featuring his many songs from Styx, as well as his solo works and his 1997 stage musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame, with an orchestra. The show, performed at the Rosemont Theatre in DeYoung's hometown of Chicago, was a family affair for DeYoung. His wife Suzanne and sister-in-law Dawn Marie Feusi sang backup, his daughter Carrie Ann was in charge of publicity, while his son Matthew designed the stage lighting. The concert was well received and formed the basis for a touring version of the show, and eventually an 2004 album, The Music of Styx - Live with Symphony Orchestra.

2/28/13 2:38 PM
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hugomma
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Inside the mind of a musical genius...being a genius.

2/28/13 3:27 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 02/28/13 11:49 PM
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I'm still recovering memories from that one viewing of the original Styx: Behind the Music.

So the band has this division, now.... because a bunch of guys want to ROCK. And they can, sometimes. Never mind that their idea of rock includes really square and bleached out march rhythms. But their popularity, their hits, are all (like ALL) being written by the ersatz musical theater guy, Dennis. That's the paycheck. And it's making them miserable.

Things got really crazy problematic on the Kilroy tour. There was a 20 or 25 minute dialogue sequence done with bad robot costumes before the first song was played. "But Mr. Roboto, your ways do not allow free will..." talk, guys in silver-painted cardboard. Audiences were getting crazy, hating that. Restless, throwing things, START THE SHOW, like, because there was no music.

Yet, this was Dennis pushing his vision, and he wrote all the things the audiences actually *bought*, the singles, the records.... the hits that got them in the seats.

So conflict, drama, everybody's right, No good guy or bad guy, just a disagreement.

Tommy in particular just seems like the nicest dude ever. In his extreme frustration, his disgust, at his worst.... he's still the nicest guy ever. He explains the conflict that arose from Dennis controlling all of the musical direction, and not allowing them to record their rockers. Dennis says he didn't stop anybody from contributing. Tommy's take on it was:

"Dennis kept telling us we should bring in our own material, we should record it, it shouldn't all be him. Bring a song. But.. I just... I just didn't have any songs about robots..."
2/28/13 4:11 PM
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hugomma
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Let's see if this works...

2/28/13 7:14 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 05/23/13 11:30 PM
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This "remastered" one is not nearly as good in that it's missing the sort of thing I describe above. They do touch on some of it, and breeze through it. No Suzanne DeYoung tearing up over "Babe", no Liza Minelli mentions... all that .

So if you haven't seen the first one, and don't read into the conflict I'm guessing there is between Dennis' Christian family thing and his... not that... then it's not so amusing at 4:24 - 4:26, when he stutters, deciding it's ok to say "hotter than ... hotter than hell". A minute or so later, the story of the beginning of the band, I love this sentence: "John Panozzo was playing drums and his brother Chuck was on guitar. Dennis thought his accordion would fit right in...." That really could have ended it. That summarizes the whole story in one thought.

They go on to say how divisive "Babe" was. But all the fallout, the tears, the footage of Nugent smashing Shaw's guitar or the big cross around Suzanne's neck as she's showing the butt-hurt over it, all of that.... CUT. They do talk about the encounter in the elevator when Dennis told Tommy how hurtful he was being and Tommy promised to stop. But it's just glossed over very quickly. You don't get the drama, the sheer butt-hurt humanity....

Also, the retention of some of the conflict around Mr. Roboto/Kilroy is here. So that's worth seeing. Also cut short. But we do have Tommy saying "Dear god, let's not do another concept album...." right before they do the biggest, gaudiest concept ever. "Mr Roboto your statement has no meaning, you are in error". At 16:17, Tommy says: "I just kind of came up empty. I couldn't think of any songs about robots".

Tommy DRIVEN to drugs and drink by the musical-theater crap.

Thing is, this remastered version just blows by most of all this at triple speed, skipping the painful details.

And again, at least we get Tommy talking about hating the Roboto tour, going over badly, and now having to play that crap in a Texas stadium? He's just flabbergasted: "In a few minutes, I'm going to have to go out there, and stand there for ten minutes and say... "But Kilroy? What about the young people of America?"... They're going to kill me... I'm going to die in Texas."

Promotions director guy says "By the end of Roboto, you could see there was a traffic jam trying to GET AWAY from the stage version of Roboto...."

24:36, Tommy tells the "Babe" Damn Yankees story. And Dennis runs into Tommy in the elevator... the story is told! But again super fast. Tommy tells he promised not to make fun any more. No Suzanne. No tears. Argh. Also a LOT less footage of Dennis in his spandex, wide-striped t-shirt striking poses like Pippin. That was an integral part of the Babe story, properly understood, in the first one.

The revival stuff... I loved that South Park episode with Cartman singing "Come Sail Away", but had no idea that this created a revival in interest or sales for Styx. Amazing. That and everything else from there was not in the first version, that's latter-day history.

For one extravaganza tour they joined REO Speedwagon, Journey, and Boston. Read that again. I just don't know what to say. I am regaining my religion. At least the "hell" part of it.

Sorry to be a schoolmarm, but it struck as really funny that the manager guy at 43:14 clearly doesn't know what the word "mutual" means.

Anyway... a longer story told in less time, so missing the loving details that made me chatter so much about the original Behind the Music. But there are some good moments. Those dudes, one and all, seem like really, really good guys. And the music makes me ashamed of every caucasoid strand of DNA in my genome.
2/28/13 11:19 PM
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hugomma
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"the sheer butt-hurt humanity...."

"For one extravaganza tour they joined REO Speedwagon, Journey, and Boston. Read that again. I just don't know what to say. I am regaining my religion. At least the "hell" part of it."

"And the music makes me ashamed of every cacausoid strand of DNA in genome."

AND YOU PUT YOUR HANDS ON CHARLIE HADEN!

I'm dying over here...no really...my kid's trying to sleep & just asked me to "laugh more softly".

 

 

2/28/13 11:23 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 05/23/13 11:31 PM
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supposed to have been "every caucasoid strand of DNA in my genome". Fixed now.
And somehow I called Dennis DeYoung "Vince" forty times, after Das already typed Dennis first. That's fixed now, too.
A different Haden story is told on the Haden thread... which I thought was classic (classic Haden, not classic me). I'll get to the "hands on" story next. It's harder to tell. "I'm an idiot" is the summary, though. That one is classic me.
3/1/13 11:33 AM
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DasBeaver
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Damn, video won't play and I missed the Haden story!

This uncut version sounds too good to be true, there must be a way to find it. The DDY/Vince thing confused me for a while there.

I remember the Mr Roboto tour very well, it was one of my first concerts (my old man took me). I don't remember much of the opening movie, but I remember these rockers behind us getting pissed about 1/2 way through (was it like 25 minutes or something?) and screaming a lot. My dad was laughing and saying, 'concerts sure are a lot different than when I was a kid. They used to be a lot more music-ey.'

In retrospect, you yelling guys came to see STYX. You were old enough to make an informed decision. Ya kind of deserve it.

Hunchback, that must have been it! Haha.
3/1/13 11:56 AM
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Ali
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Edited: 03/01/13 5:57 PM
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No, I've given several warmups to the Haden story.... no doubt it will be a letdown after all that. But you haven't missed it. It's still coming.

My long narrative post describing this "remastered" version was really meant for you. I figured the link was just to the same banned in Canada version, and you'd want to know just exactly how little you were missing!
3/1/13 4:44 PM
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hugomma
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Edited: 03/01/13 5:08 PM
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For what it's worth, somehow, I knew what you meant by "Vince".  He LOOKS like a Vince, of the gayish variety; not the tough kind.  Athough it's possible that one guy could be gay & tough, like Val Kilmer in "Kiss Kiss/Bang Bang."  But I regress.

Now I wanna write a song about a gay hobgoblin...

5/23/13 11:33 PM
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Ali
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ttt for the gay hobgoblin song.
5/24/13 9:21 PM
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Majic Sam
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I have to partake in this thread,and not sure why...might be the shrooms kicking in.

I recall at 12 years old hanging out at my older cousins bandroom feeling groovy cuz the Italian drummer dude was letting me have a go on his Pearl drums.I had just started playing on my crappy kit a year earlier.Dude said I sounded pretty good,for a kid.I so wanted to belong cuz I worshipped these guys,and their cover band,REDLINE...They played sockhops AND house parties!

Trying gain acceptance in the click,I gushed about how much I was into John Bonham and Keith Moon and thought that they were THE BEST.Italian guy was totally serious,"No way,John Panozza from STYX is the best.Better than those guys."I just about died.I thought the Italian was the king of cool,up til then...He wouldn't hear of it no matter how much I would plead my case.I'm thinking,WTF,I'm 12 and Guido here is 17.What is wrong with this picture?

Anyway,I think that the late,great John Panozza was indeed a fine drummer,just listen to Madame Blue...It took years for me to realize that Italians will always support other Italians without question,come Hell,or high water.
5/24/13 11:37 PM
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soundoff71
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Edited: 05/24/13 11:50 PM
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Do I really wanna contribute to the madness?!?


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