Former Styx vocalist Dennis DeYoung just can't quit Tommy Shaw

DeYoung has not sung with Styx since 1999, but he appears incapable of not talking about Shaw.
Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw with Styx
Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw with Styx / Michael Putland/GettyImages

The history of Styx is a messy one. A lot like many other rock bands. Guys and girls get together, jam for a bit, make a few hit albums, and then begin to bicker. Being in a band is a bit like a marriage only instead of being based on love (one hopes!), the situation is based on creating music.

Perhaps the best-known members of Styx have been vocalist Dennis DeYoung (just don't call him the "voice of Styx" - more on that in a second) and guitarist Tommy Shawn. When the group formed in Chicago in 1972, Shaw was not yet a part. The band still tours, but with DeYoung since 1999.

That is because the band fired DeYoung after he claimed to have come down with some kind of illness. Shaw and fellow band member James Young wanted to go on tour, and DeYoung said he was too ill. The singer was left behind when Styx went out on tour. After a lawsuit that was settled in 2001 - the band minus DeYoung could use the name "Styx" while DeYoung could use phrases such as "formerly of Styx" but not "the voice of Styx" - any tour involving DeYoung was out of the question.

Dennis DeYoung responds to Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw with long, rambling message

That has not stopped DeYoung from commenting on social media about the rest of the band, however, and especially about Shaw. The vocalist seemingly with a real issue about how Shaw goes about selling the group and that includes saying good things about the iconic song, "Mr. Roboto." Shaw apparently never liked the tracks and refused to play it live for many years. Fan request changed his mind.

In a recent interview with, Shaw said of DeYoung, "Most people have a 'resentment list' they’re walking around with. And I just put mine down, one by one (including Shaw's relationship with DeYoung)...We’re playing his songs. We’re gonna play 'The Best of Times,' I played the solo on that, sang, played Vocoder and it’s a brilliant song that he wrote. We’re proud to play it. We give him credit for that, you know?... So, no hard feelings there."

Shaw might not have hard feelings, but DeYoung clearly does. So much so that he must have read the interview Shaw did, screamed loudly, and then took to Facebook to post a long reaction to Shaw's words. He at least added a link to the interview at the end of his rage, erm...I mean, message.

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In part, DeYoung wrote, "A quarter of a century after the fact Tommy Shaw has an epiphany...Tommy raves about BEST OF TIMES calling it a 'a brilliant song'. He goes on to say that (Styx is) proud to play it. Well thanks, T, that's mighty kind of you. And you are correct your solo on the song is sure can pick the right notes given that are so many to choose from. I sure wish you would have invited me back this tour to sing this one."

Most of the message is very tongue-in-cheek and seething with animosity. The whole situation is sad for fans. Styx can be great, but they are not the same without Shaw or DeYoung. Don't we all just wish those two could just get along?

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