As anyone who knows me, reads this blog, or maybe even has just met me in the street knows -- Styx is my all-time favorite band. For those one or two people who might have missed it, I have been a fan since I was 13 years old and first saw them on the newly-launched (at that time) MTV. I immediately went out and spent my allowance and baby-sitting money to buy their albums and continued my pursuit over the years until I owned them all. I have the entire original run on vinyl as well as CD and am still collecting, having acquired the new releases, too. My favorite song is "Come Sail Away," preferably the live version, my favorite album is Cornerstone, and I could go on to tell which song is my favorite on which album, but that's not really the point.
The point is that my station ran the concert The Music of Styx - Live with Symphony Orchestra this past Monday night...and Dennis DeYoung (lead singer, founding member) was live in our studio pledging with our staff! Can you imagine what a moment this was for me?! For 27 years they have been my favorite band, I still listen to their music, I have a Styx-specific playlist in iTunes and a Styx channel on Pandora; I still love the stuff, the songs have held up really well and are still just awesome jams.
So, even though I work the day shift, I stuck around late on Monday -- wearing my Return to the Paradise Theatre 1996 tour t-shirt -- just to meet Dennis DeYoung. Shannon, my anchorwoman, who is about my age, was just as excited as I was; we talked about what a big deal this concert is for folks of our generation. When Dennis had arrived, had make-up, and was settled in the green room to prep for the night, Shannon pulled me in and introduced me. Dennis in turn introduced me to his wife, Suzanne, who was here with him. They are both incredibly nice, down-home, fun people.
Amazingly, I managed to speak coherently, too! I told Dennis how I have been a fan for 27 years and counting, and thanked him for all that his music has meant to me. He noted my tour t-shirt, and I said that I had also seen him in Dayton in 2002. He remembered that show right away -- the second half got rained out -- and I got to share how that is one of my favorite memories, being among the several hundred folks who stuck it out through the storm and stood under blankets in the pouring rain singing "Come Sail Away" at the top of our lungs (miss you, Al and Tom!) before they decided they had to cancel the rest of the show. Shortly after that, prep for the live studio segments began in earnest so I had to get out of the way, but my friends on the crew insisted that I stick around a little longer.
After the first live studio segment was finished, one of my coworkers and I headed down to the studio and I was able to get my picture taken with Dennis and Suzanne. Dennis also noticed that I had brought in one of my albums (Pieces of Eight, pressed on gold vinyl no less -- thanks, Patrick!) and asked me if I'd like him to sign it. I said I would love that and handed him the Sharpie off my ID lanyard (don't all directors carry Sharpies?). I also took the opportunity to show him that the album was on gold vinyl. He joked that it had "yellowed over the years" and I replied that I keep it in the basement (of course, I don't really!). Anyway, he signed my album and I thanked him again for everything. Then I went home and watched the last half of the concert on TV. It was awesome and so was he -- definitely a wonderful moment in my life, one I will remember for a long, long time.