STYX graces the cover of issue 27 of Rock Candy magazine in a 16-page extravaganza featuring interviews with all six members of the legendary band. And guitarist and vocalist Tommy Shaw doesn't pull any punches when addressing the thorny issue of the lack of recognition the multi-million selling band has received from the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Despite being one of the most commercially successful acts of the '70s and '80s, thanks to hits such as "Come Sail Away", "Babe" and "The Best Of Times", STYX remains unheralded by the Cleveland institution.
"Well we'd love to be in it," admits Shaw in an exclusive interview with Rock Candy writer Malcolm Dome. "But I certainly don't lose any sleep over it. To be honest, I hope we get inducted after I've died. Then at least I won't have to pay $5,000 for the 'honor' of attending the ceremony. Or $10,000, if I want to take my wife."
Despite the fact that there have been over 300 inductees — including acts such as BON JOVI, CHEAP TRICK, DEF LEPPARD and JOURNEY — since the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was established back in 1983, STYX still hasn't been honoured. "That's an absolute travesty," says Rock Candy editor Howard Johnson. "STYX was one of the first U.S. bands to blend progressive rock with AOR, and the commercial success the group achieved pays testament to the special place they hold in the hearts of all rock fans. With eight Billboard Top 10 songs to their name and over 54 million albums sold worldwide in a career spanning almost 50 years, not to mention a fantastic new album, 'Crash Of The Crown', what more does this band have to do to get the recognition they so richly deserve?"
Last month, STYX co-founder Dennis DeYoung told the "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" that he "would like to be acknowledged by the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. STYX deserves to be in there," he said. "Put us in. We qualify on any possible measure. Now, does this sound desperate from an old guy? I hope it doesn't. It's just there are too many of our peers — and I mean peers — many who didn't do as well as we did. And it's time to put us in, that's all. And will they? I have no idea."
Shaw told Meltdown of the Detroit radio station WRIF in a 2020 interview that he is "kind of numb" to the idea of being inducted into the Rock Hall. "And I've been to some of them before," he said. "It was nice to see a bunch of people that I know.
"You know what it's good for? When you go out later and they say, 'members of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.' That's what's great about it," he continued. "But the idea of going there and going through that process, I'm not really looking forward to that. I'd love to be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and I'd go do it, but that part, it just doesn't appeal to me. It's one of those things where you sit in judgment there, and our fans have voted with their feet and with their wallets time after time. So it's the fans that I respect more than a bunch of guys [going], 'Thumbs up, thumbs down,' year after year.
"I just don't understand their standards," he added. "They'll have some songs that aren't a rock and roll song — one guy had one song, and they put them in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. And I'm not bitter about it. But it's just frustrating to be held up to those kinds of standards when all we really care about is our fans."
Still, if he does one day get the call that STYX is being inducted into the Rock Hall, "I'll be honored, I'll go [and] I'll do it," he said. "But I kind of stopped paying attention to whether we qualify for being in there."
Last year, STYX guitarist James "J.Y." Young told the Arizona Republic that DeYoung "deserves" to be in the Rock Hall along with the rest of the band if they eventually get inducted. But he ruled out a possible reunion with the singer, saying: "Highly unlikely. The man sued us in federal court over the use of the name. We settled out of court. So we control the name and he can use it in limited ways, which are very strictly outlined.
"Dennis hates being away from home," Young explained. "I don't need to be next to unhappiness. We have a joyful thing now and I have no economic incentive to do it. It would be throwing the Joker back into the deck to bring him in. And I'm not interested in that.
"A lot of times great works of art come from tortured souls or tortured situations," he added. "And being in STYX was a tortured situation. It really was. A lot of us were very unhappy. In all the success we had, there was no joy. And now there's nothing but joy. From what I've read, a lot of these great works of literature were made by tortured souls. And Dennis is kind of a tortured genius."
Even though artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single, iconic hard rock and metal groups like MÖTLEY CRÜE and MOTÖRHEAD have yet to be recognized by the institution, which inducted GUNS N' ROSES in that band's first year of eligibility.
STYX may have been ignored by the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but not by Rock Candy. Over 16 pages of their latest issue the publication not only brings you exclusive interviews with Shaw, James "JY" Young, Chuck Panozzo, Lawrence Gowan, Ricky Phillips and Todd Sucherman, but also asks bandmembers who were there at the time to dissect four of the band's classic releases, "The Grand Illusion", "Pieces Of Eight", "Cornerstone" and "Paradise Theatre". If you're a STYX fan, this is an issue you simply can't miss.
Read this and many other fascinating stories in issue 27 of Rock Candy.
Rock Candy is available in print format with a free digital download version for anyone who buys the mag online at www.rockcandymag.com.