During a March 13 appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", STYX's Tommy Shaw was once again asked about the possibility of a reunion of the DAMN YANKEES, the supergroup he formed more than three decades ago with Jack Blades, Ted Nugent and Michael Cartellone. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think we kind of ran that thing until the wheels fell off of it. And I'd like to just keep it like that. It was a fantastic run. It was just wild and wooly. We made those two records. The first record, that was the shit. The second record, it just started to lose the thing that it had on the first album. And I think everybody else knew that it was probably time to go back to your regular job."
Pressed about whether he would be open to revisiting DAMN YANKEES for a one-off tour or concert, Shaw said: "Michael is a permanent fixture in LYNYRD SKYNYRD, and DAMN YANKEES without Michael Cartellone just wouldn't be right. And we [in STYX] do 90 to 120 shows a year, and you have to go home some time. It's like having two wives, your two families.
"As far as I'm concerned, we had our day. We had big records, we sold a lot of records, we got a lot of airplay, and I just don't know how we would be able to fit all that in," Tommy explained. "I wouldn't wanna tell the guys in my band [STYX], 'Sorry, guys. We can't play any shows for a few months.' 'Cause that's what everybody wants to do."
DAMN YANKEES formed in 1989 and released two albums, an eponymous debut and the 1992 follow-up "Don't Tread". Hit singles included "Come Again", "High Enough" and "Coming Of Age".
DAMN YANKEES has reunited twice since its early-'90s heyday — in 1998 and 2010.
In 1999, A&R guru John Kalodner tried to reunite the DAMN YANKEES for a new album for the Portrait Records imprint, but Shaw's commitments to STYX prevented him from taking a major part in the writing and the recording. Kalodner later told Melodic Rock about the aborted effort: "I didn't think it was quite good enough, and at the time with 80's style rock, you'd have to come up with something pretty spectacular. I was disappointed in the record mostly because of Tommy Shaw's non-participation. I say that was probably the greatest problem. Tommy was totally an integral part of it. He was busy with STYX and it was sort of my mistake because I just couldn't control him. It's one of those projects that I failed on. I mean the buck stops here. It lacked the input of Tommy Shaw."
Shaw previously discussed a hypothetical DAMN YANKEES reunion during a June 2020 appearance on "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk". At the time, he said: "Well, we never broke up… We are all still best of friends. [So] who knows? It's hard, because with STYX, we work so much, and to do that [a DAMN YANKEES reunion], it would mean putting [the members of STYX] out of work for a while. So it's a tough one. But every once in a while, we wind up on the same stage."
Asked if he feels there is some "unfinished business" with DAMN YANKEES creatively and whether he would like to do a record or a song with the band to "put a button on it," Shaw said: "Well, we can always do more. I don't think you can ever put a 'we're done' button on any of the members of the DAMN YANKEES. Who knows? Never say never. And we haven't said never."
DAMN YANKEES image: Warner Bros. promotional photo