In this week’s TOC Theater section, you can read the apex of my journalism career: an interview with former Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung.*
A couple tidbits about this interview that don’t appear in print:
* In setting up the interview, DeYoung left me a voicemail that ended with him saying the following: “Alright? ALRIGHT? ALRIIIIGHT!” Reading this doesn’t do it justice, but imagine his voice getting both louder and higher until he hits the final “ALRIIIIGHT!” in perfect Rock Falsetto.
* When I called him back to set it up, he gave me both his office and cell phone number so I would have no problem reaching him. This was important because he, in his words, has “Rockzheimer’s” and forgets stuff.
* In response to a question about what his wife would say is the secret to staying married to a musician for 38 years, DeYoung mentioned the need for patience, kindness, understanding…and then began reciting the lyrics of “The Grand Illusion”. “I wrote that 30 years ago, it’s all right there.”
DeYoung was a really decent guy, and this was the most fun I’ve ever had during an interview. I’m really happy with the way this turned out, mainly because you really do get a sense of what he’s like to talk to, particularly bits like this:
TOC: Were you exposed to musical theater growing up?
Dennis DeYoung: Absolutely not. I grew up on the South Side of Chicago. I was exposed to the White Sox and “Do you want that beef dipped?”
Somehow, I managed to remain professional and not ask him what the deal was with a song like “Lorelei,” which extols the very un-rock virtues of cohabitation.
* Sorry this blog has exclusively become “Stuff I Do At Work.” I promise to get back to blowhard-y opinions about music and pop culture next week. But come on: “I want that beef dipped” didn’t kinda make your day a little?