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B. Miller

Grand Delusion

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In my ongoing quest to find some DDY solo songbooks on amazon, i keep getting The Grand Delusion: Unauthorized Story of Styx, or whatever its called. I looked at a few of the reviews for it and i was wondering if anyone on here read it, and what a real fans take on the book is. I have a feeling its not something i would want to read, and the info is probably either wrong or not the complete truth.

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The book is probably the most complete history of the band that has been published to date. The author tells the history of Styx relying on quotes from a lot of the people involved. However, it does have some drawbacks:

  • The only band members interviewed for the book were Glen and Todd. The author referenced an older interview he did with Tommy that was done about ten years prior when his status with the band was much different than it was when the rest of the book was written. It is also said that Todd was unhappy with his contributions in the book, although I do not know why.
  • Some people tend to look at the past through rose-colored glasses, and their personal perspective may not lend itself to telling the complete story of what or why things happened.
  • There are some horrible things about Dennis in the book. While I respect the people who the author quotes because they do explain why they have a negative opinion about Dennis, you have to remember that this is one person's opinion about another person. That does not make it fact, even if it is printed in a book.

It is a good read if you want to see the inner workings of a band. I feel that several of the people that make negative comments about Dennis also show that they are not exactly the greatest, either. Some of the negative opinions that I have regarding some people is because of their own quotes in this book. There are also some very good quotes from people that understood Dennis' vision. It shows that Dennis did not "ruin the band because he wanted to go Broadway and the rest of the band wanted to rock", although rather weakly. I think this common misconception is the one thing that upsets me most about the band, because when you look at the history of the band, it simply isn't true.

Maybe someday Dennis will compile his notes and write a book. Until then, this book is the best thing out there.

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Sterling Whitaker is the author. He is a member here so he might chime in on this one... everything you hear or read has to be taken with a grain of salt. The only folks that know the facts are the band members.

 

I'm not a big reader, I skimmed through it, it had alot of interesting stuff. All in all I think Sterling did a good job with it.

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Ok, thanks for the info. I was very unsure about it, but it sounds like i should at least give it a shot! I just wanted to make sure it wasnt more mindless Styx bashing like most media likes to do.

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No mindless bashing. Sterling makes a good effort to present opinions from many different viewpoints; and for the most part when someone does say something negative, they explain why they feel that way.

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Whenever I read these kinds of books or articles I almost always come away with the same thing. These are people just like any of us. Some folks are going to like them personally and/or professionally, and the flip side... Relationships evolve, personalities change, the whole normal march through life stuff.

 

Styx for a loooong time managed to keep that air of mystery about the band and inner circle. And I think that served them very very well. But when your putting yourself out there, and attain that celebrity, all the stuff folks dont know becomes a commodity. The curiosity of humans more often than not is satisfied some how. When you see unpleasant things said, you have to empathise with them. But at the same time you know its a price thats paid for the fame.

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I found this book a interesting read. In fact, I need to give it a second one. My thoughts after reading it were this: Dennis became the point person in the band. When that happens that person seems to get the blame for both the good and the bad. JY seems to be just as uncompromising as Dennis was. Add TS' substance abuse into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. Judging by the success the band had they shouldn't have too much to complain about. Dennis has said that as a group becomes more and more successful each member tends to feel their own contributions were more important to that success then their band mates. This is so true when it comes to Styx. Sure, Dennis has talked about how his ideas, material and decisions helped bring success to the band. In the same breath though he is always quick to point out it wouldn't have been possible without all three of them involved. He really seems to get just how special that combination was. Sadly, I don't see that being the same for JY and in some respects TS. .Anyone who thinks that the only one that wanted power and control over Styx was Dennis is kidding themselves. It seems to me that the general consensus sees it that way but, their dead wrong. Read between the lines folks. I credit Sterling for doing a very good job of presenting the material that was available. I too wish for Dennis to put together a book about the band. Hopefully some day that will happen.

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I found this book a interesting read. In fact, I need to give it a second one. My thoughts after reading it were this: Dennis became the point person in the band. When that happens that person seems to get the blame for both the good and the bad. JY seems to be just as uncompromising as Dennis was. Add TS' substance abuse into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. Judging by the success the band had they shouldn't have too much to complain about. Dennis has said that as a group becomes more and more successful each member tends to feel their own contributions were more important to that success then their band mates. This is so true when it comes to Styx. Sure, Dennis has talked about how his ideas, material and decisions helped bring success to the band. In the same breath though he is always quick to point out it wouldn't have been possible without all three of them involved. He really seems to get just how special that combination was. Sadly, I don't see that being the same for JY and in some respects TS. .Anyone who thinks that the only one that wanted power and control over Styx was Dennis is kidding themselves. It seems to me that the general consensus sees it that way but, their dead wrong. Read between the lines folks. I credit Sterling for doing a very good job of presenting the material that was available. I too wish for Dennis to put together a book about the band. Hopefully some day that will happen.

Exactly this. It seems to me that Dennis had a level of humility about him in his willingness and desire to bring more focus to Tommy when he entered the band. Somehow, Tommy appears to forget this, as is evidenced by his later behaviors.

 

In general, I felt the book was fairly written.

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Exactly this. It seems to me that Dennis had a level of humility about him in his willingness and desire to bring more focus to Tommy when he entered the band. Somehow, Tommy appears to forget this, as is evidenced by his later behaviors.

 

In general, I felt the book was fairly written.

 

I agree. Dennis never seemed to have a problem sharing the spotlight. He did the same kind of thing when Glen joined Styx for EOTC. Their was quite a bit of focus on Glen's material for that album. It also seems to me that JY never really stepped up to the plate when it came to writing after the WN albums. Just why that is can be anyone's guess. Tommy seems to forget or remember differently on quite a few things. Like if it hadn't been for Dennis giving him the green light to join Styx he may have never gotten past playing that bowling alley in Alabama.

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Boomchild is spot-on. "Crystal Ball" and "Edge of the Century" 's title tracks were courtesy of the respective new guy in the band.

 

Glen even said at the time that here he was joining this mega-band and they wanted him to contribute and not "stand in the corner and play rhythm guitar."

 

Beyond generous in my opinion.

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