Jump to content
DDY Talk
Ron

Dennis discussing playing the hits

Recommended Posts

http://www.pe.com/articles/people-749503-deyoung-songs.html

 

Dennis DeYoung knows exactly why people pay good money to see his shows.

The founding member of Styx is not under any rock star fantasy illusions of grandeur. He knows people pay to see him play the hits, and those classics will be the focus of his set at the Lewis Family Playhouse in Rancho Cucamonga on Friday.

“I view my job, right now, is to give people what they want,” DeYoung said in a recent telephone interview. “I don’t feel ashamed to say it. I know artists always say it doesn’t matter if they hear two of my most famous songs. Our show is 16 songs of ‘You should know them all.’ It’s a luxury, but one I’m not going to ignore.”

DeYoung wrote a number of Styx’s greatest hits including “Lady,” “Mr. Roboto,” “Babe” and “Come Sail Away.”

“You don’t want to leave off a song that someone paid $50-$60 to hear,” he said. “Say you love the band and there are one or two songs that mean so much to you, like they remind you of a moment in time that can’t be replaced. They’re coming there for that reason.”

Even with a number of Styx hits on the set list, fans can also expect to hear some deeper tracks.

“Sometimes we’ll put a song called ‘Born for Adventure’ from ‘Equinox’ occasionally,” he said. “You’ll hear a ‘Light Up,’ you’ll hear a ‘Castle Walls,’ and occasionally songs that are outside of the mainstream knowledge.”

DeYoung might know exactly what the audience wants, but after all these years, he still isn’t sure why his music connects with people the way it has.

“When I did express my true thoughts about my feelings or views and put them to a nice melody, people seemed to like them,” he said. “When I wasn’t honest with myself they tend not to like them as much. I wrote my songs for me, not anybody else. I wanted to please myself first. If I got that part right, it seemed others liked it. Then again I wrote a lot of songs that people could care less about,” he said.

In the 40-plus years since “Lady” was released, DeYoung said he has heard from fans about what those songs mean to them. Those stories stick with him when it comes to performing.

“Anybody who has written a successful song has heard that song meant so much to someone,” he said. “I’ve heard that my songs helped people get through high school or college. Or the lyrics made them think they weren’t alone in the world. I just tell them I was writing it for the same reason, only it was about me.”

In more than four decades of performing, DeYoung said that during shows he can expect when to hear a big reaction—so he looks for unexpected moments to surprise him on tour.

“The great joy is when a positive reaction comes when you least expect it,” he said. “You expect when they hear the first notes of ‘Lady’ or ‘Come Sail Away’ on the piano, that they’re going to respond. But, in the middle when you never get a response and something happens and you get a big response, you’re insanely pleased – until you realize your bass player’s pants have caught fire.”

And DeYoung is all about the audience. From the people who buy his records to those that purchase tickets to his shows, he knows and appreciates what he has been given in life.

“A musician without an audience is homeless,” he said. “You forget the audience and they’ll soon forget you.”

Contact the writer: 951-368-9342 or tguy@pe.com

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“A musician without an audience is homeless,” he said. “You forget the audience and they’ll soon forget you.”

 

That one thought sums up why, outside of the music, I am a fan!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...