Behind The Vinyl: “Come Sail Away” with Dennis DeYoung from STYX


It skip? Yup that That style of piano playing Is because I’m an accordionist I played accordion From the ages of 7 to 14 And I never had any piano lessons So If you know accordion players they go that’s how they play its the style So that’s were that That style of playing comes from But Come Sail Away Um It actually comes From what I would consider Um Kind of a A dark period in my life believe it or not The song itself I had written it We had just played the Crater Festival In Hawaii And it was just For a kid who grew up on the south side of the city Chicago in a 2 flat To be standing In the Crater In Waikiki And looking at the beauty of Hawaii it was really a life changing experience so I came back to Chicago were I live And as you people in Toronto know It snows in Chicago and it was one of the worst winters ever and I’m sitting in my Living room were the piano was and I’m looking and there was 6 feet of snow And I start thinking about Jesus Wanting to escape And the yearning to be In a better of different place then what you are STYX had not yet Become The success that they were going to be We had success up here in Canada because Canadians are flat out smarter thats all Equinox and Crystal Ball had been big hits both here in Ontario and in Quebec And throughout Canada But in the States we were still essentially the band who did Lady So I remember standing back stage many times Supporting the likes of every 70’s band from KISS, Aerosmith, ZZ Top you name it Everybody We were like the Bridesmaid never the Bride And there are the guys singing But we missed out on the pot of gold the prefect timing John and I the drummer would stand backstage and look at all the equipment the big guys had like KISS and all the other bands Bob Seger and everybody else And think would we ever have this Will we ever be the guys out there This song Really is about About that idea About The yearning to sail away To a better place whether it’s in your living room and theirs 10 feet of snow or running in Hawaii But for me personally It was about Fulfilling the quest That we begun as kids Because at 14 years old and the Panozzos were 12 we formed a band In my basement And The dream of becoming The Beatles Was First and for most In our minds and we thought after all this time it wasn’t going to happen this was out 7th album Whitch was it released by the way on 7,7, 77 isn’t it cool And there’s 7 songs So Because of that I hate the number 7 Nah I’m just kidding ya So It’s a song about yearning whether it’s angels taking you away Or Space Aliens as it comes up At the second Half of the song But it is the quintessential STYX song in it has The kind of malonic pop ballet That turns into this straight ahead rocker That has this Artsy fartsy Etheorial Prog rock Thing going for it like sydo prog rock because we were never a prog rock band But We just stole from every musical style we made it our own So I wrote this song But the arrangement Really was like so many things in STYX were a collective afford but all the members in the band Um And this part right here This was me imitating thinking of Pete Townshend And Won’t Get Fooled Again Can you imagine it Yup So I’m ripping of Townshend but don’t tell anybody hes got enough money Um And of course than theirs the harmonies and the The over top Over the top popaness of it all god bless it You know what I mean If you want to be little and small This is big stuff to me Big heart on the sleeve Emotions Big music Dynamic And that hook You know Come Sail Away with me Yeah it’s a catchy tune Seems to have caught on So Night after night I see people When I play it I lock arms And sing this In such a heartfelt way I think it myself jeez I wish I had 10 more just like it You know cause Once in a while you will get things right and this happens to be one of them for sure And I remember when I was listening at the album listening party and I turned to my friend and said Tom if that doesn’t do it for us nothing will

100 Replies to “Behind The Vinyl: “Come Sail Away” with Dennis DeYoung from STYX”

  1. September 1st, 1978, CNE Stadium. They premiered 3 songs from Pieces of Eight.
    At the end of the concert, they had a laser projected UFO they got inside, and "flew away" in.

  2. Why all the hate for Dennis? Me no gets. StyX was awesome with him, in fact, it isn't StyX without Dennis. Light Up & Enjoy.๐Ÿ”ฅ ๐Ÿšฌ ๐Ÿ‘

  3. GREAT STORY!!! BEAUTIFUL!!! ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿฅฐ๐ŸŽ€๐Ÿ’žโœจ๐Ÿ‘ผ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’ซ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿงš๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿง๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿงœโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. Always hated this stupid song. Yeah he wrote some of their biggest hits but also some of their worst. Styx got booed off the stage by 60,000 fans when they played that ridiculously stupid Mr. Roboto crap. Tommy Shaw hated playing it and was embarrassed so much by getting booed off the stage he never forgave DeYoung and eventually quit the band. DeYoung let his ego ruin that band.

  5. I donโ€™t know why but the repeated lyrical word of โ€œon board Iโ€™m the captain so climb aboardโ€ always drove me crazy. Seems like it breaks a rule of using the same word twice in a single lyric.

  6. In your โ€œMr. Robotoโ€ ๐Ÿค– videoclip you take a shot at Trump, in this video you say, โ€œCanadianโ€™s are smarter.โ€ Stick with music Dennis, your politics suck.๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ—ฝ๐Ÿฆ…๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  7. I always thought this song by STYX was about a an UFO abduction. and that maybe he would nick an idea of a UFO from John Lennon's "Strange Days Indeed". Even to this day John Lennon has gone on record to say he witnessed a UFO over New York. Seriously folks. But thanks for sharing the "Come Sail Away" story , Dennis

  8. saw the grand Illusion tour in the UK. They were stunning – fabulous performance by a (then) relatively unknown band. i can hear that Who thing now he points it out.

  9. I had these songs with me for 12 years. Kindergarten through 12th grade…everyday…in class… before school..after school. They all facilitated my learning and subliminally shaped my career more than my actual education.

  10. A buddy and i from work do a "what if Dennis sang other peoples songs" at work. We do impressions of him singing like queen songs or zeppelin etc. We find it hysterical.

  11. Look to exume Tommy Shaw's Memphis, TN radio interview in which he brought a live acoustic of Crystal Ball. Improved lyrics a uniquely special gift…1982/83 Beale Street studio. Rock 103. "Used to lye awake at night.., wondering where I ought to be.. where is it I should go..

  12. "if you should see me walking through your dreams.." the exact. Post rls, edit improv shown need of creativ-continuous artistic

  13. I like the guy! What can I say! It's been a great journey listening to Dennis and the rest of the Styx band over so many years.

  14. So, Iโ€™m 54, grew up on Queen, The Who, the Cars, Styx, Boston. Then Rush, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd. Bands back then had analog equipment, you had to learn how to become creative in the studio, etc, and to embrace and learn Synths, etc. Plus they wrote great songs and were/are monster musicians.

  15. This guy is and always was an asshole,his music/band sucked rubber donkey lungs! Fuk U asshole!!! your own band kicked u out!!

  16. You guys produced a ton of great songs and I definitely put the style more in a prog rock vein than he suggests, if only in the sense of they built a distinct sound, and only great bands can do this, that is so distinctly their own that all you need us a few notes to identify a Styx song. You may not be a part of styx today but you are ingrained in their legacy and no one can take that from you.

  17. I liked Styx but liked other bands like The Cars better. I wonder how many drugs Dennis did to be like he is? When he wrote Mr Roboto he must have been Snowblind. Lol

  18. I always knew Styx for the keyboard and guitar work. Then when I came back to them years later, I was amazed by the drum work. In the 70s every band had a great drummer then the 80s came along with their drum machines.

  19. 1978 Wisconsin saw Styx live . I will never forget Tommy Shaw in the bright lights, standing on podium playing the lead to come sail away. It is what made me pick up guitar.

  20. This guy has a bucket full of shit that he wants to sell you since day one. What an egomaniac, narcissist asswipe. What a jerk. You wouldnโ€™t know rock if it bit you in the ass. What a dick.

  21. Everyone that hates him…seemingly hates him for the last thing he did with the band (before the first break-up)…and completely negates everything he did prior to that. And the fact that he didn't quit…Tommy Shaw quit first and Dennis was basically fired (even though he started the band). Get over it. Bands break up sometimes. It shouldn't affect your life on a personal level. Call him narcisistic…egotistical. You could say that about many people…. Waters, Townshend, Lennon…

  22. great clip! Funny and smart , and energetic guy! I loved the Grand Illusion Album in junior high, when it came out…MY Favorite STYX album

  23. that's the best part about Denny he doesn't lie about who he is..that's the Chicago in him doesn't pretend to be somebody he's not..
    it's amazing the ARP Odyssey synthesizer how it opened up so much great music through the years..
    that's simply earned respect right there when you're not afraid to say hey I may be an asshole but okay fine you don't like me find you like cool..
    you don't try to pretend to be somebody you aren't whether you offend them or you don't.

    Dennis also says he played accordion in his youth.. if you look at the cornerstone boat on the river promo video on you will see he's playing the accordion on that. Gary Lozio RIP didn't bring a studio musician in Denny actually plays the accordion on that track.

    unfortunately he never mentioned the great cover by one Stan Cartman๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  24. Dennis is right: Come Sail Away has it all, the pop ballad beginning, the cosmic, spacey interludes, and the hard rocking.

  25. He can write a good song, but will never forgive him for trying to force the rest of the band into being a Cabaret show.
    Also: "Founder/Former Lead Singer/Songwriter of STYX" – CORRECTION: One of the founders. One of the singers. One of the song writers.

  26. I love Styx and am happy for their success BUT….. when this song came out, the radio ruined it for me. It was on like 5 or 6 or 7 times every hour of the day and after a few weeks, I couldn't listen to this song anymore. I still can't listen to it to this day. As far as Styx is concerned, I absolutely love "Loreli," "Madame Blue," the "Pieces of Eight," album plus their epic "Grand Illusion" is a masterpiece.

  27. But he is still a self important prick that ruined Styx in the end with his pompous ass. Maybe I'm the only human alive that always found his contrived vibrato sickening. To hear this jerk tell it Styx was his backing band and he is solely responsible for there success. The real song writing credits tell a diff story. What a ass hat. No wonder they finally booted his ass. So all these yrs later he admits he might have been wrong. But his behavior is the same. I'm glad they put the reins on him early on or Styx would have disappeared as a Cabaret Act. I mean anyone with an ounce of brains knows that Mr Roboto sucks so hard it's not funny. When people get up and leave from an established act in droves it should be an indicator that what you are doing sucks. Let the squishy girls and beta males have him. Tommy and James were the rockers. I keep hearing the line from behind the music that his wife said "Well honey they just don't want you" I'm so glad they didn't take this arrogant ass back into there ranks and hope they never do.

  28. This is by far, my favorite Styx song. I watched it live in 1977, as they opened for KISS, the album was going to be released very soon. They played this live and blew the place up, no one had heard it before. KISS had a phenomenal show, and this was a highlight.

  29. I've watched at least a dozen of these videos, and they almost always miss something. The problem seems to be that the artists are distracted listening to their own songs. The exception was Randy Backman's "American Woman" video. If you're still doing them, maybe you should let the artists raise and lower the tone arm/stylus to talk about part of the song and then lower it and continue. You could edit it down to size later, but I think it would be more interesting and flow better.

  30. Styx is just a cover band without DDY. Being led by Bucky the beaver and the troll doll just makes them pretenders. If it weren't for DDY, they'd never be where they've been. Plain and simple.

  31. Way to insult all of your countrymen….. funny how Americans are stupid…. but everyone wants to be a hit here….remember music is subjective Jack…… from one of those stupid Americans who bought several Styx albums and tapes and CDs….

  32. ๐Ÿค˜Was fortunate enough to see the original line-up. When I tell you they put-on a helluva show! 2.5hrs of blazing rock by some of the most talented musicians ever. Being from that era/70's I've been fortunate to have seen tons of the classic rock bands. STYX is in the top 3.๐Ÿ˜Ž

  33. I have appreciated your music for decades. I sure appreciated many of the lyrics, ie Pieces of Eight is just one example. Thanks Dennis.

  34. Beautiful honesty of a shooting star sharing his inspirations to make music. Everyone should be so creative rather than simply critical. Hope to see Hawaii some day…

  35. Between 69 and 73 they used to play at my high school every few weeks for Friday night dances. They were called TW4 back then. I think one of the band members was from our neighborhood. Anyways, we all thought that TW4 was the best band on the south side of Chicago. I am not sure how old they were back then but they were all excellent musicians even back then.

  36. There's nothing that Styx recorded that I really liked all that much, but what I actively HATED was anything that DeYoung played a main role in…TERRIBLE!

  37. Styx came to Russellville, AR to Arkansas tech and played. It was basically a freebie and hardly anyone knew them. Needless to say, they've been on my playlist ever since.

  38. Funny what he said about the Canadian and especially Quรฉbec early successful market sales. Genesis and others said the same.

  39. Yup, that song was a big deal. Month of July 1977. The green cape cod beach house on New York Ave. L.B.I. N.J. A great summer to be 14. Dreams were still alive. The song transports you right back to what you were doing when…Had a feeling it would be an anthem.
    Any L.B.I.ers out there?

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