Dennis DeYoung Says the Promoters Are Forcing Styx to Play ‘Mr. Roboto’
Last month, Styx keyboardist Lawrence Gowan said that they had been considering adding 1983's "Mr. Roboto" to their set lists for five years before finally acquiescing on their most recent tour. But original lead singer Dennis DeYoung said in a new interview that it wasn't a change of heart by the band, but rather a directive from the promoters.
Speaking to Mitch Lafon, he dismissed the notion that he should make the peace with Tommy Shaw and James Young because 20 years have passed since they moved on without him. "I could forgive anybody," he said. "I belong in the band because the fans want it, and it should be that way. That's the magic. And people say, 'Come on, we're too old.' Those guys, for 20 years, have led a campaign to discredit me personally and professionally, and they've never given it up. Not even now, when ... they're playing 'Mr. Roboto' now."
He then rattled off three massive hits that he wrote, "Babe," "Don't Let It End" and "Show Me the Way," that don't feature in Styx's set lists. "The only reason they're playing 'Mr. Roboto' now, Mitch, is that the promoters have demanded it ... because they're the ones that put up the money to take the risk to give you the money to play in your town."
DeYoung, who recently concluded a tour of his own celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Grand Illusion, spoke about how he held out hope for Shaw to return after he quit in the middle of the tour in support of Kilroy Was Here. While the others wanted to replace Tommy, DeYoung, feeling that the quintet had a unique chemistry, didn't want to go out as Styx without Shaw, so he struck out on his own as a "reluctant solo artist. I thought Tommy would do a solo album, get it out of his system, and come back. He didn't until all three of his options were used up. That's when he called me in 1987, and JY [James Young] called me every year, sometimes twice a year, and asked me the question, 'Are you ready to replace Tommy?' And I said, 'No, it's not gonna change.' I believed, Mitch, and still believe, the magic was when we were together. So, becoming a solo artist is nothing I ever aspired to. I don't wanna be a solo artist. I wanna be in Styx."