Recently, I had to take a business trip to Phoenix. Unfortunately, I had to be gone the night my son graduated from middle school into high school. I promised him we would either celebrate before or after I got back, and he was very understanding.
While I was trying to figure out how to help him celebrate this milestone, I was listening to a local classic rock station, 103.5 The Fox. They were hyping an in-store appearance by the band Styx, one of my favorite bands from my junior high and high school days. “Crystal Ball,” from their album by the same name, is one of my favorite songs, and one I always wanted to learn to play. I finally learned it a couple of years ago. I think Tommy Shaw is an excellent songwriter, and was always the heart of the band as far as I was concerned. I’m glad he’s still involved.
Keith has picked up a love for Styx’s music from his mother and me, so I thought it would be good to take him to meet the band as his graduation present. I took off work early that afternoon, and picked Keith up at home. I didn’t tell him where we were going, but I did play The Fox all the way down to the Tower Records where the band was appearing. The station hyped the appearance several times, but he never completely caught on to what was happening until we arrived. We were fourth in line to meet the band, and picked up four free tickets to the Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Journey concert at Fiddler’s Green the next night (the night before I was scheduled to leave on my trip.)
As I’ve mentioned in these pages before, Keith is quite talented musically. He happened to be wearing his school jazz ensemble shirt, which has a flaming bass clef on the back, and several of the band members commented on it and encouraged him to keep playing. (Thanks guys!) Keith was thrilled to meet the band and get their autographs, and I had Tommy Shaw and James Young sign a piece of sheet music from 1978 (“Sing for the Day.”) Below are the best pictures from the meet and greet.
The band, from L to R:
James (JY) Young, Glen Burtnik, Tommy Shaw, Todd Sucherman, & Lawrence Gowan
Keith watches while Glen jokes and Tommy signs
the cover of their new CD, Cyclorama.
Keith and I pose with Styx. Yes, my 14 year old son is taller than me.
Deal with it.