The Times I Met StyxI have been lucky enough to have met all the members of the band, except John, on more than one occasion. In chronological order, here's what happened (... remember, some of these things happened almost 20 years ago, so my memory may not be perfectly accurate):
Summer, 1979 - I meet JY's wifeGrowing up in the suburbs of Chicago, there was always someone who knew someone who knew someone in the band. As it turned out, a couple of high school girls who came in once a week to help my mom clean the house saw all my Styx memorabilia and mentioned that they knew where JY lived! I, of course, was desperate to know where his house was, and pumped them for details. A few days later, I hopped on my bike and rode to a nearby town, looking for the place they'd described. I found what I assumed to be His House. The front door was open, through the screen door I could see the back of a person with long blond hair. It must be JY! With the brazenness and timidity of a 14-year-old Styx fan, I knocked on the door, and discovered my error when the person turned out to be a lovely woman - JY's wife, Susie. She asked, "Can I help you?"
I blurted out, "Is this where JY lives?"
She nodded. I asked if he was home, and she replied that he wasn't. Trying to think of SOMETHING else to ask, I said, "Can you tell me what his favorite kind of cake is?"
She smiled and replied, "White, with butter-cream frosting."
I thanked her and left, my heart pounding.
November 14, 1979 - I meet JYFortified with the knowledge that I was, in fact, making JY's FAVORITE KIND of cake, I baked him a birthday cake and boarded the train to take it to him. (Fortunately, he lived within walking distance of the tracks, as did I. This was certainly not the kind of thing I could get to him on my bike.)
My heart in my mouth, I walked the few blocks to his house. I made my way up his driveway and knocked on the door.
I knocked again.
Discouraged, but not about to give up, I sat down to wait.
I waited. I waited some more.
I was thinking pretty seriously about leaving the cake and going home when suddenly - a car pulled into the driveway.
JY and Susie got out of the car, carrying armloads of groceries.
I stood up, greeted them, and told JY I had brought him a birthday cake. He opened the door and invited me in (!!!). I stood just inside his front door as he put down his groceries, took the cake, and chatted with me for a moment. He offered to give me a Cornerstone poster, but I told him I really just wanted to give him the cake and I didn't want anything from him.
He walked me to the end of his driveway. I told him how important Styx's music was to me and said "You saved my life", and he thanked me and said " ... Are you sure you don't mean Tommy?" I assured him that all the guys in the band were important to me - family and friends to me. We continued chatting as we walked. JY pointed out a plastic garbage can and joked that it was filled with slime (the guys had discovered that "slime" stuff they were selling in toy stores and novelty shops that year and had had quite a time with it on their tour). I can't remember anything else he said, but I felt completely at peace, full of joy, having just talked to JY, given him something I had made, told him how much he meant to me.
May, 1982 - I meet John CurulewskiIn May of 1982, I was about to turn 17 and I was finishing up my senior year of high school. (I graduated a year early because I was so anxious to move out and be on my own.)
One day, my brother came in and showed me an ad in the Illinois Entertainer, the local music magazine. The ad was for a recording studio run by John Curulewski. I was most excited and decided I needed to call and book some time - not because I had anything I particularly wanted to record, but because I HAD to meet JC.
I called the studio (it was called, aptly enough, The Studio) and spoke to JC's partner, Chuck Piper.
(Sorry, it's taking me a while to write this ... I'll keep going later.)
May, 1983 - I meet Tommy (sort of)
? - I run into JY
? - I run into JY again
Summer, 1990 - I meet Tommy for real
Summer, 1995 - I meet Dennis
Summer, 1996 - I meet Chuck and go backstage
July 26, 1997 - I meet all the guys at the instore
November 18, 1999 - JY remembers me and I meet Glen
Last edited by Kristi Wachter, Racer Records, December 11, 1999.