Styx Manager Shares Details on Dennis DeYoung’s Firing and How the Band Hasn’t Spoken to Him Since

While producing iconic songs like “Come Sail Away”, “Renegade”, and “Mr. Roboto”, Styx, like many rock bands of the time, found themselves going through numerous growing pains over the decades. Since forming in 1972, the band watched as their fanbase grew. Although excited about their success, the band also watched as members eventually left the group. Again, this is nothing new to rock bands as personalities often clash between rockstars. But according to the Styx manager, Charlie Brusco, nothing compared to when he had to fire Dennis DeYoung. 

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Appearing on The Bob Lefsetz Podcast, Brusco took fans on a trip back to 1999 when the band decided to fire DeYoung. He said, “Tommy (Shaw) and J.Y. (James Young) came to me and said, ‘We got a new album coming out. Dennis can’t tour. We want to go out there without him. ‘And I said, ‘Alright, if we do this – it could work, it might not work – but I’m not gonna go backwards. We’re not gonna go do this for six months and then turn around and go back [to DeYoung].”

Styx Manager Recalls Having To Fire Dennis DeYoung Over The Phone

Coming to an agreement, Brusco added how the members of Styx grew irritated with DeYoung and his dominating personality. “Dennis likes to be in control of everything.” Having no control over what was about to happen, Brusco had the task of firing DeYoung. Deciding to do it over the phone, it went as well as he thought it would. “I called him on the phone and told him, and the reaction was not good. And he said to me, ‘You know that no one will come to see them without me.’ And I go, ‘We’ll see. We’ll find out.’”

[RELATED: Styx Bassist Ricky Phillips Announces His Departure From the Band After Two Decades]

While upset about the decision, DeYoung’s comments about nobody coming to watch Styx were wrong as they continued to perform. Replacing him with Lawrence Gowan, Brusco explained how the decision to fire DeYoung caused a rift that continues today. “I’m pretty sure of this: I don’t think me, Tommy or J.Y. have ever spoken to Dennis since I let him go. I don’t think the three of us have ever had a word with [DeYoung]. A good word or a bad word – nothing.”

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for for York Sisters, LLC)

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