QUICK TAKES

  • Former Styx frontman and main songwriter Dennis DeYoung is reveling in the fact that the band has finally included “Mr. Roboto” in its concert setlists — following years of remaining members J.Y. Young and Tommy Shaw publicly disavowing the 1983 DeYoung-written hit. In a lengthily Facebook post, DeYoung, who was forced out of the band in 1999, spoke to fans about the song — and by extension himself — finally being validated. DeYoung posted: “It’s just two guys finally admitting the obvious. People like it. Can’t imagine how many times the boys were asked the question ‘hey how come you ain’t playing Roboto?’ (Millions) wanted to hear it. But no, this song ruined the band. And so now, 35 years later nearly to the day, June 2nd, 1983 Tommy quit the band on stage in D.C. because of Kilroy (Was Here) and ‘Mr. Roboto’ and now it’s resurrected. Hallelujah. A whole bunch of time has been spent over the last 18 years denigrating Kilroy (Was Here) and ‘Mr. Roboto’ and yours truly. Why? Why? In light of this move ‘is a puzzlement to me.’ Well he’s baaaaack! Like a bad penny or a wooden nickel or simply a damn catchy tune; your choice. Tap your foot and sing after me, Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto, rinse and repeat.”
  • DeYoung went on to write: “I imagine it will become obvious to them when they perform it. . . what they have been missing. It’s something I have known for 18 years. And that is. . . people will go bananas when it’s played cause they like it, it’s fun. It’s that simple, and a whole bunch of Styx fans became so after hearing this song. They then went back and bought the catalogue. I know this because I have read it and heard it from fans countless times. Also, the song was placed in the most prestigious spot in their show, the encore, a spot reserved for the big ones. Usually ‘Come Sail Away’ or ‘Renegade.’ Wow that’s a reversal of fortune from derision and ignominy to the encore. Good for ‘Ro’ I wish I knew his secret. . . secret secret. Perhaps he’ll share it with me and one last reunion tour will happen. By playing this song after all the vitriol it’s an admission, but of what? Kids you tell me. I predict that ‘Mr. Roboto’ will ultimately become Styx’s most popular song over time. Not because it’s one of our best songs, but because it is what it is. Go figure. I never thought it was a hit record when I wrote it and said so then.”
  • In celebration of its 50th anniversary this year, Elvis Presley‘s iconic ’68 Comeback Special will be shown on the big screen on August 16th and 20th. More details, including screening times, locations and ticketing, will be announced in the coming weeks via Fathom Events. The NBC special — originally titled Singer Presents. . . ELVIS, was first broadcast on December 3rd, 1968 and showcased Elvis’ first live performances in over seven years. (Press Release)
  • Co-founding Rascals members Felix Cavaliere and Gene Cornish are joining forces for a string of summer and fall tour dates. With Eddie Brigatti sitting out to focus on his Steve Van Zandt-produced solo show Eddie Brigati: After The Rascals, and drummer Dino Danelli taking a pass, the duo enlisted the help of legendary Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice. In the press release for the dates, Felix Cavaliere explained, “I had an epiphany while performing in Hawaii last year. It’s not about me — it’s about the fans. It’s about the music. I spoke with Gene and he agreed that we can’t take any of this for granted anymore.”
  • Guitarist Gene Cornish added: “There’s something magical that happens when we’re on stage together. We’re going to celebrate these songs for as long as the fans allow us to and give the fans a chance to see us perform live.”
    • JUST ANNOUNCED: Felix Cavaliere and Gene Cornish’s Rascals tour dates (subject to change):
      July 18 – Stamford, CT – “Wednesday Night Live” at Columbus Park
      July 20 – Westbury, NY – NYCB Theatre at Westbury
      July 21 – Toms River, NJ – Count Basie Presents RWJ Barnanas Health Arena
      August 16 – Alexandria, VA – The Birchmere
      August 17 – Orilla, ON – Casino Rama
      August 24 – Anaheim, CA – City National Grove of Anaheim
      August 25 – Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery
      September 9 – – Northfield, OH – Hard Rock Rocksino
      September 21 – Morristown, NJ – Mayo Performing Arts Center
      September 22 – Cranston, RI – Park Theatre at RI Center for the Performing Arts
      September 25 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse
      September 26 – New York, NY – Town Hall
      September 27 – Lynn, MA – Lynn Auditorium
      November 4 – Louisville, KY – The Louisville Palace Theatre
  • Survivor guitarist and songwriter Frankie Sullivan is suing the band’s former frontman and co-founder Dave Bickler for allegedly “illegally using the band’s identity to promote his solo career.” TMZ reported that Bickler, who sang “Eye Of The Tiger,” is being taken to task in using the Survivor name, logo, and artwork to promote his current solo shows. Bickler’s attorney claimed the suit “is frivolous and simply a mean-spirited attempt to harass Dave for the success he is enjoying on his own.”
    • That said, Bickler’s people claim that the band actually features his image in their own promo materials: “which would seem to undermine the premise of their lawsuit.”

Source: Music News