Return To Paradise: An Exclusive Interview With Dennis DeYoung
by Allan Hirt
Interview conducted via phone on May 18, 1996
This interview is ã 1996, 2001 Allan Hirt and cannot be copied, altered, broadcast, or reproduced without my permission.

This is the interview that I did with Dennis which became the basis of the Keyboard Magazine article. This was done on the eve of the 1996 Return to the Paradise Theater tour - the tour that started the Styx monolith moving again. This interview was conducted prior to John Panozzo's death (so he didn't talk about the main reason John wasn't on tour - understandably), and around the release of Greatest Hits Part 2.

Like the Tommy Shaw interview from 1992, instead of transcribing it all, I've encoded it as a series of RealAudio files (click here to go to Real's site to download free version of the player); this is just over 35 minutes.

There are some moments that make me cringe now in listening to it, but hey, I said 'em. And this interview has the bits where I helped to create, or was the catalyst, for A&M pulling it as Dennis called them right after my interview and the June Samplers were pulled. I know this to be true because at the time, my friend worked in a record store and got the letter from A&M and they sent it back.

Part One (846 KB) - Dennis calls me from a payphone (I apologize in advance for the low levels on Dennis' voice). Dennis talks about "Music Time" (compare it to Tommy's comments from 1992 on the same subject), not breaking up, and history. He has some prophetic words, ironically enough, about bands and what happens in them.
Part Two (736 KB) - Dennis talks about the tour, his keyboard equipment, John not touring, and Greatest Hits Part 2. Dennis is still on the payphone (note the comments for "While There's Still Time" and the famed June Sampler).
Part Three (918 KB) - Dennis calls me from a better phone. "Little Suzie", Hammond B3s (this was prior to him buying the Hammond keyboard for the tour), the lost Styx album/demos, "Lady '95" and career direction, Hunchback, music books & some Allan embarassing moments, the symphonic show, and more are in here.
Part Four (999 KB) - The Styx dynamic, Styx & critics, Kilroy Was Here (album, tour, conceptual video) - some good stuff, collectors stuff, and fans.
Part Five (891 KB) - Fans cont'd, Kilroy redux (some good stuff again), Glen Burtnik, the unplugged set, "Boat on the River", "While There's Still Time" redux, wrapup.