The Outsider: An Exclusive Interview With Tommy Shaw
by Allan Hirt
Interview conducted via phone on September 24, 1992
This interview is ã 1992, 2001 Allan Hirt and cannot be copied, altered, broadcast, or reproduced without my permission.

This is one of the first few interviews I did when I started writing for The Justice. I never thought in a million years I'd interview people who I grew up, to some degree, idolizing. I've since become much more business-like and impartial in interviews, but admittedly, I was still learning the ropes at this point. So take some of the more fan-oriented comments with a grain of salt; this is one interview I now look back and in many ways, would have handled much differently in some regards, and one I use as an example of what not to do. I am really embarassed by some of my comments in here, but hey, I said 'em, and wouldn't ever do this again.

Now, that said, this is one of the most honest and open interviews that I think Tommy Shaw has given. For years in the '90s on the original Styx e-mail list, I said that he would never be back in Styx, and this interview was the basis. He talks about a lot of issues that he didn't historically talk about - and to some, the first you heard were in the VH-1 Behind The Music and which came out around the time of the now well publicized split between Styx (i.e. James Young, Tommy Shaw, et al.) and Dennis DeYoung in 1999. Keep in mind that this was done to promote Don't Tread, so he was entrenched and happy with Damn Yankees.

This interview became the article I have transcribed on this website, and was originally published in The Justice.

He called me around in the morning from his home studio in New York City (at the time he was living there).

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 about a 30 minute interview.

NOTE: Tommy does use some language, so be advised. I've taken out some personal conversation stuff Tommy and I had, but it had nothing to do with the interview anyway.

Part One (1 MB) - Tommy's Solo Career Begins, Leaving Styx, and Damn Yankees comes together
Part Two (852 KB) - Talking about Don't Tread, the first tour with Damn Yankees, and censored in Korea
Part Three (718 KB) - more touring, backing Vince Neil on "You're Invited", Tommy's image - being a wild man, drugs, women, etc.
Part Four (613 KB) - "Snowblind", "Music Time", and more about Styx (personally, my favorite quotes are here, and gives you insight in the inner workings way before any of the current problems came out), the 1990 Styx reunion (including talking about Glen)
Part Five (233 KB) - The acoustic guitar, touring for Don't Tread
Part Six (430 KB) - Life & winding up.