Tommy Roland Shaw (born September 11, 1953) is an American guitarist, best known for his work with the rock band Styx. In between his stints with Styx, he has played with the supergroup Damn Yankees and has released several solo albums. Early life & music career Tommy Shaw was born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1953 and played with many local bands in his early years. He left Montgomery after high school to join MS Funk, a Chicago-managed outfit that he played with for 3 years, which gave him a chance to be noticed by the band Styx during a 2-week club gig in Chicago. ...show more
Tommy Roland Shaw (born September 11, 1953) is an American guitarist, best known for his work with the rock band Styx. In between his stints with Styx, he has played with the supergroup Damn Yankees and has released several solo albums. Early life & music career Tommy Shaw was born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1953 and played with many local bands in his early years. He left Montgomery after high school to join MS Funk, a Chicago-managed outfit that he played with for 3 years, which gave him a chance to be noticed by the band Styx during a 2-week club gig in Chicago.
After MS Funk disbanded, he went back to Montgomery to join a local group with his childhood friends called Harvest, which performed at a club in a bowling alley called "Keglar's Kove". Following Styx's move to A&M, guitarist and vocalist John Curulewski suddenly left the band shortly before they were to embark on a nationwide tour, and a frantic search to find a last-minute replacement was launched. While playing at the bowling alley bar, as a result of his previous experience with MS Funk in Chicago, Shaw got the call to audition for Styx and was quickly hired. Styx -- 1970s The first album with Shaw, "Crystal Ball" (1976), was titled after his own composition and also includes his songs "Mademoiselle" and "Shooz".
Its follow-up, The Grand Illusion (1977) became the group's breakthrough album, which went platinum and also featured a radio hit by Shaw, "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)". Styx's 8th album, appropriately entitled Pieces Of Eight, was the breakout album for Shaw's songwriting talent with his rock-oriented contributions "Renegade" and "Blue Collar Man", which became `70's rock radio staples and perennial Styx concert favorites, reaching #16 and #21 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.It also featured a minor radio hit Shaw's tune "Sing For The Day".  1980s -- 1990s Though the `80's brought the downfall of Styx, it began with Styx riding a wave of commercial success with the #1 pop ballad "Babe" from the 9th Styx album, Cornerstone in 1979, which was written by keyboardist Dennis DeYoung. However, tension mounted within the band as Shaw and other band members expressed dissatisfaction with DeYoung's desire to pull the band into a pop radio & theatrical direction, while other members preferred the rock direction of the songs written by Shaw and guitarist James "JY" Young. ...show less
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