The Grand Illusion: Love, Lies, and My Life with Styx

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Five minutes later I'm back, freshly lip sticked , and there's a man sitting at the other end. Nothing left to do but schmooze.

Styx (band)

And he does. He introduces himself as Chuck. He lives in Florida, where I'm from.

  1. Styx bassist relishing time on stage.
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So we talk that for a while. Then we get to the meat of the conversation, "So, what do you do? He doesn't seem nearly as interested in finding out whether I'm J. Rowling or Danielle Steele. I'll soon find out why. But then I got into the music business.

He's in his 50s, with funky, clunky silver bracelets and an overall look of someone who doesn't make his living in insurance or banking. We talk a bit about his struggles as a kid coming to realize that he was, in fact, a gay kid. Then, before we can get to any of the juicy stuff, it's time to leave for my panel.

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  • Book review: Chuck Panozzo's *The Grand Illusion: Love, Lies, and My Life with Styx*!
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  • Posted by June Casagrande at AM. Panozzo was born in and grew up in an ethnic Italian neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago.

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    He formed the band that would eventually become Styx with his twin brother John when he was twelve. Panozzo was diagnosed with HIV in , but didn't tell the rest of the band until he was diagnosed with AIDS in and he couldn't hide it anymore. With Styx seemingly broken up for good, Panozzo found himself financially secure but lacking daily purpose:.

    At the time, I thought my life was over, as I simply couldn't see many options. I couldn't go back to teaching. I didn't want to join another band. After founding Styx, my ego wouldn't allow it.

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    Many people have fantasized about what they would do if they had the money and resources to do whatever they wanted with their days, but when this actually happened for Panozzo, he found himself lost and depressed in his personal ocean of free time. He acknowledges in the book that living off of royalties and investments and doing whatever you want doesn't sound like a bad scenario at all, but for him the "winning the lottery" scenario turned into years of depression:. So there aren't many people around to play with from nine to five.

    The daytime has a rhythm all its own. You see store clerks and restaurant workers doing their jobs. You see people in suits and briefcases rushing off to God knows where. You see service people and cops and meter readers busy doing their thing.

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    But you reside among the day people. It gets old fast. Another striking aspect of the book to me is that the happiest times in Panozzo's life didn't always correspond to the periods when he was most successful. Roboto tour. He recalls of the low budget touring:. I remember driving through the Smoky Mountains, sitting backward in one of those pull-up seats that face the rear window, with no idea where the hell we were going because all I could see were the backs of the road signs.