He's been around the world with Styx for nearly 50 years and now guitarist Tommy Shaw and his bandmates are heading back to Sioux Falls.

Styx is teaming up with Foreigner and John Waite on the Renegades and Juke Box Heroes Tour, which will close its 36-date run with a show at the Denny Sanford Premier Center, next August.

I had a chance to talk with Tommy this week and asked him about how the 70-year-old version of him is different from the 22-year-old who joined Styx in December of 1975:

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Tommy was a regular on the Chicago music scene in the mid-70s with the band MSFunk when he got a call out of the blue one day from another Chicago band, Styx, looking to replace guitarist John Curulewski, who left the group shortly before they were to embark on a nationwide tour.

Tommy auditioned and got the gig:

Tommy joined Styx just as the band was getting ready to go into the studio to record their sixth album, Crystal Ball. He co-wrote and sang lead on the album's only Top 40 hit, 'Mademoiselle' (#36).

Tommy and the rest of Styx hit their stride less than a year later with the release of The Grand Illusion (1977), which put the band in the top ten (#6) on the album chart for the first time and gave them a pair of Top 40 singles - 'Come Sail Away' (#8) and Tommy's  'Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)' (#29).

Tommy told me about the making of that iconic album:

Tommy later provided Styx with three more of their biggest hits, writing and singing on 'Renegade' (#16) and 'Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)' off of Pieces of Eight in 1978.

Three years later he wrote and sang on the Top 10 single (#9) 'Too Much Time on My Hands' from Paradise Theatre in 1981.

In 1984, Tommy left Styx but was still very busy putting out three solo albums, as well as playing with Ted Nugent and Night Ranger's Jack Blades in Damn Yankees, and teaming with Jack for Shaw-Blades.

Tommy returned to Styx in 1995 and has been with them ever since.

Renegades & Juke Box Heroes Tour
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Now the band is heading back on the road on the Renegades & Juke Box Heroes Tour with Foreigner and John Waite. Over the years, Styx has shared the stage with both over the years and he is a big fan of the two artists:

The Sioux Falls show is Wednesday, August 28. Tickets go on sale to the general public, Friday (December 8) at 10:00 AM. Prices range from $34 to $334 (plus taxes and fees).

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