So Saturday in Vegas... Well first of all we had a great fan party called Styxfest. About 100 fans got together had a blast and raised some money for Charity. Lot's of Fun
As for the show... Well First I need to explain something. Chuck Panozzo the origanal Bassest for Styx had decided at the beginning of 1999 to retire. We didn't really know why, Lots of rumours, but nothing concret. At the sound check on Friday we spotted Chuck going in so we were all thrilled that he was there. On Saturday we ended up eating at the same resturrant as him and paid for his check to show him how glad we were to see him. We heard later he was moved to tears... We LOVE you Chuck!! Anyway, He didn't come on stage on Friday but there were rumours he would on Sat.
So at the start of the show I again went to the Willcall.... Guess what? Again no pass Uggghhh!!! Now you know why no one knew Styx was putting out new records ;-) So I again found their Manager explained that tonight I had 10th row tickets and wouldn't be able to get up front to get the pictures unlesss I had the pass. So he got me one.. Finally!! Although I would have to follow the rules of only taking pictures the first three songs. I asked if I could take anything relating to Tommy's B-day and he said ok. So I was set.
Remember how lax the security was on Friday? Not so this night. Something hit the fan and security was everywhere Good thing I had that pass. The show was great! And fun! I got some really good pictures
and a Movie of the Birthday
. During 'Foolin' Yourself' Chuck came on stage! We gave him a Standing O and I just had to take some more pictures ;-) I got this great one of his reaction to our ovation..
Little did I know this picture would mean so much to so many. When I got home I amazed at how many good shots I had gotten. Remember this was actually my first real time taking pictures at a show. I sent the best ones over to the Record Company and put them on my site. Guess who saw them again... Yup Tommy!! He kept popping in the chat room just to tell me how much he loved this or that and that he fell over laughing at the movie... Ah Sigh!!
Back to the Chuck picture... I had a couple of other shows within a week so I decided to print up some of the pictures Just in Case I "ran" into them. The Chuck pic was one of them. Well as Luck would have it I did end up running into them. When I started asking for the guys to sign my pictures for me they started asking for copies... Umm Ok!!! So I took some orders and then Tommy showed up. I showed him the Picture up at the top of this entry and ask him to sign it for me. He was impressed with the quality and ended up getting his own Sony Digital hehehehe. Then I gave him the pic of Chuck and he just got really quiet with a strange look in his eyes... I didn't understand then but I was asked to include a copy of the picture for Chuck in the other pictures I would be sending.
Two years later I and the rest of the world found out why that night and that picture were so important to Chuck and the band. Evidently In 91 Chuck had contracted HIV and in 98 it became full blown AIDS. It was so bad at one point they thought he would never play with them again... WOW... In the posts Tommy put up on Styxworld and his own Site Crystal Ball he talked about that night and the picture I took of it. Check out the August 6 post on His site.
That I was a small part of this moment is probably the most meaningful thing that has ever happen to me with Styx. I have had a lot of fun, met some great people, took some wonderful pictures... but to be able to give something back to the guys who helped me through so much in my life... Man I still tear up thinking about it. This happen 6 years ago and even after 30 odd more shows and many trips I still have to say this was the best Weekend I ever had with Styx... even though much of it I didn't really appreciate till later.