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"LADY" - Styx - Where were you October 21, 1978?
STYX - LADY - Am I really expecting you to know where you were on that random Saturday night in 1978? For me, I was at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, California. I traveled there from Pomona, California. Traffic was the usual bear getting across the Los Angeles basin and I still remember coming in a bit later than I wanted. Ric Okasek, lead singer for The Cars was just starting into "Moving in Stereo". The Cars were just making an impact on the music world, but I was there to see Styx. But being an opening act meant that you were now on my radar screen. For a few years, I was a big fan of "The Cars", yet they were always a second or third tier on my hierarchy of top bands.
TIME LIFE ALBUM - ROCK'N ME - DISC TWO - The Heart of Classic Rock - Track 1
SONG - "LADY" by Styx
HISTORY - By 1978, Styx had been around a long time, but they had never been the headliner. They played a couple of nights back in January of 1978 as the opening act for the Sanford & Townsend Band at the Long Beach Arena. They had also played two separate nights as the headliner at the smaller Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on both March 5th and August 13th in 1977. I knew nothing of them at the time, except for this song "Lady". By October 21, 1978, the band had picked up guitarist Tommy Shaw and they were hitting super big with their newest album, "The Grand Illusion" and headlining two nights at the L.A. Forum.
So what else happened that same Saturday in October? The Australian civilian pilot Frederick Valentich vanished in a Cessna 182 over the Bass Strait south of Melbourne, after reporting contact with an unidentified aircraft. But I have no other details on that bizarre event.
Meanwhile, I was loving the concert at the Fabulous Forum and couldn't wait to buy the official concert T-shirt with the Grand Illusion album cover and tour dates on the back. That was to be my badge of honor when I returned to Ganesha High School the following Monday morning. I sat behind a 12th grade girl named Dale Reinhart and she fancied herself as being tapped into the hippest music scene, but her credibility was shot down the tubes when she proudly announced her love for Ambrosia and the Electric Light Orchestra. But even with those character flaws, I knew she would be drooling over my new Styx concert jersey.
GIVE IT A LISTEN - I found two You Tube Links for the song. The first features the spot on studio version and then there is a rare black and white live version. Enjoy...
MY THOUGHTS - When I first heard the beginning entry notes on the piano I was hooked. The melody is infectious. This was the early days of what would become the stereotypical rock ballad. BTW, at youth dances, this was always difficult asking a young lady to dance on this type of song because it started slow and quickly became fast. Stairway to Heaven is another classic example of this dance conundrum. Dennis DeYoung's vocals are just a little too polished, but co- lead guitarists Tommy Shaw and James Young always kept me on board as a Styx fan because of their harder edged songs where they each took the lead on vocals. You can hold it against me, but Lady and the earlier Crystal Ball will always be my Styx guilty pleasures.
I don't really tie any firm event or memory to The Grand Illusion era Styx other than the Forum concert, but I remember wearing out their albums on turntable in our Pomona home. "Lady" drew me back to their earlier stuff and my Shell Motor Oil gas station job paychecks went a long way at our local Music Plus record stores where albums typically sold for $3.99. Yes, I looked handsome in the yellow shirt with the Shell Motor Oil patch and the adorable white In-n-Out style paper hat. It was full service and I checked the oil and washed the windshield of thousands of Chino, California cars.
Make it a great day! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah
DID "LADY" HAVE ANY IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE? Please share....