Chuck Panozzo was the bass player for the Chicago-based Styx, a hugely successful '70s band that realized monster success with the release of The Grand Illusion album. It contained "Come Sail Away," "Fooling Yourself," and "Miss America." With the subsequent releases of
Pieces of Eight, Cornerstone, and Paradise Theatre, the band etched themselves into rock history by managing to orchestrate four consecutive platinum albums.
Just three years after the release of
Paradise Theatre in 1984, the band inexplicably broke up. It was during this period that the author acknowledged his homosexuality, but it would be many more years before he openly admitted it. He would ultimately contract AIDS, and that is the story revealed here - the huge facade of playing bass in one of the world's biggest rock groups
and, at the same time, struggling with the inner turmoil of being gay when it wasn't so cool being a gay musician and having to balance those two identities.
The author is pretty honest about his life as a gay man in Styx. It wasn't easy, and those moments are recounted. Chuck's brother, John, drummer for the band, died in 1996 due to complications from alcohol, and that terrible moment is also reflected upon. This couldn't have been an easy book to write, but it was certainly one Chuck Panozzo had to write.