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Dennis DeYoung on Being Committed to Your Career


Dennis DeYoung is the former keyboardist and vocalist for Styx, with whom he had five top-ten albums in the 1970s and early 1980s. DeYoung was the writer of some of the band’s most enduring hits, including “Babe,” “Come Sail Away,” “Lady” and “Mr. Roboto.” Since leaving Styx in the mid-1980s, he has released several successful solo albums, and continues to write, record and tour regularly.
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Former Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung talks about what it takes to be mentally prepared and fully committed to a career as a recording artist.



Shoot Date:
May-06
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DY: Reaching Your Goals in the Music Industry

Without being flippant and silly about this, I would just tell people that if you have a dream, it doesn't really matter how the playing field is changed. It doesn't. If you want to be a baseball player— We all know the distance from home plate to first base is 90 feet. If you want to complain about that, you shouldn't play baseball, because they're not going to change it. That's how far you’ve got to run to first base.

That's how I feel about the music business today. It is what it is. People will still have success. It may be harder in some cases, it may be easier in some cases, because the Internet does offer people the ability to get exposed. When I was coming up, you had to pass muster of a small group of people who controlled record companies. There was no alternative to it. At least with communication being the way it is, there are other opportunities.

But if you’ve got a dream, and you want to do it, nobody's going to stop you. The only one that will stop you will be you. I say to you, “Be ready and prepared for a lot of disappointment, but if you love it, then you should do it.” The only secret I know is hard work. That's it. People who are successful are people who don't give up. People who are successful are not people who can just throw punches, Danny my boy, they're people who can take punches. You have to take a lot of punches to be successful in any venture in life.

In the music business, you've really got to be able to get up off the canvas. You're going to get knocked down a whole lot. I think you have to be desperate. (Laughter) I think you have to be neurotic and goofy. Really. I think so many people who are successful are just a little bit off, because they're able to withstand the blows to the ego that are going to come. That gets back to my theory of equal parts ego and insecurity.

[End of Audio]


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