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The Grand Illusion: Love, Lies, and My Life with Styx
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The Grand Illusion: Love, Lies, and My Life with Styx

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  103 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
They are still one of the biggest rock bands of the last three decades. With four consecutive triple-platinum albums and 54 million records sold, their tours continue to sell out and classic songs like "Lady," "Renegade," "Come Sail Away," and "The Grand Illusion" have earned them a whole new generation of fans. At the height of their fame, they were living the ultimate ro ...more
Hardcover, 225 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by AMACOM/American Management Association
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Rebecca
Dec 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
As a lifelong Styx fan I looked forward to reading this book about the life of bassist Chuck Panozzo. He did not let me down. This is a very touching account of Chuck's struggle with his homosexuality and eventual diagnosis of AIDS. At times I was crying and at others laughing out loud. Any fan of Styx or anyone having a hard time expressing their sexuality should definitely read this book.
Julie
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I'm a nerd, I love styx, plus the book was more about Chuck, he was in the closet for YEARS and shares this and many more things about his life. it's NOT just about the band. Even I couldn't read this love of a book about STYX. haha
Mark Desrosiers
Apr 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoirs, music, lgbt
It's my sad duty to report that this is the dullest memoir ever. You'd think that the AIDS-afflicted gay bassist for Styx (fucking STYX!) would spend more time gossiping about his bizarre bandmates (Dennis and Tommy especially) than his own tedious struggle with being closeted in, well in an awesomely gay-sounding band. But no, not only does he avoid all music-geek talk about how certain albums or songs were created (I'm still shocked that he was not heavily involved in the Styx creative process ...more
Larry
Oct 31, 2007 rated it it was ok
This is billed as a gay man's struggle in the rock and roll world but it is really just a gay man's struggle with who he is and coming to terms with his life. Yes, he is the bass player for Styx but that is just his job and is not the focus of the book. Chuck lacks confidence, self-esteem, and courage until death is at his doorstep. It is a light read with very little insight. Chuck, the author, also lacks the confidence to tell the real story. He glosses over any confrontations or disputes with ...more
Chris van Gorder
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is the Styx story fans should read. The author, the once and some-time bassist for the band, tells the story in a frank manner, sparing no one their just criticisms, not even himself.
Alesia
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful heartwarming, heartbreaking tale. A behind the scenes look at arena rock, and a close-up view of life & love in the AIDS generation.
Sarah
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Knocked this one out in an afternoon. Primarily, it is the story of Chuck Panozzo's growing up and development as a gay man and dealing with HIV and AIDS. Not all of this is that interesting, though I did find the relationship stuff worth the read. I admit I was hoping for more of the personality conflicts that happened between band members, but that might be the kind of stuff that leads you to getting sued, so I'm not surprised that anything approaching that appears very deliberately smoothed o ...more
Erdem Karaadam
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First-hand account of Styx - formation, rise to success, peak, decline, disband, reunion... Along with interleaved account of how it is to be gay in an Italian-american society, battling worst sicknesses of the century... Chuck hits his target of giving the message "you think your life is though? Read this.."
Kirsti
Sep 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Delightful account by Chuck Panozzo, the bassist in Styx, about being a nice Italian boy who happens to be gay.

"I started hanging out at a specific Old Town bar that was known as a leather-and-Levi's kind of place. You get the picture—jeans, leather vests, uniforms, and combat boots. Think the Village People without the Indian. The first time that I went there, I was scared to death. I knew I was attracted physically to the men and the way that they dressed, but I wasn't sure exactly what they w
...more
Terrence
Oct 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: music-related
Easy to read music bio written by the bass player and founding member of Chicago based rock group Styx. They were the first rock concert that I attended in 1979, and I was interested in learning more about the forming of the group.
While this book does touch on the band's early years, rise to fame, and eventual splintering, it is much more a memoir. Panozzo is a HIV positive gay rock musician. He tells how difficult it was to be closeted for so many years, and encourages others to accept themsel
...more
George
Nov 11, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: Dennis DeYoung
mmm just trying to get my feet wet in this forum.

I think my first book out there will be the "The Grand Illusion". The the title is also one of Styx's best rock albums in the late 70's

The author is the bass guitarist, Chuck Panozzo. He covers his childhood in the Chicago area with his twin brother John. Then slowly more people like Dennis DeYoung and others formed the band tw4 to evenually Styx. Of course I wont forget to put our Tommy shaw. But he also talks about his homosexality and how it a
...more
Sam
Dec 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
Okay, now I don't actually like STYX, but I read a lot of rock bios/autobios, so I picked this up. If you like STYX, you might only consider reading this if you're also interested in the homosexual lifestyle. Panozzo, the author and bass player for the band, explains how he was closeted all those years in a fairly macho band. An interesting POV, but I don't care how gay he is. I want the same thing I should be getting out of your typical rock book: stories about the band/tours/albums.

So far, I'm
...more
SouthWestZippy
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Chuck Panozzo is one of the founding members and bass player for Styx. Chuck talks about how the band was formed, his relationship with his family and friends, his life living as a gay man in secret and out in the open. Book is very eye opening. Chuck does not hold back on letting everyone know were he made mistakes and his achievements. Book is s quick read. I highly recommend to Styx fans and non Styx fans.
Joanne
Sep 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great book written by Chuck Panozzo, bass player from Styx. There is a lot of history of the band but the even more compelling story is how Chuck had to hide his homosexuality for so many years. He eventually contracts HIV and decides to come out of the closet at the age of 56. He is now the happiest he has ever been. Very inspirational book.
Robyn
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was able to read this book in one day. He talks more of his own life as he promises. I don't think he said anything about STYX that I didn't already know. I would have liked more info of what it was like ont he road, etc.
Rod
Aug 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Very good read. Interesting book about Chuck Panazzo and his life, the band and how it all became what it is today - STYX
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“parents often rationalized that somehow their kids must have done something to deserve the abuse.” 0 likes
“eventually I started hanging out at a specific Old Town bar that was known as a leather-and-Levi’s kind of place. You get the picture—jeans, leather vests, uniforms, and combat boots. Think the Village People without the Indian. The first time that I went there, I was scared to death. I knew I was attracted physically to the men and the way that they dressed, but I wasn’t sure exactly what they were into. A huge bear of a man in leather pants and a cop hat can be a bit intimidating to a newbie. But as I worked my way into the crowd and began to hear snippets of conversations, I realized, “These guys are talking about recipes!” Suddenly,” 0 likes
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