Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades
Although he wasn't an original member, guitarist Tommy Shaw not only penned some of Styx's best-known songs but served as a musical foil for Dennis DeYoung during the band's heyday. Born on September 11, 1953, in Montgomery, AL.
Shaw's interest in music began at a young age and he spent years playing in local bands. He was still living in Montgomery when he was offered an audition to replace departed guitarist John Curulewski for the group's tour to support 1975's Equinox. By the time Styx released their next record, Crystal Ball, Shaw was not only a full-time member, he had written the album's title track. From 1976 through 1983, Styx was one of the most successful rock bands in America and Shaw contributed songs like "Fooling Yourself," "Blue Collar Man," and "Too Much Time on My Hands" to their catalog.
In addition to fronting one of the mid 80's most successful mainstream/arena rock bands, Night Ranger, bassist/singer Jack Blades has either recorded with, penned songs for, or produced albums for some of rock's biggest names. Originally hailing from Palm Desert, California, Jack started playing guitar at the age of 8. Blades played in local bands in the Southern California area during the early '70s, at which time he attended San Diego State University (as a pre-med student).
The early '80s saw the formation of Night Ranger, along with members Alan Fitzgerald (keyboards), Jeff Watson (guitar), and Kelly Keagy (drums, vocals), who fit in perfectly with such then-thriving rockers as Journey, Def Leppard, and Van Halen. Propelled by Blades’ songwriting, driving guitars, and on the strength of such releases as 1982's Dawn Patrol, 1983's Midnight Madness, 1985's 7 Wishes, and 1987’s Big Life, the group scored several major U.S. hits (“Don’t Tell me you love me,” “Rock in America”, “Sister Christian,” “When you close your eyes”, “Sentimental Street”) selling in excess of 10 million albums, but after one more release (1988's Man in Motion), the quintet split up.
It didn't take long for Blades to re-appear in another band however, the all-star Damn Yankees, which consisted of Ted Nugent, Tommy Shaw from Styx and Michael Cartellone. The band enjoyed substantial hits with their 1990 self-titled release, selling multi platinum (Including a gold single, “High Enough”) and continuing the streak with 1992’s Don’t Tread. JackBlades.net