Throwback Thursday – Dennis the Menace

Everyone knows my love for Tommy Shaw. Styx was one of my go-to bands growing up. I loved their entire albums until we got to Mr. Roboto. And I always preferred Tommy’s lead vocals to those of Dennis DeYoung.

Once I learned that Mr. Roboto was DeYoung’s concept, well, I became a Tommy gal all the way. But as a fan of the whole band, I still respected Dennis as a songwriter. So when he performed at Rock the Park in 2009 and my then-radio station 1039-FM was a presenter, I was looking forward to sharing the stage with him. Look closely at this photo and then I’ll tell you the rest of the story!

Dennis DeYoung, Leigh Robert and I in close proximity, looking like we are in a conversation. Microphones and other equipment is on the stage, ready for a performance.
Leigh Robert, Dennis DeYoung, me – and Mrs. DeYoung partly hidden

My colleague Leigh and I were about to introduce Dennis when it started to rain. Dennis poked his head out to check the weather and although it looks like we are having a conversation, not a word was exchanged. I tried to make small talk but he was having none of it. His beautiful wife beside him (about whom he wrote the song Lorelei) sings back -up.

A scant minute after this photo was taken, the sky opened up and torrential rain came down. Dennis sprinted like a gazelle to his trailer as water ponded on the stage and stagehands and roadies pushed us out of the way so they could save the equipment. And Dennis’ wife Suzanne? She was left at the back of the stage, in stiletto heels, to fend for herself. Finally, she gingerly made it down the wet stairs with the help of a musician and trotted through the downpour to the trailer where Dennis was staying dry.

It seemed pretty rude but if she was upset about it, it didn’t show. They’ve been married for almost 40 years so that’s their thing. But it was obvious to everyone else that as the Titanic was going down, he took off solo in a lifeboat and left his wife to drown!

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