This press release, to promote the Out On A Day Pass album, comes from Levine/Schneider Public Relations in Los Angeles, dated July 23, 1993. The two pieces are a PR biography, and a song-by-song reflection on Day Pass by JY.
"For my second solo LP," explains J.Y. (a.k.a. JAMES YOUNG), "I felt I was finally ready for the total responsibility of not only arranging and performing my music, but producing it as well." His first solo LP (CITY SLICKER) was a collaboration with the brilliant instrumentalist and producer Jan Hammer. While (CITY SLICKER) was co-produced by Jan and J.Y., OUT ON A DAY PASS is J.Y.'s first completely self-produced album.
"The title of the new LP, OUT ON A DAY PASS, really symbolizes the creative vacation I am having apart from Styx," says J.Y. (a.k.a. JAMES YOUNG). He plays all guitars and most of the keyboards on DAY PASS, and is credited with virtually all of the vocals as well.
DAY PASS was produced off and on over the last few years, during breaks in the Styx schedule. Recorded in Los Angeles and Chicago in a number of different studios (including J.Y.'s home studio), the LP features performances by Utopia drummer Willie Wilcox, and former Whitesnake, Jan Hammer and Mick Jagger solo album bassist Colin Hodgkinson. Styx drummer John Panozzo plays on two tracks, and original Mahavishnu Orchestra violinist Jerry Goodman lends his virtuosity to the remake of "Young Man", a Styx song from an early, lesser-known album.
"Working with the likes of Willie, Colin and Jerry really continues my solo album tradition of working with people who are among the best in the world at what they do, and to have John Panozzo's world-class drumming on this record gave the two of us a chance to work together outside the confines of Styx."
The songs on DAY PASS were all written or co-written by J.Y., and once again cover a range of topics. From an inspiring rocker like "Top Of The World" through the mysterious and powerful suite "Love Me Tonight," he continues to stretch the boundaries that defined his work with Styx.
Hailing from the south side of Chicago ("the culturally deprived side," he quips), J.Y. will admit to singing in the church choir in his early years before buying his first album, BO DIDDLEY'S A GUNSLINGER. He played guitar throughout his teenaged years and would later earn a college degree in "aerospace engineering." J.Y. also did time as a taxi driver who would regularly pick up seedy characters in the streets of Chicago -- "a dangerous, but fun experience," he laughs.
J.Y. is an original member of Styx, and has played and sung on all 12 Styx studio albums. Styx, of course, became one of the leading rock groups of the '70s and '80s, releasing one triple platinum album after another (THE GRAND ILLUSION, PIECES OF EIGHT, CORNERSTONE and PARADISE THEATRE), and earning six Top Ten hit singles. Styx most recently released an album in 1990, and toured North America in the summer of 1991.
Styx still exists, but for 1993, "I have for the first time since Styx began making records, put a band together with the intention of performing my own music in front of audiences," says J.Y. The "JAMES YOUNG Group," as it is called, consists of some seasoned veterans as well as some newcomers.
Drummer Ken Harck, the "Sasquatch of the Skins," was a member of fabled Chicago band Off Broadway, among others. Guitarist / vocalist Michael Baran was a member of the Glen Burtnick Band, as well as BMG recording artists The Galleyboyz. Bassist / vocalist Hank Horton, known as "The Beast from the East," arrived in Chicago a few years ago, and has been the workingest man on the Chicago music scene. Newcomer keyboardist / guitarist / vocalist Lou DePasqua rounds out the lineup.
As one of the driving forces of Styx, J.Y. is well-known for supplying the group's self-produced albums with their rock edge, playing guitar, singing, writing / arranging Styx favorites (including "Snowblind" and "Miss America") and having valuable production input. One of rock's most successful and distinctive groups, Styx has sold over 20 million records worldwide, earned an array of platinum albums and sold out concerts at stadiums.
Meanwhile, J.Y. has given up his second home in L.A., and is once again firmly entrenched back in Chicago. "I learned things and met people I undoubtedly never would have," says J.Y. of his three years in Los Angeles, "but my roots are in Chicago."
J.Y. TALKS ABOUT THE SONGS
ON HIS SECOND SOLO LP:
OUT ON A DAY PASS'
"TOP OF THE WORLD" (J.Y. / Steven A. Jones):
"Confidence is everything. If you have the confidence to do something and believe you can do it, you most likely will. But you can't sit around and wait for it to happen, you've got to be persistent. This being my first totally self-produced LP, I listen to this song to get myself psyched up."
"MAGGIE" (J.Y. / Mic Fabus):
"Maggie is a girl I think we've all known at one time or another. The world holds many surprises for us all, and if you want to play the game, most times you do have to pay the man. This tune is based on a guitar riff I came up with a couple of years ago, and I credit Mic Fabus with hearing a vocal to go with it."
"TOYS FOR AMERICAN BOYS" (J.Y. / Steven A. Jones):
"It was really great to have the only guy I know with a radio controlled model blimp (Styx drummer John Panozzo) play on this one. No, this is not the marching song of the American Nazi Party. This song is intended to be taken in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way, as you can tell from the second verse. No arms for hostages, Mr. Bush?"
"DARK SIDE: THE CONTRARY NATURE OF MAN" (J.Y.):
"What the devil's going on? In many ways, this song is my life story. I have long struggled with the conflicts that anyone who considers themselves a responsible person in modern days has in dealing with their more primal subconscious. The plight of the idealist in an unethical yet temptation filled world. And who really wants to do what they're told, anyway?"
"OUT ON A DAY PASS" (J.Y. / Steven A. Jones):
"Steve Jones came up with this title, and I instantly knew this had to be a fun song, as well as the title of my new LP. The joy of doing my own solo album is that I can do whatever I damn well please. I'm creatively out on a day pass. Is there anything really wrong with a little light-hearted insanity?"
"LOVE ME TONIGHT" (J.Y.):
"This one was actually written at the end of the 'City Slicker' sessions, and was definitely inspired by my love of Pink Floyd and my collaboration with Jan Hammer. I certainly learned a lot from Jan. I really like music with a lot of dynamics, and this one is probably my best to date in that vein - and Willie Wilcox and Colin Hodgkinson really kicked butt on this one."
"DOCTOR ON CALL'' (J.Y. / Jason McCloskey):
"A lot of people still wish they had a country doctor who made house calls. If I am elected president, I will make sure that this practice is reinstated, at least in regard to certain types of disorders that can be cured with a simple treatment of rock and roll."
"YOUNG MAN" (J.Y. / Rick Young):
"I guess there needs to be at least one serious song on every album. A lot of people had recently commented to me about this song which was originally recorded on the Styx SERPENT IS RISING album. This was an overlooked song on an overlooked album, and I felt I could do it a little better now.
"It also gives me a chance to rework the lyrics reflecting my not-quite-as-young man perspective. And Jerry ('blazing solos') Goodman shows us all here why he is still the premier rock violinist in the world."
"THE BIGGER THEY ARE, THE HARDER THEY FALL" (J.Y. / Steven A. Jones):
"We have all seen people come and go in the entertainment business, in the world of politics, and in sports. There's a lesson here for all of us, myself included. It's not good to take yourself too seriously."
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