The Chat

Monday, October 17, 2005

Former Styx lead singer Dennis DeYoung has been a White Sox fan "since I was brainwashed by my father at age 5." And with the South Siders in the midst of their best season in years, DeYoung has found himself in high demand.

Do you consider yourself the Ben Affleck of the White Sox?

Well, I don't know Ben, but he's a lifelong fan and I'm a lifelong fan. A lot of people have called me about this, because there are so many celebrities who are Cubs fans but so few for the White Sox. They're dragging the lake now, they've got the FBI out looking for celebrities who are White Sox fans. I think my face has been on a couple of milk cartons lately: 'Have you seen this man, he is a White Sox fan . . . and he sold millions of records.' I just had someone from the [Chicago] Sun-Times calling me, begging me -- listen to this -- begging me to tell her if there were any celebrities who were White Sox fans because she couldn't find any.

Were you horribly jealous when Red Sox fans got all that national publicity last year?

No, I was pulling for the Red Sox the whole time. Anybody who beats the Yankees makes me happy.

How about when people use the term 'Sox' only to refer to the Red Sox?

Well, can I say this bluntly? That's just East Coast elitism that thinks nothing happens beyond the Hudson River.

How'd you get to be friends with Tony LaRussa?

He had just come to Chicago [in 1979], he was the youngest manager in baseball. I had been on the road and someone told me he had been on the local rock radio station saying Styx was his favorite band, so I just took a tour jacket down to 35th Street. And I was gonna just drop it off and say, 'compliments of me,' and they ushered me back to the clubhouse. I was like a kid, I was like 9 years old again. Tony LaRussa came out and said, 'Dennis DeYoung!' and I said 'Tony LaRussa!' He took me into his office, we talked for about an hour and we just liked each other. It was just one of those things.

What would a Cardinals-Sox series be like for you?

Tony's already asked me who am I going to root for. I told him [the Cardinals] of course, but between you and me, and now it'll be in the newspaper, I'll just say I'm going to keep that like it's my right to vote. I don't have to divulge that. So when it's over, if the Cardinals win, I'll tell him, 'I was rooting for you the whole time.' Here's what I thought about doing: When Tony won the division championship with the White Sox in 1983, he gave me his jersey. I still have it. So if the White Sox and Cardinals should be in the World Series, I'll go to one of the games with the Tony LaRussa jersey on. That's a good solution, isn't it?

What'd you think about the A.J. Pierzynski call?


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