John Panozzo

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John Panozzo
Born(1948-09-20)September 20, 1948
Chicago, Illinois
DiedJuly 16, 1996(1996-07-16) (aged 47)
GenresHeavy metal
Years active1972-1996
LabelsA&M Records

John Anthony Panozzo (September 20, 1948 – July 16, 1996) was an American drummer. He was best known for his work with rock band Styx.

Career[change | change source]

Panozzo grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He had a fraternal twin brother, Chuck.[1] At age 7, the twins took musical lessons from their uncle. John took an interest in drums and percussion. They attended Catholic school. They were part of a 3-piece accordion band in which John played drums and Chuck played guitar. They would play weddings at age 12 and were paid $15 apiece.

Styx[change | change source]

In 1961 John, Chuck, and their neighbor, Dennis DeYoung, formed a band called the Tradewinds.[2]John played drums, Chuck played guitar, and Dennis played the accordion and sang. They played at bars and began gaining popularity as a garage band on the South Side of Chicago. In 1968, Chuck switched to bass. They added guitarists/vocalists James "J.Y." Young and John Curulewski and changed the name of the band to TW4.[3] The band signed to Wooden Nickel Records and changed their name to Styx.

Death[change | change source]

By the early 1990s his health suffered from heavy drinking.[1] He took a less active role with Styx. In 1996 he was replaced by Todd Sucherman for the reunion tour. He was found dead in his home a few days later. He died from cirrhosis of the liver.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jeremy Simmonds, The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches (Chicago, Il: Chicago Review Press, 2008), p. 354
  2. Rick Kogan, 'Inside the Platinum Process', Billboard (October 11, 1980), p. S-7
  3. Clark, Dick (March 29, 1983). "Styx and stones...". Times-News.