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Not His Own Life Experience
Tommy Shaw on Blue Collar Man
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Tommy Shaw
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Tommy Shaw
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Today (Monday) is Tommy Shaw's 64th birthday. He wrote 3 hits on the 1978 Styx album Pieces of Eight including "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)." How does a musician who hasn’t worked in a “blue collar” job get inspired to write about that “Blue Collar man” Tommy Shaw:

“My father was a gas man. He was the guy who would put your gas light in or hook up your gas pipes. I never held a blue collar job, but I had a friend who worked for the railroad. He and I both had these four-wheel-drive vehicles and they were all, like, jacked up. He was very proud to have worked for the railroad. We would go out and just destroy our cars. One day he got laid off and he had to go stand in the unemployment line and it just wrecked him. He did not want to be going for a handout. That was what was on my mind, couldn’t imagine what my father would have gone through.”

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