Tommy Shaw singer and guitarist from Styx turns 67 today. The song “Blue Collar” on “Pieces of Eight” made it to # 21 on Billboard’s Hot 100. He wrote three hits on Styx’s Pieces of Eight album, including “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights).” He tells what inspired that one.


“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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