National News

Styx’s Lawrence Gowan had ‘dark’ encounter with shackled fan en route to prison

todayJune 6, 2024 6

share close

Styx singer and keyboardist Lawrence Gowan shared the “dark story” of an encounter with a fan that left him stunned.The 67-year-old Canada native is set to embark on the Renegades & Juke Box Heroes Tour with Styx and Foreigner this summer. Ahead of the tour, Gowan and Foreigner frontman Kelly Hansen, 63, sat down for an interview with Fox News Digital during which they reflected on wild moments they have experienced while meeting fans over the years.”Some of them can get a little bit psychotic,” Gowan said with a laugh. “So, I want to be careful with that because I take that seriously.”He continued, “I know what it’s like to be a fan, OK? I’ve done my share of hanging out backstage after shows when I was younger. And that’s all great, that can lead to a great experience.” FOREIGNER, STYX LEAD NOSTALGIA CONCERT WAVE, SHUTTING DOWN CLAIMS CLASSIC ROCK IS DEAD: ‘THAT IS NOT TRUE’”So, it’s not a Styx song, but prior to joining Styx, I had a long solo career. My records were released in Canada, and I had a song that was very popular called ‘The Criminal Mind.’ Styx actually played the song,” Gowan said. “We’ll play it when we play Toronto on this upcoming tour.””I had a guy once – I was in an airport, and I was sitting beside a guy. … He leaned over, and he said, ‘You know, you wrote that song “A Criminal Mind.”‘ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He says, ‘That song’s been my whole life.'” WATCH: Foreigner’s Kelly Hansen, Styx’s Lawrence Gowan on reuniting after 10 years for their summer tour”And I thought, ‘It’s a very dark song,'” Gowan said. “And I kind of went, ‘Oh, really?’ And he said, ’My entire life has been that, and I’m trying to get out of it.’ And he started crying, and I thought, ‘What is wrong with this guy? He’s way too overly emotional.'” “And I glanced down and saw he had shackles around his feet. And beside him was an RCMP [Royal Canadian Mountain Police] guard. He was being transferred from one prison to another.””I know that’s a dark story, but that was such a life moment,'” he said.Gowan said the reason that the song had meant so much to the fan surprised him.”The weird thing is, he was grateful to have the song, to have something that he could cling to and listen to every day that somehow was helping him in some sort of therapeutic manner,'” Gowan said.”I think that would be the most heightened one that I’ve ever encountered.”While the fan that Gowan met said he was trying to get out of the cycle of incarceration, the lyrics of “A Criminal Mind” tell a darker tale. The hit song is about an unrepentant prison inmate who has spent his life “behind these bars” and embraced that he will always have a “criminal mind.”Released in 1985, “A Criminal Mind” was the lead single off Gowan’s second studio album, “Strange Animal.” The song hit the No. 5 spot on Canada’s top singles chart and was certified platinum in 2018.During an interview with Huffington Post Canada, Gowan told the outlet that “A Criminal Mind” paved the way for him to become a member of Styx. Two years after hearing him perform the song, the band remembered it and contacted Gowan when they were searching for a new vocalist and keyboardist to replace founding member Dennis DeYoung on tour.During the audition, the Styx members didn’t want him to perform any of their songs, asking him to play “A Criminal Mind” instead. After Gowan performed, singer Tommy Shaw said they should make “A Criminal Mind” a “Styx song.” The song was added to Styx’s set list and Gowan became a permanent member of the band after DeYoung’s departure in 1999.WATCH: Styx’s Lawrence Gowan recalls ‘dark’ encounter with fan who was shackled and being taken to prisonIn December, Styx and Foreigner announced they were hitting the road together for the first time in 10 years. In 2014, the two legendary classic rock bands teamed up for the Soundtrack of Summer tour, which also featured former Eagles frontman Don Felder. Ahead of the tour, the three artists released a compilation album named after the tour.FOREIGNER JOINS KID ROCK FOR TOUR, PERFORMS ON ‘FOX & FRIENDS’Styx and Foreigner will be joined by British rocker John Waite on the Renegades & Juke Box Heroes tour, which kicks off on June 11 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the Van Andel Arena and concludes on Sept. 20 at the Radians Amphitheater at Memphis Botanic Garden in Memphis, Tennessee. During the tour, the bands will perform some of their biggest hits, including “Come Sail Away,” “Feels Like The First Time,” “Renegade,” “Juke Box Hero,” “Mr. Roboto” and “I Want To Know What Love Is,” per a press release for the tour.”The great thing about these guys, being on the road with them, is that when you come into the venue, they have smiles on their faces,” Hansen told Fox News Digital of Styx. “There’s no concern at all. These guys are pros and know what they’re doing, and they’re good people. So, that makes it good for us.””We feel the same way,” Gowan said. “We are bands that are touring on a very high level.”STYX TALKS NEW MUSIC, ROCK LEGACY”So, we want to give the greatest, the best performance we can,” he continued. “But one thing that we’ve discovered over the past number of years is that a great evening’s entertainment is when you’re with another band or two that can deliver and lift the experience for the audience to something that is really just memorable on several levels. That it’s more than just one take of or one band’s music but two or three that have really kind of touched their lives. And you can feel the happiness that really occurs and that begins right from the moment we arrive at the venue.”Hansen, who previously told Fox News Digital about his own wildest encounter with a fan, shared a story about another fan’s bizarre antics that he recently learned about from a “third party” while promoting the upcoming tour. “The other day, I had to do like 12 interviews in a row. And I’m on the phone with these DJs in Arizona, and they tell me that in their local area there’s this guy going around sleeping with women and saying it’s me,” the singer said.LIKE WHAT YOU’RE READING? CLICK HERE FOR MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS”So, I immediately have to tell my wife: ‘If you hear something, it’s not me,'” he added with a laugh.”Can I ask this? Was he getting good reviews?” Gowan said.”So much creepy, weird stuff happens,” Hansen said. “That was kind of it for me. That was it. Last week I was just like, ‘Oh man, does it get any crazier than that?’”Hansen became Foreigner’s lead singer when he joined the band in 2005. Since Foreigner was first formed in 1976, the band’s lineup has undergone several shakeups. Foreigner is currently comprised of Hansen, founding member Mick Jones, Jeff Pilson, Michael Bluestein, Chris Frazier, Bruce Watson and Luis Maldonado.The lineup of Styx has also undergone several changes since it was founded in 1972, and the group disbanded twice, first in 1984 and then in 1996. Styx’s current lineup includes Gowan, founding members Chuck Panozzo and James “J.Y.” Young, Tommy Shaw, Todd Sucherman, Will Evankovich and Gowan’s brother, Terry Gowan.While speaking with Fox News Digital, Gowan and Hansen reflected on the tensions that can cause bands to break up and how they managed to stay with their groups over the years.”We’re human beings, right? And the friction that happens between human beings who even love each other is well-known to anyone on the planet,” Gowan said. “What you get better at – I’ve noticed as you reach a certain vintage – is you get better at seeing where those frictions can ignite into something. They could destroy the beautiful thing that you have going. So, you begin to avoid them, and you begin to find diplomatic ways of moving away from the clash that could cause the whole thing to implode.””Also, like a marriage, you learn, to an incredible depth of subtlety, everybody else’s facial expressions, their idiosyncrasies,” Hansen said. “If they’re in a certain place – you know [that] if you say it – it’s going to be not good. So, you don’t.””I think the mutual support of each other starts to grow over time, as long as you don’t have someone who’s so egocentric and unself-aware and unlucky enough to be involved with a band of guys who are pretty self-aware,” he added. “That’s a huge factor in kind of making a harmonious journey down the road.””That’s for sure,” Gowan agreed. “That sort of self-awareness, I think that’s part of what comes with doing it for a long time. And everyone’s body language, you can see all kinds of things through the day.””As long as you’ve managed to quell any discomfort or any sort of thing that could disrupt the harmonious flow of the day, the great thing is, at the end of the day you get to hold your arms up with everybody else in front of a few thousand people who have got big smiles on their faces. And you have this united moment with yourself and just the band on stage, but the crew, everyone,” he said.”You know it’s been a successful day because it ended with this great euphoric moment that you’re sharing. So, you carry that forward into the next morning,” Gowan said.”Also, I want to add just if you’re working with someone over the course of years, you’re going to be with them through deaths and through births and through divorces and through marriages and all of these things in life are all going to happen within the fabric of what you’re doing,” Hansen said. “And that is a very powerful, connective thing that we all share, because when I see my buddy and someone very close to him passes away, that connects you.”The Renegades & Juke Box Heroes tour marks the next leg of Foreigner’s two-year farewell tour, which the band announced in 2022. Though Foreigner is expected to retire from the road at the end of 2024, Hansen has previously said the band will likely reunite for special appearances in the future.WATCH: Foreigner’s Kelly Hansen and Styx’s Lawrence Gowan explain what inspires them to keep performing and touring after decades-long careersDuring their interview with Fox News Digital, Hansen and Gowan shared their thoughts on what has motivated them to continue performing and touring after launching their music careers decades ago.CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER”For me, it’s understanding that very few people get to do what we do,” Hansen said. “Very few, and especially in this time and this economy and the way things are, to be able to be doing this at this level is an unbelievable gift. And if you don’t recognize that, then you really don’t have a grasp of what it’s really all about.””I 100% concur with that,” Gowan said. “Music, what it does to your life at different stages is really – it’s profound.””In your 20s, you’ve learned your craft enough that you’re starting to make some kind of headway,” he continued. “It’s very uplifting. But at the same time, you’re very driven to see if you can extend this thing. Then, in your 30s, you begin to see the problems that can exist between musicians, etc.””In your 40s, you start to find things are – you’re lucky if you’re still doing it. You begin to feel that. By the time you hit your 50s, you start to get this gratitude that begins to kind of seep in that; that you’re still kind of reaching for a performance that you’re really, really proud of, and you never actually get there, believe it or not.””You get performances that you’re proud of, but you never actually get to a point where you think, ‘That’s it, I’ve mastered it,'” Gowan said. “There’s always that opening where you want to make it slightly better. And I think Kelly and I – both bands Styx and Foreigner – we’re both still on that path of seeing how much better can we possibly make this? How can we make it even 1% better and have people still enjoy it? And we still seem to feel that we’re on that climb, you know?””So, if we ever lose that, I think we might lose a bit of our enthusiasm for it. But we’re still very, very driven and kind of in awe of the fact that we’re still on that path.”

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

Rate it

Who we are

Rapid City, South Dakota’s only commercial free unedited internet classic rock radio station; playing a little newer rock and mainly older rock. A fully licensed stream.

This station is part of the Deep Dive Radio Network.


Our radio is always online!

Listen now completely free!

Give us your feedback!


If you like Badlands Classic Rock, please consider making a donation. Your donation goes towards keeping the station commercial free, and helps with operating costs.

More Ways To Listen