#1 Best Prog Rock Drummer live at the London Drum Show
Artist biography John Panozzo
John Anthony Panozzo is best known as drummer for the American rock band Styx.
John Panozzo grew up in the Roseland neighborhood, the south side of Chicago, Illinois with his fraternal twin brother, Chuck (born 90 minutes apart).
At age seven, the twins took musical lessons from their uncle in which John took an interest in drums and percussion. They attended Catholic school and eventually they were part of a 25-piece accordion band in which John played drums and Chuck played guitar. They would play weddings at age twelve and were paid $15 a piece.
Then, in 1961, John, Chuck, and their neighbor, Dennis DeYoung, formed a band called the Tradewinds in which John played drums, Chuck played guitar, and Dennis played the accordion and sang. They played local rock and roll gigs at bars and began gaining popularity as a garage band on the south side. In 1968, Chuck switched to bass and they added guitarists/vocalists James "J.Y." Young and John Curulewski, changing their name to TW4. The band signed to Wooden Nickel Records and changed their name to Styx.
Years of partying with Styx and excessive drinking began to take a toll on John Panozzo's liver. In the mid-1990s, as Styx was about to embark on its first tour with the classic line-up since 1983, John fell seriously ill and began battling cirrhosis of the liver, eventually dying of gastrointestinal hemorrhaging on July 16, 1996. John Panozzo was 47 years old.
The band dedicated their 1996 Return to Paradise tour to him, and Tommy Shaw, who had earlier replaced Curulewski, wrote the song Dear John as the band's final tribute to their drummer and friend.
After John's death, new drummer Todd Sucherman became a full time member of Styx.
Not much is known about the drum gear John Panozzo has used, but he was believed to have first used various drums such as Ludwig and Premier and then eventually Tama drums for the rest of his career. He has always used Zildjian cymbals.