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John Panozzo

John Panozzo
Birth name John Anthony Panozzo
Born (1948-09-20)September 20, 1948
Chicago, Illinois
Died July 16, 1996(1996-07-16) (aged 47)
Genres Progressive rock, rock, hard rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums
Associated acts Styx

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

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 7, 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 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.

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.[1] The band signed to Wooden Nickel Records and changed their name to Styx.

Years of excessive drinking began to take a toll on his 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; he was 47 years old.[2][3][4]

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.

Panozzo used Premier drums during the band's early years then switched to Tama drums by 1979. He also played Zildjian cymbals.


  • Discography 1
    • Studio Albums 1.1
    • Compilations 1.2
  • References 2


Studio Albums



  1. ^ Clark, Dick (March 29, 1983). "Styx and stones...".  
  2. ^ "John Panozzo - Styx Drummer".  
  3. ^ "John Panozzo, 47, 70's Rock Drummer". New York Times. July 18, 1996. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Perrone, Pierre (20 July 1996). "Obituary: John Panozzo". The Independent. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
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