Tuesday, January 19, 2016

R.I.P.: Gary Loizzo of The American Breed, Styx Producer

Gary Loizzo
Gary Loizzo a major part of the “Chicago Sound” of the 60s and lead singer of the American Breed is dead at age 70.

Loizzo died late Saturday night after a two-and-a-half year battle with cancer.

He left the spotlight in the 70s and opened his own recording studio in Oak Lawn where he worked with REO Speedwagon, Styx, Bad Company, Slash, Survivor and Liza Minelli to engineer albums that would sell more than 25 million copies worldwide.

Loizzo had golden ears. He became an integral member of the Styx production team when he first began working with the band as an engineer on their 1974 album Man of Miracles. He garnered a pair of Grammy nominations for Best Engineered Album of the Year for his work on 1979’s multiplatinum-selling Cornerstone and 1983’s Kilroy Was Here, both of which were recorded in Oak Lawn, Illinois at his own Pumpkin Studios, as was 1981’s Paradise Theater, which reached #1 on the album charts.

Ultimately, he graduated to the role of the band’s co-producer on albums like 2003’s Cyclorama and 2005’s Big Bang Theory. “Gary understood our music from a live, front-of-house perspective as well as from the console in the recording studio with us. He was a world-class engineer with great ears,” says Styx guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw. “I feel blessed to have worked with him for so many years, and to call him my friend. He was a good man, and a straight shooter whose opinions I respected and always took to heart.”

Gary was uniquely adept at getting great live sound for the band no matter the venue challenges he faced night after night on the road. All told, he mixed no fewer than 1,500 shows for Styx, according to his obit.

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