Sammy Hagar and Ted Nugent say they had a direct hand in Styx‘s early ’80s breakup,after allegedly blowing the band off the stage with a raucous opening performance.
Seems Hagar was performing before Styx (we’re guessing this was at the 1983 Dallas Texxas Jam), just before the group initially went their separate ways in 1984, when Nugent joined him for an encore song that convinced Tommy Shaw to leave. Hagar was doing a cover of Led Zeppelin‘s “Whole Lotta Love” when Nugent made a memorable entrance.
“Not only did I blow up the Trans Am on stage, and smash my guitar into the speakers and blow my speakers up,” Hagar says in an upcoming edition of his radio program, “but Ted Nugent comes jumping over the drum riser, lands on the ground and we go into that for an encore. And it’s like, ‘Styx will be right out, ladies and gentlemen,’” Hagar adds, laughing uproariously.
Nugent takes up the story, saying that “by the time they hit the stage, 60 percent of the audience went, ‘I don’t want to ruin this high I just got on.’” The headliners finally emerged, performing a then-current hit. “And then Styx,” Hagar adds, “came out with ‘Mr. Roboto.’” Hagar says Tommy Shaw “told me straight up, ‘I quit the band after that.’”