Twin brothers Chuck and John Panozzo got together with their neighbor Dennis DeYoung in 1961 in Chicago to form "The Tradewinds". The band never made it to the recording stage and in 1966, the Panozzo brothers had joined DeYoung at Chicago State College and kept the group together doing gigs at high schools and frat parties while studying to be teachers. In 1969 they added a college buddy, John Curulewski, on guitar and in 1972 the band members decided to choose a new name when they signed to Wooden Nickel Records. According to DeYoung, the name Styx was chosen mostly because it was "the only one that none of us hated".
Styx is a mythical river in classical Greek mythology. It is the river in the underworld over which the souls of the dead are ferried.
|Crossing the Styx, illustration by Gustave Doré, 1861.|
The word is a cognate of the Greek stygos meaning "hatred" and stygnos meaning "gloomy." The river formed the boundary between Earth and the Underworld (Hades). The rivers Styx, Phlegethon, Acheron, and Cocytus all converge at the center of the underworld on a great marsh, which is also sometimes called the Styx.