Styx bassist Ricky Phillips departs hard rock band after 21-year tenure

Styx bass guitarist Ricky Phillips is taking a break from the road and has announced his departure from Styx after more than two decades.



Ricky Phillips is stepping back from touring and ending his tenure with Styx
Ricky Phillips is stepping back from touring and ending his tenure with Styx

Longtime Styx bassist Ricky Phillips has departed the American hard rock band.

The 71-year-old musician split duties with original bassist Chuck Panozzo for 21 years but has decided to take a break from the road to focus on a studio project close to home.

In a statement, Ricky said: "Dear Friends, after touring for 50 years with The Babys, Bad English, opening for Tina Turner (on the Private Dancer tour with John Parr), Belinda Carlisle's first solo tour, rehearsing in Tahoe and recording at Little Mountain in Canada with Jimmy Page and David Coverdale and writing, touring, and co-producing 10/10 with Ronnie Montrose, to name a chosen few...I'm taking a breather.

"My last 20+ years of touring and recording with my friends in Styx has come to an end. I am taking a break from the road. I'm not retiring, just taking a break. Presently, I have accepted an offer to co-produce a project in a studio close to home. I've known since I was a kid that live performance is in my blood so, in time I will post any future engagements or commitments. But for right now, Melissa and I will share coffee talk and meals from home...with our critters close by.

"Of course, I will always cherish the adventurous days recording and touring with Styx. And I will truly miss the wonderfully-crazy and faithful Styx fans...whose smiling faces I often saw more than my own family.

"Peace be with you all... and Happy Trails, Ricky. (sic).”

The rest of the band said: "It was a joy to spend two decades with Ricky Phillips in Styx and we wish him all the best in his next adventure. He'll always be a part of the Styx family and we'll miss his presence on our stage and in our touring lives. With all our love, The Styx Family."

Ricky contributed to four Styx albums, the most recent being 2021's 'Crash of the Crown'.

He worked with Led Zeppelin legend Jimmy Page and David Coverdale on their 1993 'Coverdale/Page' LP.

The bass player and his former Bad English bandmate Neal Schon also played with former Montrose members Sammy Hagar and Denny Carmassi on a live version of the Montrose song 'Rock Candy'.

And he worked with hard rock guitarist Ted Nugent on his 1986 solo project 'Little Miss Dangerous'.