Which Styx Song Was Inspired by Day Drinking at a Bar in Niles, Michigan?
It's not often that day drinking leads to anything productive, but a very successful 1981 song by the rock band Styx proves to be the exception to the rule.
Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw is credited with writing the song from the band's 1981 'Paradise Theater' album, arguably the group's most commercially-successful album. Shaw also sings the lead vocal on the track.
The album primarily focuses on the rise and fall of a once-popular concert venue in Chicago, also known as the Paradise Theatre. Most of the album's 10 songs follow that theme, with the exception of the third song on side one: 'Two Much Time on My Hands.'
Inspired by a Patron at a Bar in Niles
Shaw was living in Niles, Michigan at the time the concept album was penned. He was a frequent patron of a local watering hole where the drinks were notoriously cheap. Shaw tells SongFacts it was the type of place where you could go in with $20 and have a great time.
"I think officially it was called Mark's Tavern, but everybody called it Mark's Bar. It was the local watering hole," Shaw said. "The drinks were good, and the drinks were cheap. You could go in there with 20 bucks and be a hero, you know - buying rounds of drinks. And you'd always run into somebody you knew in there. That was the basis of the song."
He explained that the song was about a guy who spends his days drinking at the local bar, going on about world events or whatever random thought popped into his head.
He has nothing else to do - hence the title 'Too Much Time on My Hands.'