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section 1 - members past, present, and future

keith collins 1981 - 1985

Keith played bass guitar on Sirens, DAC and POTN. Keith was asked to leave in 1985 after the Power Of The Night tour and was replaced by JLM. Keith now makes his living as an auto mechanic. He also works for "SPIKE" magazine in St. Petersburg, Florida, reportedly editing the publication. To this day he refers to himself as "a good friend of the band." In 1990, Collins founded the Tampa Bay (FL) Metal Awards, an event he is involved with to this day.

 

chris caffery

Chris was brought into the band in 1987 to play rhythm guitar for the HOTMK tour. While not actually involved in the recording of the Gutter Ballet album, he toured with the band in support of that album. He toured on the "World Devastation" (Dec. '87 - Feb. '88) and "One Night With Savatage/Rulin' Gutter" (Gutter Ballet) tour in 1989-1990 and rejoined for the Dead Winter Dead project and tour, and has remained in the band ever since. In the time between his stints in Savatage, he started a band with his brother Phil called "The Caffery Brothers Band" and later "Witch Doctor". He plays guitar in Doctor Butcher and Trans-Siberian Orchestra as well. He was also deeply involved in the much-publicized "Metalium" side project. Chris has gone on to release several solo albums since 2001 and has played in various side projects as well.

 

john zahner 1991 - 1992

John played keyboards on the Streets tour. Keyboards were becoming more prominent in the songs by the time, and Jon preferred to concentrate on his vocal and front man duties and leave the keyboard duties to someone else. Prior to this, John was known for his playing on Crimson Glory’s 1988 "Transcendence" album. John works now with former members of the band Kansas in the band Stormbringer. (Touring Member Only)

John is currently a mamber of Jon Oliva's Pain, after a short stint in Circle 2 Circle.

 

jon oliva

Despite his absence from 1993's "Edge Of Thorns", Jon Oliva remains an active member of the group both in the studio and on tour. After leaving his lead vocal role in 1992, he co-wrote, co-produced and played piano/keys on 'Edge Of Thorns' (1993) and co-wrote, co-produced and played piano, keys, drums and some bass on 'Handful of Rain' (1994). He also toured in support of that album, playing keyboards. Jon Oliva also has a number of side projects -- namely, Doctor Butcher, TSO and two stage productions he has been writing with longtime Savatage producer Paul O'Neill. The first will reportedly be opening at Chicago's Pace Theatre in 2001. Titled 'Romanovs', it is a musical about the last days of the ill-fated Romanov family of Russia. It is also possible that the CD release of the Romanovs soundtrack will be released as a Trans-Siberian Orchestra project.

Jon's new band, "Jon Oliva's Pain" has released several albums since 2001. The band also features former Savatage touring member John Zahner on Keyboards.

 

criss oliva

Criss was a member from the beginning in Savatage’s early incarnations as Tower, Metropolis, and Avatar. He founded the band along with his brother Jon, who were later joined by Steve Walcholz. Criss played Lead Guitar on all the albums through Edge Of Thorns. In October of 1993 Criss was tragically killed in an automobile accident by a drunk driver.

Criss Oliva was headed to the rock festival "Livestock" held near Zephyr Hills, Florida - north of Tampa - early in the morning on Sunday, October 17, 1993. Going down a two-lane highway, a drunk driver tried to pass a semi-trailer truck, but instead hit Criss and his wife Dawn. Criss was killed instantly; wife Dawn has recovered at home in Florida from her critical injuries.

Criss' tombstone quotes 'Believe' from the Streets album:
"I'll be right there / I'll never leave / All I ask of you is believe."

 

wes garren 1993

Wes was brought it on the Edge of Thorns tour to play keyboards and to play the rhythm guitars that Chris Caffery had played on the Gutter Ballet tour. Wes is now working with a band called Skunk Works in Tampa Fl. (Touring Member Only)

 

andy james 1993

Andy was brought in at the last second for the EOT tour after Steve Walcholz decide to quit. He played on the short tour and garnered lots of criticism for changing the drum parts on many of the songs. Largely disliked by the band, it is likely that Andy would have been asked to leave had the tour continued. Andy is now in the studio with 80’s one hit wonders Wang Chung... (Touring Member Only)

 

steve wacholz aka dr. killdrums 1979 - 1994

Former drummer and founding member Steve "Dr. Killdrums" Wacholz left the band 1993. Steve did the photo shoot for HOR and video, even though he was not an official member at the point. Steve has jammed with the Tage at a few charity shows and the Savatage Convention in 1999. After he left Savatage he pursued other interests, including going receiving his Associate of Science Degree in Aviation Technology. After leaving the band Doc also owned and operated a successful R/C raceway and hobby store. Presently Doc works is the store manager of a 40,000 square foot music store named MARS in Tampa. He also recently recorded with Crimson Glory on their Astronoimca release and also plays weekends in Tampa Bay in a blues band named King Nasty. He is the President of two home owner associations (one in Florida, the second in North Carolina) Doc married in 1998 to wife Heather, has two wonderful Pugs and he also owns Spybat Records (affiliated with Metal Blade who released the Dungeons/Sirens reissues). Steve and "Ma" Wacholz ran the Savatage Legion (fan club) for many years.

 

alex skolnick 1994

Alex was brought in to play lead guitar on the album Handful of Rain. Alex, after finishing his one album and tour with Savatage, returned to his primary project - his then-new band, Exhibit A. His attempts to shop a three-song demo around to prospective labels failed due to industry hostility toward rock/metal music. He returned to school and teaches jazz as well as continuing to record jazz influenced music. Alex now fronts his own Ska/Jazz outfit called "The Skol-Tones." Alex is also a touring member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and has recently recorded and played live with his former band Testament.

 

al pitrelli

Al joined the band in the middle of the Dead Winter Dead sessions and played lead guitar on the album. Prior to playing with Savatage he played with Alice Cooper, Coven Pitrelli Riley, Widowmaker and Vertex. While he was in the band he also toured with the Blue Oyster Cult as their keyboardist for a couple of shows. Al, after finishing the third TSO album, was invited to tour with Megadeth after longtime axeman Marty Friedman left during the Risk-Tour. Due to the fact that Al has a wife and kids Al decided that it would be best both for his career and most importantly his family if he accepted Megadeth’s offer to join as a full member. Although Al is sadly missed by the band, they wish him the best of luck in this and all future ventures.

Al rejoined Savatage back in 2001 following the breakup of Megadeth.

 

zak stevens

After four studio albums with Savatage, Zak left to pursue other career options as well as spend more time with his growing family.