Chris Caffery
Tour Diary
October-December 1997
  Columbus, Magellan and Savatage Sailed Across the Ocean
1997 Tour Diary by Christopher Caffery

October 10, 1997
  Greetings to everyone who reads this story!!! About a month ago Mattias Breusch approached me about doing a Savatage road diary. The idea excited me very much. I would like to take some time to thank Savatage fans world wide for your inspiring support. We were overwhelmed when we entered the German Pop Album Charts at #11. Now we can't wait to get to Europe and thank you all in person. I donít know if some of you realize just how crazy we are right now. Rehearsals start tomorrow here in New York City. Johnny and Zak fly here from Florida tonight. The Mountain King flew in earlier today. I spoke to him an hour ago and he was on his way to meet Paul OíNeill to work on some music for the next Trans-Siberian Orchestra record. I am at my home in New York State enjoying my last couple hours of sanity. Iím here to grab a guitar or two. It looks very beautiful here in the fall. Earlier I visited La Bella Strings to say hello and pick up our guitar strings for the tour. I also stopped at the local music shop to grab anything else I may have forgotten for tomorrow. Now I sit with my horse, dog, cats and chickens in the ĎCalm Before the Stormí. I will see my mother for dinner then head for New York City for the start of the ĎWakeí tour fun and excitement---Talk to you soon!!!!!---C.C.

October 11, 1997   Anticipation, confusion, trial, error; these are all words relating to the first day of rehearsal. Jon, Al, Jeff, Johnny and I all got our feet wet and our ears ringing at S.I.R. Rehearsal Studios today. Zachary stayed behind because of a couple of reasons. 1) We were mostly working on music and 2) He left his keys to our band apartment in Florida, we had all left before him so he could not lock the door behind himself. Oops! Ten hours later were back home for some beer darts and discussions about the set list. Talk to you tomorrow---C.C.

October 12, 1997   Counterpoint vocals, background vocals, football and then more vocals. Day 2 of rehearsal started with Jeff and I leaving at 10 A.M. to get a head start on killing our ears. I drove my car instead of taking the subway because on the weekend you can actually find parking in New York City. However, I also found myself going the wrong way down a one way street by accident. Not only this, but there was about 200 police officers assembled there for security for a parade. I quickly made a U-turn and escaped to get some coffee!! Rehearsal sounded pretty good. We escaped for a while to watch some of our favorite American football teams. This new album is gonna be fun to play live. ĎTil tomorrow---C.C.

October 13, 1997   Start. Stop. Start again: Rehearsal is kind of similar to studying for an exam in school. You learn something, do it again and again until you donít mess it up; then you move on to the next song. By tomorrow we will be able to run the whole set in order. Wish us luck! I just discovered that I really like singing, itís fun. I stayed late to work on my guitar sound. No-one could tell me to shut up then!! My ears are ringing!!! ---C.C.

October 14, 1997   Nervous, anxious and tired. This is how I feel tonight. We finished at S.I.R. today. I think we may go somewhere tomorrow and run through the show one more time before Thursdayís show. A new room gives you a fresh feeling. Iím tired I could use a day off. I guess Iíll get one in December!! Oh well. Iím in New York rehearsing for another European tour. You know Iím one of the luckiest people alive. Itís days like this that I really miss Criss Oliva. He made much of this possible for me and heís not here to enjoy it. I do feel him around a lot though. Iím going to bed. Itís3 a.m. Goodnight!!---C.C.

October 15, 1997   Weíre done rehearsing!!!!!!!!!!! Tomorrow, ĎThe Wake of Magellaní tour starts. Here we go!---C.C.

USA Warm Up Gigs
October 16, 1997
  Danbury, Connecticut Tuxedo Junction Help! The first show creeps up on us and is gone. I am surprised. We had a house full of people who were very familiar with the new record. A couple hundred people in the audience had the CD with them for us to sign and itís not out here in America until 1998. The show went very well. I personally think I could have played better, but thatís why we have another show tomorrow. Right now itís four years to the day that Criss was killed. We miss you bro. The fans do also. You will never be forgotten!! ĎTil tomorrow-Good Night---C.C.

October 17, 1997   Old Bridge, New Jersey Birch Hill

October 18, 1997   We are on our way to Virginia right now. Last nightís show in New Jersey was great. Over 1200 people attended. Paul OíNeill showed up and was signing autographs. Fans came from Israel, Taiwan, Japan, Canada and over20 United States to see the show!!! Savatage fans are the best in the world!!!---C.C.

October 19, 1997   Guess what? We are on our way back from Virginia. It is about a five hour long drive. We are listening to American football. Last night was another good one. We had a meet and greet with about 150 of the fans after the show. Then I had a meet and greet with Jack Danielís and a fire extinguisher. This is not the best day for a long drive. When we get to New York I still have to drive my car to my home upstate. I need to leave it there because I canít park it in the city without being there. It would not be there when I got back from Europe!!!----C.C.

October 20, 1997   Now guess what? Iím in a bus on my way back to the city. I did enjoy my day away from everyone. I will surely see them enough starting tonight! The next time I talk to you it will be on the airplane. Bye America!---C.C.

October 21, 1997   Boring. That is about the only way I can describe an over seas flight. Zak is making friends with everyone on the plane. He is amazing. He can sit next to some old married couple and in two minutes he knows their whole life story. I canít start a conversation with anyone. Iím listening to Black Sabbath. Al has been asleep since take-off. Johnnyís working on the computer. Jeff is talking to some kid from Austria, who is a fan of the band. Jon is being Jon. Iíve had three cups of coffee so Iím very awake. The bus is going to meet us at the airport in Munich. Zak is driving us all nuts right about now. Talk to you later---C.C.

October 22, 1997
  Well, we made it. We are in a hotel in Kaufenbearen. Tomorrow we will check out our gear. I am going to find a McDonaldís.

October 23, 1997   Iím very excited for tomorrow. This is a very beautiful city. I did not bring enough warm clothes!! I found a McDonaldís. The first show is always a very nervous experience. Now it is about midnight and my amps just made it. I hope this stuff all fits on our trailer. Last night we went out to a club and everyone thought Jeff and I were Chippendaleís dancers! Dummkoepfe!!! They had danced at the Zeppelinhalle that night. You would not want to see me dance. ĎTil tomorrow.---C.C.

October 24, 1997   Zeppelinhalle

October 25, 1997   Rockpalast

October 26, 1997   Woah!!!!! The first three shows are done. Sorry it has taken me awhile to write. I havenít had time to breathe. The first show went very well. I missed the European audiences. Wurzburg went even better. Tonight in Ludwigsburg was amazing. I canít put it in words; Savatage fans are incredible! We are signing autographs every night for people who want them. Since we have 15 albums when someone has all of them this can take a while. We love to do it. I have a bit of a sore throat. An American military policeman and his family showed up today, he is going to bring us some warmer clothes. A couple of our crew guys got locked in our trailer by accident. Ha, Ha! We put Sirens back in the set because everyone has asked for it. Zak is standing outside my bunk now putting earplugs in his ears to help himself sleep. A lot of people on this bus snore too much. Tomorrow we record the show for a radio broadcast. Can you say stress!!!

October 27, 1997   Holy blown up amps Batman! Why me. The show went great, BUT, one of my amps blew up. Our sound engineer noticed it and recorded the good one. BUT. The monitor guy didnít. All I heard was noise. I hate only having one show to record. I find myself thinking too much. I guess you can be the judge. Chris Stressery out!!

October 28, 1997   Well tomorrow is our first day off!! Tonightís show was pretty interesting. The monitors blew up on stage. It was so hot in the building that water was dripping on us from the ceiling. Itís cold outside and Iím getting sick. As you may guess, everyone definitely needs a day off!!-C.C.

October 29, 1997   The first day off. NOT!! We had to go in the studio and listen to the live recording and decide which stuff we wanted to use for the radio broadcast. I however am sick, and I was allergic to the control room in the studio so I sneezed for five hours. FUN!!!! Al was rooming with Jon tonight and just came knocking on my door. He said the Mountain Kingís snoring is keeping him awake, he is now sleeping on my floor. Goodnight-C.C.

October 30, 1997   Today was a pretty calm day. Jon had to go the dentist. He had a toothache. This town was tiny and there were more people at the show than there was in the town! A great show, Iím still sick. -C.C.

October 31, 1997   Happy Halloween! In America today we would all dress either pretty funny or pretty scary. I think my cold is gone. I wish I could say the same for the weather. I was glad to see some kids in costume. ĎThe Ripperí from Judas Priest came to the show to see us. He was in Berlin doing press. This town is great for real Heavy Metal. It is not great for pizza! It actually had cold tuna fish on it!?!? Now it is about 6:00 A.M. Johnny and I are up talking and partaking in some late night German beer. Good night, morning whatever you want to call it.-C.C.

November 1, 1997   Hansel and Gretel. That is all I have to say about this town. We had the most amazing view from our hotel. I played with a little German kitten while we waited for our ride back to the show. Animals speak every language. The show was great. My wireless went down during ĎMorning Suní. The band is getting very, very good. Tomorrow in Hamburg our record company is coming. Another stressful kind of a day. I love EDEL Records. But I always get nervous playing for them. I am more relaxed when itís just you, the fans. EDEL works so hard for us and I guess we just donít want to disappoint them.-C.C.

November 2, 1997   --On the side of the highway--I woke up hoping to be in Hamburg and go clothes shopping. Instead, I found out the bus broke down three hours away from Hamburg. (Time goes by) We are finally driving again. I sat up front for a while with Will our bus driver and ate oatmeal cookies and figured out how late we would be for tonightís show. Hamburg came up on a couple of road signs and I recalled a Led Zeppelin poster I have at home. I then wondered if Page and Plant were ever doing what I was at that time. I bet they had an airplane. Every once in a while it gets strange. Iím doing exactly as I dreamed of as a child. I feel very lucky. Oh yeah, Sean our T-shirt guy got food poisoning from the wonderful fish pizza.-C.C.

November 3, 1997   I just arrived in Bochum. I stayed overnight in Hamburg and took the train here with Felix from EMP. It was very relaxing. Everyone here is kind of stressed out today. Iím on the bus hiding. We play early tonight. Last night in Hamburg went great considering we had almost no sound check and our crew had just an hour to set up. We finally made it to Hamburg at 6:30.Edel records enjoyed the show very much so Iím happy. Mattias and Gotz just showed up here and asked how this diary was going. It is actually fun. I must start to type it on the computer. I have a lot of work to do. Last night we filmed a special for Bravo TV. I heard a band like us is not on as how like this much. Iíd like to thank them again. ĎTil tomorrow. ---C.C.

November 4, 1997   OUR FIRST DAY OFF!

Thank you Germany for a great first 10 shows! This is our first real "Day off". Last night in Bochum was a great show also, however my dear friend Zachary managed somehow to kick a full bottle of water on stage and hit me in the head. I had received a severe concussion a few years back in an accident, so my head is kind of delicate as it is. I was very dizzy onstage. Today I feel like I was boxing last night. It is very hard to perform with such a bad headache. We all figured out how to get our laundry done today. That is usually pretty funny. Some of my stuff I dropped off at the dry-cleaners so it wouldnít get ruined and of course it got ruined anyway. Iíll talk to you tomorrow, unless something else funny happens-which it usually does!-C.C.

November 5, 1997   Well Germany I have only one thing to say "YOU ROCK!!! " Tonightís show had some interesting problems. But, the crowd was one of the best weíve ever seen. The catering was a lot better than the monitors. I think our crew is a little homesick. Weíre off to a bunch of other countries, weíll see you Germany in three weeks. This should get pretty interesting! ---C.C.

November 6, 1997   You know itís funny. We could be going to meet the president and the people on this tour would not be as excited as they are to go to Amsterdam. Iím sure you may know why. This place is like an adult Disneyland. We would like to thank the people from the Sam Sam club for giving us a great after show party and the people in Amsterdam for a great show.. I think I lost my camera.

November 7, 1997   I found my camera, it was in Johnnyís bunk. Leewarden is a cute little town. The people are awful drivers. Felix from EMP came out to say

Hi one more time. Thanks for a great job on our merchandise Felix!!! Ed our drum technician saved my life last night. He pushed me out of the way of a car and it hit him instead!!! Zacharyís sister Gina came out to see us last night and today. I have some funny stories on Zak as a child, but I will withhold them until I need to blackmail him!!.-C.C.

November 8, 1997   Belgium--Johnny now has the bus cold. He can barely talk. They switched us to a larger venue here and we sold over twice as many tickets in Belgium as last tour. We watched three girls in very tight pants sweep up the floor when we were done. In the midst of this I managed to notice that this was by far the heaviest drinking crowd of the tour!! I have never seen a pile of empty cups like that. Cheers Belgium and the Biebop people for a great show and after show party.-C.C.

November 9, 1997   This was my third time at the Noorderlight. It is always a great place to play. I took some time during the day to feed the local ducks. Mattias Breusch came to the show and we had a little party at the hotel. Somehow Jeffís nose got busted open. I tried to carry Jon to his room. I could not. I had promised the hotel I would help them clean. After we both figured Iíd be no help, I went to sleep.

November 10, 1997   This was just a nice day to shop and relax. I think our hotel is haunted. Gary our sound man and I both had our doors open to our rooms with no help. Jeff and I both had the water shut off in the bathroom on its own. I went to the local church!!-C.C.

November 11, 1997   Yet another day off. We were supposed to play in Lyon France tonight. After weeks of trying to get the proper sound equipment for the show, we canceled. We hate to do this. This is only the second time in over 400 Savatage concerts that I can remember doing it. The last time was on the Gutter Ballet tour and we were at a place that had NO sound system. It is more important to us to give the fans back their money than to leave feeling like weíve ripped them off!!! I think they will understand. We promise to come back and re-schedule in a better place!-C.C.

November 12, 1997   LATE!!!! That is the best way to start talking about Paris. We did not even start our show until 2:00 A.M. Jeff and I found time to get to The Louvre, Notreí Dame and The Hard Rock Cafí . I was very happy to finally get a big cheeseburger and some chili-fries!! Al had some interesting braids in his hair this evening, I wonder if you will ever see a picture!! We have a very long drive, I hope we make to Au on time!! Goodnight-C.C.

November 13, 1997   LATE!!!! That is the best way to start talking about today in Pau. Our French fan club is based out of here. Thank you Jean-Luc for all of your help and support. This was actually our second show today if you think about it. One at 2:00 A.M. in Paris; and one at 10:00 P.M. here. Johnny and I got some French lessons from a D J. Most of the things we learned would get you slapped in the face. Tomorrow we are in Spain, one of the three new countries for Savatage on this tour. Goodnight---C.C.

November 14, 1997   Today Zak and I got our first experience with Spanish culture. In case I didnít mention, I room with Zak. He does not smoke or snore and neither do I. We must have walked about 10 miles today. Pomplona is a very nice city, the only problem is the restaurants donít open until 9:00 P.M. We were starved. Eventually we couldnít decide what to eat, so my first authentic Spanish meal was Chinese food. Tomorrow we play with U F O. I am very nervous. Michael Schenker is one of my favorite guitarists. We finally made it out tonight to a place where the girls out-number the guys 10 to one. I went with Dean, my tech; and Ed our drum tech. The only problem was none of us spoke Spanish and none of them spoke English. So we gambled away our money and went back to sleep. Zak and I laughed at some pretty interesting late night Spanish TV.-C.C.

November 15, 1997   School!! That is what I feel like I just left. We had a great show. Spanish kids love their music too. But, I just saw one of the reasons why I still practice. MICHAEL FíIN SCHENKER. Tonight we played the only show on the tour where we support someone. I was very excited to find out we were playing with UFO. As I mentioned yesterday Michael Schenker is one of my main influences on the guitar. He was amazing. I got the couple of UFO CDís I always have on me signed and finally got to meet one of my heroes. Michael even stopped the car he was in to make the photo he had promised me, regardless of how many fans were surrounding the car. Iím sitting in my bunk with a guitar now, time to practice! Oh yeah Al and I would like to thank our friends in Danger Danger, they opened the show. Howís the hangover guys? Thanks Michael, Pete, Phil, Paul and Simon for a great memory!---C.C.

November 16, 1997   Bumpy roads!! This is what Iím feeling right now. I am listening to the new Saxon album that Mattias had recommended to me, itís great, Thanks!! Tonight we played in Valencia Spain. This city reminds me a lot of Southern California. Itís very beautiful. Our hotel was right by the Mediterranean Sea. I walked in it for the first time ever. Iím reading my tour itinerary and it says at midnight in Valencia ĎPARTY PARTY PARTY!!! íWell, we had to leave at that time because we had a 1400K drive back to France. We donít get to have any fun!! I canít believe that there are only10 shows left. We are just getting used to the road now. After a crazy sound check (nobody spoke any English) we actually had a great show. Savatageís first headlining show in Spain was a success!-C.C.

November 17, 1997   This started out to be what we all felt would be another boring day off. We stopped in Nimes, France to let Billy our driver get some sleep. To the best of my knowledge this is what all of us did today. Jon, Al, Ramie, Schlanky, Gary, Ralph and I went walking through town. We found an old Roman Coliseum and went inside. We walked all the way around the top rim. Very intense! Zak, Dean, and Mr. Plate did laundry. Very boring! I think Johnny just slept. Very Zak of him! It was a very nice day off actually.---C.C.

*****After a month of writing I have decided to ask the other members of Savatage to pick a country and write about it. Besides, Iím bored of listening to myself!!!! Iíll talk to you soon.-C.C.****************************************

November 18, 1997   Strassbourg, France - Jeff Plate

I woke up today expecting to walk off the bus in Saarbruken, which is where Vanden Plas opened for us last year. But once I saw several large cows drawn on the side of a building, looking like a twisted butcherís anatomy project I knew I was at La Laiterie. A confusing start to my day, and I donít even know what day it is. Then again, some of us canít even remember being here last year.

After strolling through town with Chris, we returned to the venue for sound check. The monitors sounded the best yet, so I knew I was going to have fun tonight. The bill for the evening was Superior, Vanden Plas, Vanderhoof and yours truly. With the success of our new album and three strong opening bands, the show promised to be much stronger than last years, and the night delivered. Similar to a bunch of shows on this tour, we had over twice as many people than the ĎDead Winter Deadí tour. The turnout and enthusiasm has grown much over the past year with our French fans too. A great sign for Savatage. As every night after the show, we spent time with the fans who stuck around to meet us.

With nine shows left, we regret the tour is coming to a close. At the same time we do need a break. The band is on a roll, every show has been great, But we will got out with a vengeance in Germany. See you soon!-Jeff

November 19, 1997   Prattelin, Switzerland - Zachary Stevens

Hello everyone! I am writing you from the Z7 in Switzerland. This was a surprising day for me and the whole band. My first surprise was waking up to the smell of Italian food. Al decided it was his day to cook and made us spaghetti and meatballs!! The next surprise was that we played to more people here tonight as a headliner than we did on the Summer Metal Meetings festival in Ď96. I was very excited to see such an increase in the Swiss crowd. By the way, we played a good, energetic show for the crowd and had a great time doing it!! After the show we had a meet and greet with the fans then hit surprise #3. We were throwing an American Nerf football and accidentally hit the very large mirror ball hanging in the middle of the hall. Taking what seemed like two minutes, I watched it fall to the ground and break. Now Savatage owns a mirror ball which we had to pay for!!! Avery surprising evening, indeed!! ĎTil next time-Yours truly, Zak.

November 20-21, 1997   Milano, Italy - Al Pitrelli

What can be said ĎTo think I get paid to play guitar and visit my Homelandí. A great job, I recommend it to all of my friends! We had the 20thoff, which put me in a good mood to begin with. Donít get me wrong, I adore Germany for professional and personal reasons, but a day off in Italy was just what we needed. There was a baby grand piano in the hotel lobby that we sat at playing Beatles songs all afternoon. We ate more food that night than we had eaten the entire tour. The strangest part was the very friendly women walking past the hotel. Now, I have a fairly advanced knowledge of the female anatomy, THESE WOMEN HAD DICKS!! (Quite large ones I might add!) I know people need to make a living, but this is a bit much. Picture this- "A Ďpersoní wearing a fur coat and high heels with very large breasts coming towards you." (The coat was the only article of clothing) Just as it gets close enough to you, you realize this Ďpersoní had a beard this morning!! Is this a great country or what?!?! Anyway, the next day was a show day.

A very large tent with several thousand people speaking Italian all at once. Kind of like my Grandmother's house on a Sunday. We lost the monitors and house sound in the middle of ĎHourglassí. Not a good spot for no monitors!! Ironically, the venueís name was the ĎAquaticaí. Fairly appropriate name, as it began to rain outside, it began to rain inside also. So, The tent leaked, the monitors blew, the prostitutes had penises, the food was outstanding and everyone spoke Italian----Is this a great job or what??!!!-----AL

November 22-23, 1997   Salzburg and Vienna Austria - The Mountain King - JON OLIVA

Hi!! Iíve been to Salzburg 3 or 4 times but this was the first time I got to walk around the city centrum. I found the very inspirational. The buildings were very cool. It was like being right in the middle of Christmas City. I went to Mozartís statue and just hung out there for awhile. I had a smoke with Mozart and went back to the Rockhaus. The show was cool that night. Sold out shows are always the best. In Vienna we met some very cool people. One person who stands out is a guy named Patrick, who happens to be handicapped. He seemed to really enjoy the show. I like to extend special treatment to handicapped people, my father is handicapped himself. I know what it is like. The show was kick-ass that night. After the show on our way out of town we stopped to fuel the busses and had a major snowball fight with Vanderhoof. I think Johnny Lee got the worst of it. He was plastered by Derrick (My personal assistant) in the face. We then built a snowman and stuck a smoke in his mouth, then continued to have the snow war. It was wild. I havenít had that much fun in a long time. Yeah, Austria kicked ass!!!!---THE MOUNTAIN KING

November 24-25, 1997   Budapest, Hungary---Johnny Lee Middleton

Well, Where do I begin? We arrived in Budapest in the early afternoon for a much needed day of rest. After a nap and some hot food the guys decided that we should go out and enjoy a little of the Budapest night life. Boy were we in for a shock. We let Chris Caffery be our leader for the night. After consulting the hotel desk clerk, who recommended where we should go, we found ourselves in a strip club where you could take the girls home for the night (if you know what I mean). It was like a bunch of kids in a candy shop for the single guys. We all had a great time and since I left with the Mt. King early that night I have none of the details except for second hand stories of the crazy things that happened. The next day proved to be a very interesting day as well. I still had not gotten my voice back so I felt it was time to visit a doctor. The local promoter set up an appointment for me with a local physician. After a bit of a drive I arrived at an old military hospital. The place was old and run down and looked like it was something out of a 1940 movie. The doctor was a very nice man who sterilized his instruments on an open flame (alcohol burner) I was very scared and this was a very primitive hospital. After the examination the doctor was asking me about the band and what time we were going to play that night. I invited him to the show and asked him if he would like to be our guest for the night. He told me not to worry about putting him on the guest list because he was the head of stage security at the venue we were playing. Talk about a shock. Sure enough as we took the stage there he was, the doctor working as a stage security man and he did kick the shit of a guy that kept pushing the monitors around. The crowd was great and the turnout was more than we had expected. After the show we signed autographs for a long time and we were off to the Czech Republic with a lifetime supply of antibiotics and stories to tell our grandchildren someday.

November 26, 1997   Hi!! Itís Chris here again. I have a day off in Prague and of course I still am busy. It was hard enough to get the guys to write their story. So guess whoís typing them in the computer? Yes, ME!!#!$#! I need to spend some time catching up on this story. It has turned out to be way more work than I realized. But, it is fun. Today we went to Planet Hollywood and did some shopping. Tomorrow we are supposed to get up early and go sight seeing. However, we just had a party in the hotel with the Vanderhoof guys, so we will see who will wake up early!!!----Goodnight!-C.C.

November 27, 1997   WOW!!! Prague was by far the most beautiful city I have ever seen in my life! Not since I was 19 years old and visited Disneyland for the first time have I been this blown away by something Iíve seen. It almost did not seem real. Hey, guess how many people I went with???? -1-JEFF. No one else would wake up!! It is Thanksgiving today in America. We are all pretty sad about missing it. I ate a cheeseburger at McDonaldís. Jeff and I must have spent about a weekís pay on gifts for our selves and our families today. Everything was so nice and so cheap!! I bought a red Wizards hat and wore it around town. Yesterday I pointed out to Jeff that not many people were smiling in the street. Today, almost everyone who saw me had a big smile on their face. My camera broke today, in all of the places I ever wanted it to work!!!! Tonight, I think I had the best show playing Iíve ever had in my life. I donít want this to end!!! Tomorrow weíre back in Germany. Saturday we are filming the show and a video. Paul OíNeill will be there.---C.C.

November 28, 1997   Stuffed!! This is how I can describe all of us now. A U.S. Military Policeman named Ed Rossman and his family, who have been to about 10 shows here this tour brought us Thanksgiving Dinner!!! Turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, pies, cakes. You name it!! Thanks Ed!! I made my world famous homemade cranberry sauce. Everyone in our band and crew along with everyone in Vanderhoofís were very grateful to them. It is right after sound check now. Iím actually typing this day right now instead of writing it out first. That means for the first time all tour Iím caught up on my story!! I have to figure out how Iím going to get my film developed. I hope I have time. As you can tell I am very busy now. Iíll talk to you later.---C.C.

November 29, 1997   KOLN

November 30, 1997   Bremen---To be written by Mattias

December 1, 1997   Travel

December 2, 1997   The Airplane

Sad, happy, relieved, satisfied, anxious, tired, sick, curious, thankful and soon to be bored. These are the feelings I have right now. Saturday in Kola went very well. Paul OíNeill was running around like a madman as usual. We had a couple extra members in the band that night in the form of "VIVA" TV cameramen. Sundayís show in Bremen I feel was the bandsí best all tour. Mattias will tell you about that one. Monday we drove to Munich, checked in a hotel by the airport and finally got off the bus. Unsuccessfully trying to find Americaís "Monday Night Football" on TV we eventually went to sleep. At 9:30 A.M. we left for the airport. At 11:30A.M. we said goodbye to the guys in Vanderhoof; thanks guys for some great music and fun memories, then boarded our airplane home. Now I sit on the plane about two hours from New York. A week from today we play "ChristmasEve12-24" live on THE ROSIE OíDONNELL SHOW. The show is the top rated talk show in America now, about 25 million viewers! This will be the first official appearance of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. As for my emotions at the beginning of this last entry: Well, Iím sad because itís over for now and weíll miss playing music to the greatest fans in the world. Iím happy because the tour was successful and I get to go home for the holidays. Iím relieved that all went as well as we could have dreamed of on this first leg of our tour. Iím very satisfied with the current success of Savatage and how well the band performed. I really think Criss is proud of all of us-the band and you the fans. Iím anxious to see how the TSO record does this Christmas and to record another, and to finally record another Doctor Butcher CD in 1998. Weíre all anxious to get back on the road with Savatage next year. Iím tired; I think you should all know why! Iím sick because there was too much smoke and germs on our bus for the past six weeks! Iím curious to see how the "Wake of Magellan" saga will unfold in the future. Iím thankful to God and everyone else involved with making Savatage a huge success! Weíd all like to thank everyone on our crew, everyone at Rock Hard, everyone at Edel, CMM, Drakkar and Krebs Communications for their great work. We would like to thank you the fans again and again for keeping the faith and for being the best fans in the galaxy. WE LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! I guess that leads me back to boredom. There is so much excitement surrounding the road that even living in New York City canít match it. But we will live with the memories of a great time and await the next tour with equal enthusiasm. We canít wait to see you again.

Iíd like to thank Criss Oliva for giving us the strength and inspiration to carry on. You are very much loved and missed and will never be forgotten.

Thank you all and goodbye for now.

Yours truly,