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Posted by Christopher Caffery on January 11, 99 at 23:14:05:

I tried twice to finish this before my dear friends at AOL booted me, I think it hasn't made it yet so here goes #3!!!!
I read this board every week when I am off the road. I love the support all of the fans give Savatage now and in the past.
This brings me to why I am posting.
Yes there is a now and the past. Fact, the new Savatage could not have ever existed without the old.
Fact it will never be the same.
This is what makes Criss's legacy so special.
AC/DC was never the same after Bon Scott died. Ozzy was never able to re-form the Blizzard of Ozz after Randy died..
But both continued their music and became more popular, introducing new fans to the old music. The same is true for Savatage.
We have hundreds of thousands of new fans all over the world that know and love Criss Oliva's music because of the NEW Savatage. Fact. We have hundreds of thousands of old fans that have stuck with us thru everything and are still with us. Fact.
A part of me died when Criss Oliva died. He was my teacher, my mentor, my friend. A huge part of Savatage died. Yet a huge part of Savatage lives thru his soul. Thru his music. Every night onstage his music lives thru Savatage 1999. I feel it in my hands, in my heart.
Jon, Johnny, Zak and I all shared the stage with this wonderful human being. Every time we step onstage we use his memory and music as inspiration. We love to see the fans all over the world, some of whom were not even born when the first Savatage record came out.....Singing along to Criss's music.
Without Criss Oliva there would be no Savatage...
Without you the fans none of us would be here....
Without the fans, old and new we would not have a Message Board. Please respect it like you would yourself, you made it!
Without a new Savatage we would not be able to live Criss's dream of trying to see Savatage become a household name.
He is becoming a legend in all parts of the world. I have seen it first hand.
You should have seen the FIRST time Savatage ever played in Greece in 1996. There were 3000 fans chanting CRISS, CRISS, CRISS....When we dedicated "Alone you Breathe" to him. It was the loudest applause all night, and this crowd was LOUD all night.
These kids never would have gotten to show Jon their love for his brother if we did not continue.
Criss is the one who asked me to join this band in the first place. He is the reason I am here now...He is the reason we are all here right now. His music will live on.
Please do not discredit the new Savatage, you would be dishonoring and discrediting his legacy. I know that as long as there are new fans that I can enlighten to the Magic of his music, I will always be here. I hope all of you will too.
I truly appreciate every single Savatage fan. Old and new. Ultimately our music, his music, lives thru you.
Happy New Year!
Christopher Caffery
Please feel free to E-mail me personally any questions and/or comments.

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