Some valid questions that need answers

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Posted by D'Artagnan on January 14, 99 at 09:07:51:

Some valid questions that need answers, this is not meant to BASH the band or insult anyone here, just read it with open eye, ears & heart, thats all we ask. If you don't wish to discuss this subject here in a supposed OPEN & PUBLIC forum then use the e-mail address at the top.

The liner notes of the compilation album Believe state about Streets: "Originally conceived as a musical by O'Neill in the late 1970's, the 'junked' manuscript was
found in a drawer of O'Neill's home by Criss Oliva. He read it, heard the music, and then asked if the band could turn it into a rock opera" (reference: Conversation
Piece Online). If so, why does the Sept. '91 Players article "Straight Talk About STREETS: A ROCK OPERA" (source: say: "The storyline for Streets was finished long ago.... It was originally a rough idea that producer Paul O'Neill
had for a movie script several years ago. Jon clicked with the idea immediately. 'Paul gave me the storyline to read.'" and "Steve points to the acceptance of Gutter
Ballet as the impetus for Streets by noting, 'It definitely was the next step for the band. We said, 'How in the hell are we going to top this one, guys?.' Then our
manager said: 'Well, no one's done a rock opera in about 15-20 years. Why don't you guys think about it?'' Criss Oliva wasn't initially excited. 'I thought it would be
impossible to do. All I thought was: Tommy, and stuff like that. All I thought was ughh. But with Savatage, I knew it would be totally different. Even though it was
intense and hard work, it was still a lot of fun to meet the challenge and pull it off.'"?

The liner notes of Believe also state that Streets was "Originally conceived as a musical by O'Neill in the late 1970's.... 'Believe,' 'Heal My Soul,' and 'A Little Too
Far,' all appear in the same version intended for their Broadway performances" (reference: Conversation Piece Online). When did the original Streets manuscript
change from being a book (reference: Streets CD) to a musical? I suppose the alledged Broadway version of "Believe" contains the same guitar solo, and that solo
was also conceived by Paul before Criss formed part of it during the live performances of "When the Crowds Are Gone" during the Gutter Ballet tour (listen to the
Final Bell/Ghost in the Ruins CD), being that the song is "the same version" as the alledged original Broadway version.

Why do the lyrics of "Alone You Breathe" make it sound like Criss had a hand in his own death?

We don't think anyone would say that you guys should have stopped making music together after Criss died, but why did you continue under the name Savatage?

Why was continuing "the right thing" to do?

Why did you redo Criss's songs? (referring to the bonus tracks on the European reissues, U.S. version of TWOM, and the Japanese best of)

How does redoing Criss's songs, taking his playing out of them, keep his music alive?

If Savatage was continued to keep Criss's music alive, why aren't you making more of an effort to release more previously unreleased material that he wrote and
played on?

Will the other tracks that were recorded for Streets ever be released?

Where did "D.T. Jesus" come from if the tapes are lost in Atlantic's vaults?

It's understandable that you want to concentrate on your new albums, but why say that Savatage was continued to keep Criss's music alive if your priority is the new
material? Do you think that saying that could have been misleading?

Also, if Savatage was continued to keep Criss's music alive, what will be the justification for ever ending Savatage? If using the name Savatage keeps Criss's music
alive, and that is truly the purpose behind continuing the name, this would logically mean that the name Savatage would have to continue to be used after Jon and
Paul die (especially since Savatage existed before Paul started working with them, and Jon was not even actually in the band when Criss died).

We have also read interviews in which Jon said that using the name Savatage is justified because the songwriting core hasn't changed. So, was the band continued
under the name Savatage in order to keep Criss's music alive, because the songwriting core hasn't changed, or both? What is the real reason?

We do not believe that Jon and Paul (without Criss) form the identity of Savatage because Savatage existed before Paul started working with them, Savatage was
doing quite well when Jon wasn't actually in the band, and Criss is the one without whom the band sounds fundamentally different. Regardless of whether anyone
who is now involved with the band will admit that Criss was indeed an integral part of the songwriting core, we believe that he was. We also do not believe that
redoing Criss's songs and not acknowledging his importance as an integral element of the band serves to keep his music alive. Please offer another premise if you
would like us to accept the conclusion that the band should still be called Savatage.

In deciding to continue under the name Savatage, how much was the decision influenced by the fact that Savatage still had a record deal with Atlantic?

Obviously, it was necessary for fans to believe that Criss would have wanted the band to continue the name Savatage if they were going to keep buying your
records. Why should we believe that Criss would have really wanted the name Savatage to be continued without him, that he would want anyone else to be playing
lead guitar in his band, or that he would appreciate it being said that the songwriting core hasn't changed?

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