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Posted by Chris in Houston on November 10, 98 at 12:51:24:

Just remeniscing about all that Savatage has meant to me and my family, I remembered a question on this board sometime back: "What would Savatage be like today if Paul hadn't come on the scene?" In no way am I taking anything away from any Sava band member, but I truly believe Paul's words are what set Sava apart from any other band I have ever heard. So the rest of this message will be in second person speaking to the incomparable Paul O'Neill.

Your words have influenced the lives of three generations of my family. My mother(age 75!!)LOVES TSO and now Savatage (even the harder stuff like STREETS!!). She is very spiritual and STREETS makes a lot of sense to her and moves her. I live by and rely on the words to many, many of your songs. I used to hate the fact I was so innocent and naive when I was young (NOT the case now!!) until I listened to "Your childhood eyes were so intense...", and that song has changed the way I look at myself. I have sent the words to "Crowds" to my 20 year old son to help him see there will be a day when he will indeed want the lights turned on again and to not let "time waste him while he is wasting his time". I wrote my 18 year old son a note to inform him that I had come up with the money to send him to Berklee after he had been accepted and given up all hope. And in that note, I quoted "This Is The Time" and I told him the place for him to be is Berklee.

I also know from reading this message board there are literally hundreds (and probably thousands) of people whose lives your words have also influenced in this positive manner. Your vision of melding metal into classical (or is it vice-versa??) now embodied in TSO and the newer Savatage is nothing short of brilliant. To take two such different genres and mold them into a third so touching, yet powerful, then wrap an O'Neill/Oliva story around that defies description. You've got folks that cut their teeth on Motorhead and Sabbath listening to Mozart (and evidently soon to be - Beethoven!!), including myself!! Too bad classical folks cannot go the other way; I guess that proves we metalheads are the most flexible music fans!! The direction you've steered Savatage is also nothing short of brilliant; I look forward to each new effort with bated breath!! Then, you take the time to E-mail a local band's website that you heard is covering EOT (you have no idea how much that meant to them!!).

Anyway, this has gone way past long, but I wanted to thank you for all the emotions, chills, tears and exhuberances you have extracted from my soul with your music. I know many others lent support to these efforts, especially Jon and Criss, and I am in no way trying to diminish their contributions, for they are also genuises, but I want you to know, that to me, EVERY day is Paul O'Neill Appreiation Day. I'm trying like hell to get to NYC for the TSO performance!!

Rock and Roll
Is In My Soul,

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