other hand, a thing well understood by an unknown number
of New Yorkers was an openly uttered phrase, that almost
caused Paul O'Neill to have a heart attack - and that
possibly is the most striking example of Savatages level
Chris has got to revive some old memories: " We were right in the middle of the 'Gutter' tour, were in New York and would be playing in L'Amour that night, a terriffic show by the way, of which we have used three songs for the " Ghost in the Ruins "- album later on. Jon and I had been walking around in shirts for the entire week, that read " Fuck me "on the front, and " Then leave " on the back. One of us would always wear his shirt back to front on stage.
Beforehand, we had announced the raffle of a signed guitar through "Z-Rock"- radiostation. Savatage fans were asked to describe in a single phrase, what characterizes the band.
the afternoon I drove to the radio station, to pick the best
cards and letters live and announce the winner. There was a lot
of nice stuff and intelligent sayings. When I opened the last
letter except for two, I laughed my lungs out, live on air.
Someone had written: " Savatage is...human garbage!"
I could not but decide: " No one can beat that. That's him. John soandso. He gets the guitar !"
" Human Garbage " was our nickname for Jon during the tour. And a fan, who identifies with the band in such a way and who reads so many articles or listens so well, that he even picks up the way we take on at each other, simply has to be on our level, he's sharp, he's got the typical Savatage sense of humor and will proudly show off his guitar to everyone he knows: his family, his friends, his teachers, anyone. He deserves it.
evening in L'Amour, where the giveaway of the guitar would take
place before the show, I met with Paul O'Neill. He said: "
Hey, great that you made it to the radio station. Now I'm really
anxious to hear the phrase you have chosen. I'm already looking
forward to it."
I went onstage, congratulated the fan, put the axe into his hands and proclaimed the phrase. Paul was standing there, as if he'd been struck by lightning. The refined master of words , of superperfectly worked-out songtexts and inscrutable concept albums simply could not grasp it. I think he'd liked to have shoved me off the stage into the photographers. " O my god, this cannot be, you guys are such a classy band, you're so talented, you're standing miles above this phrase, this is horrible !"
At this very moment, Jon passes by him wearing his " Fuck Me " shirt, he's got a huge grin upon his face, the typical Jon Oliva-grin after a few good drinks, he climbs the stage, grabs the microphone and welcomes the audience with "Hi, welcome to hell!"
From RockHard Legends: Savatage
Translated by Ellen Bakvis