Steve "Doc" Wacholz remembers Criss Oliva

 


Well I don't even know where to begin...
I met Criss when we were 14 years old...talented as the day was old back then!  Playing with him thru the years we kinda developed this ESP bond when we played together...we knew what we were gonna do, before we did it!  Just the two of us (in the early days) would sit and just jam for hours.  Just jam...and of course Jon would come join in after work and together it all fit like a puzzle! 

There was always something special about Criss.  Not just his playing either.  He had the most likable personalities on the planet. Very mild mannered and grateful to the fans...everyone of them.  Criss would sit outside the back stage door and talk with the fans, hang with them, relate to them.

<< Doc and Criss at dinner in Japan

He was down to earth and everyone loved him.  His attitude was we're just a bunch of Florida boys that can play music...we're nothing special.  But you know what?  He knew he was good.  Criss could play anything at anytime by ear like it was no ones business...all the way back in high school where at lunch he would sit out in the parking lot with kids gathered around and he would take requests...

I was proud...I was HIS drummer! I was HIS drummer to the end.  I could NOT do the EOT tour...so I did miss his last tour...but when you play together for so many years, there is a magic that develops.
My thoughts are with him & his family on this 6th Anniversary.  Funny how times passes so fast for us, but time stands still for him. 

My choice NOT to be in SAVATAGE today has something to do with his passing...it will never be the same... it can never be the same...but his music lives on thru his brother & Chris Caffery who has the essence of Criss in him. YES I believe that. I know that. God bless those guys...And may God bless Criss, friend, musician and probably one of the nicest guys you would ever want to have memories about! And I have those and I am thankful!

Steve 'Doc' Wacholz 10-17-99