RS.COM Timeline



    -'Blaze', Pat Dubs (v, g) Tim Grounds (g), Doug Greenfield (b), Steve Wacholz (d).
    -'Warhead', Tim Trese (v, b) Tim Grounds (g), Britt Miller (g), Steve Wacholz (d)
    -'Tower', Jon Oliva (v,d), Criss Oliva (g) Tony Ciulla (b), Bob Kovach (d), plays Dunedin High School, Steve Wacholz is in the audience.
    -'Alien', Jon Oliva (v), Rich Biganno (g), ? (b), ? (d).
    -'Paradox', Pat Dubs (ex-'Blaze')(v, g), Tim Grounds (ex-'Blaze', 'Warhead')(g), Brian 'B' Lennon (b), Steve Wacholz (ex-'Blaze', 'Warhead')(d).
    -Criss and Tim Grounds ('Paradox' guitarist) in WFSO contest, Criss wins the contest and recieves '77 Fender Stratacaster from The Scorpions.
    -Steve auditions for Tower, makes it, but replaced weeks later...
    -Jon & Criss combine members of 'Tower' and 'Alien' to form 'Metropolis' with Joe Conn (d), Tony Ciulla (b).


    -Another DHS show; jon 'blows up' in pyro accident.
    -Steve hangs out at the Pit where 'Metroplis/soon to be Avatar rehearses with Joe Conn (dr), Tony Ciulla (b).
    -'Metropolis' record 'Let's Get Rowdy' and 'Take Off With The Crowd' for a two songs '45.


    -Steve's band 'Paradox' starts rehearsing in the 'Pit'.
    -Occasional shows alternating the use of both names, 'Avatar' and 'Metropolis'
    -Jon asks Steve to audition again and makes it.
    -Metroplis turns to Avatar
    -Joe Conn out.
    -Tony Ciulla out.
    -Jon, Criss, Steve re-name 'Metropolis' to 'Avatar'.
    -'Avatar' play Tarpon Springs High School, show is cut off early; criss pissed, breaks his hand.
    -'Sirens' written, thanks in part to criss' cast.
    -"Onslaught" of bassists, Roach, Brian 'B' Lennon (ex-'Paradox'), many others.
    -Line up becomes Jon (vox), Criss (g), Steve (dr), Andy Grelin (b), Pat Dubs (ex-'Blaze', 'Paradox')(g)
    -Huge Halloween party at 'Pit', 3,000 in attendance.
    -Andy leaves, Fritz joins.
    -Pat leaves.
    -Steve leaves and joins 'Imagine'
    -'Imagine', ? (v), Pat Dubs (g), ? (g), ?(b), Steve Wacholz (d). (
    -'Avatar' becomes: Criss (g), Jon (dr,vox), Fritz (b), Bob Boyer(vox), Rich Pigano(g).


    -Mark Holland part time management. Steve & Mark book Avatar
    -Steve gets involved with business side of band.


    -Steve rejoins.
    -Keith Collins is the soundman (ex-'Solar City' guitarist) becomes bassist.
    -Band builds reputation in Brandon, Fl.
    -Stranger show-MudFest.
    -95YNF comptilation album with Rock Me, Minus Love.
    -95YNF show in Kmart lot.
    -Dan Johnson approaches about a one year record deal.
    -'City Beneath The Surface' Ep.
    -Jon, Criss and Criss' longtime girlfriend Dawn Hopkins (later Dawn Oliva) come up with the name Savatage.
    -Show opening for Zebra at th Bayfront Mahaffey Theater, Tampa. Randy Jackson (Zebra) and Robert Zemsky are impressed.
    -Contacted by Jason Flom (A&R rep.) from Atlantic records.
    -Special Showcase show in Brandon, Flom 'blown away'.
    -Rick Derringer chosen to produce Atlantic demos at Morrissound Studio.
    -Par trades off record -'Dungeons are Calling' to let Savatage to do the Atlantic demos
    -Keith almost kills Derringer in his van.


    -Record demos, No More Sat. Nights, Washed Out, Fighting For Love, Stuck on You, with Derringer.
    -Criss and Dawn marry
    -Electra, Pasha, Geffen, Metal Blade, and Megaforce labels also become interested in band.


    -Band signs with Atlantic for ten record deal.
    -Rob Zemsky becomes manager.


    -Johnny Lee Middleton ('Lefty') asked to join but declines.
    -Attorney, Mark Cristini-signs band to bogus deal.
    -Get Max Norman to record the next record.
    -Start recording 'POTN' at Bearsville, NY.
    -Move to NY, Jon's uncle Joe's place.
    -Sporadic shows (Detroit, Rochester)
    -Band starts longtime relationship with booking agent, John Dittmar.
    -WEA tour-'Monsters of the Universe'
    -Keith booted.


    -Steve abandoned in London, interrogated by officials for 7 hours at customs.
    -Record 'FFTR' with producer Stephan Galfas at Trident Studios, London.
    -Get AMI (Rick Smith and Steven Machat) as management to help Zemsky.
    -Johnny (ex-'Lefty') joins.
    -Return to states.
    -Steve stays in NY a bit handling lots of band business.
    -NJ-lots of shows (for FFTR)
    -Ted Nugent tour, European dates w/ Motorhead Headline Koos.
    -Back to FL.
    -Metallica backs out of Oulu, Finland festival due to Chernobyl, Savatage replaces.
    -Manager Steve Machat takes off with $27,000 after show.
    -"Escape from London" tour.
    -Savatage gets "technically" dropped from Atlantic.
    -Steve meets Jon Goldwater (Crash management) and Paul 'O Neill.
    -Re-negotiate deal with Atlantic records.
    -Start 'HOMK'.
    -Fire AMI management.


    -Video for 'HOMK' in 'Howe Caverns'.
    -Chris Caffery (ex-'Heaven', 'Dirty Looks') added as second guitarist/keys, but plays offstage
    -Three month tour with Dio and Megadeth.
    -Euro tour


    -Re-negotiate deal with Atlantic.
    -Start 'Gutter Ballet' written and rehearsed at the 'Record Plant' (now '3-2-1 Studios').
    -Jon in rehab during break from 'GB' recording.
    -John Dittmar sent Jon and Steve to see 'Phantom of the Opera'.
    -Caffery asked to join fulltime.
    -'GB' U.S. tour with Testament.
    -'Gutter' video shoot.
    -'Crowds' video shoot.
    -'GB' Euro. tour.
    -Caffery leaves band at tours end.
    -Dynamo Festival, Holland.


    -Starts 'Streets', nine months to complete.
    -Keyboardist John Zahner (ex-'Drama') added for tour.
    -'Jesus Saves' video shoot.
    -'NYC Don't Mean Nothing' video shoot, never released.
    -Tour Euro. with 'Vicious Rumors' Japan tour and small U.S. tour.
    -U.S. your cut short due to low slow record sales.
    -Jon decides to leave the band.


    -Radio Broadcast of Jon's last show, Rock-it club, Tampa, Fl.
    -Tampa Bay Music Awards, Sava wins many awards.
    -Dan Campbell finds Jon's replacement Zak Trussell.
    -Re-negotiate Atlantic deal.


    -Start 'Edge of Thorns'
    -'EoT' video shoot.
    -Steve decides not to tour.
    -Andy James (ex-'Roxx Gang') joins for tour.
    -Wes Garren added as second guitarist/keys for tour.
    -'Sleep' video shoot.
    -'EoT' Euro. tour with 'Overkill' and small U.S. East coast tour.
    -Confirmed openers for the Vince Neil's solo tour.
    -Criss' last show, M L Chasers-Clearwater, Fl.
    -Criss killed by Drunk Driver while enroute to 3rd Annual Livestock festival near Tampa, Fl.
    -Criss funeral.
    -Criss Oliva Benefit Concert with Jon, Steve, Johnny and John Zahner playing with only a white guitar wrapped with roses up the neck sitting on a stand in Criss' spot on the stage. (This guitar is now on display at the Orlando Hard Rock Cafe).