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PAUL O'NEILL

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by SavaVIDude, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. SavaVIDude

    SavaVIDude Savatage Fanatic

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    Just heard this news. Paul passed away last night from "a chronic illness". He was 61. My heart is breaking, as he was one of the kindest souls I ever met. He gave away thousands of dollars, which I witnessed many times. Here’s a cute story:

    He called it “whacking”. It began near his property on 12th Street, Manhattan. He’d get his driver to circle Union Square while he identified a suitable beggar; then he’d jump out, shove a hundred-dollar bill into their hand, jump back in and drive off. Soon, he realised that many of the people he was giving to were schizophrenic and he was scaring them out of their wits. So he started passing the money to his daughter because, he reasoned, they were more likely to accept it from a three-year-old girl. He gradually increased the amount he gave – from a hundred to ten, twenty, fifty thousand dollars in a roll of notes. Paul O’Neill and his daughter would drive around the square and she’d say: “Let’s whack ’em, Dad, let’s whack ’em hard.”

    I met him twice and he seemed down to earth and kind. He was a man of God and told me the last time I met him, he actually wrote the song, “St. Patrick’s” on STREETS in that cathedral.

    God bless his family and friends. His words changed my life, especially on STREETS, where he told my story.

    "I am the way,
    I am the light.
    I am the dark inside the night.
    I hear your hopes,
    I feel your dreams and in the dark,
    I hear your screams.
    Don't turn away,
    just take my hand
    and when you make your final stand,
    I'll be right there,
    I'll never leave.

    All I ask of you is...BELIEVE".

    RIP, Paul - you were the best of us.
     
    NorseBlood, Kez and Sir Exar Kun like this.
  2. Random Axe

    Random Axe Common Sense Man!

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    If anyone deserves the label of genius in this genre it's certainly Paul. Just, damn.
     
    Kez likes this.
  3. Fixxer315

    Fixxer315 Member

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    I heard the news last night, and my heart broke. More than anyone else except for Jon Oliva, it was O'Neil who was responsible for the sound that helped bring Savatage to the mainstream, if only for a brief while. Before O'Neil came on to help, they were just another metal outfit, albeit a truly talented one. It was O'Neil's input that transformed them into a truly unique band that would stand the test of time. Even today, I could pop in Gutter Ballet or Streets or Dead Winter Dead and still feel the same rush I did when I first heard those albums.

    And of course, it was O'Neil that helped bring forth the offshoot of Trans Siberian Orchestra, which achieved far more success than Savatage. Although i haven't seen them every year, whenever I do, I'm always amazed at how gloriously bombastic their live shows are.

    RIP. May O'Neil and Criss Oliva be reunited in heaven and rocking everyone's socks off.
     
  4. SavaVIDude

    SavaVIDude Savatage Fanatic

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    Well said, Fixxer. Listen to Power of the Night (which is good, but very raw) and the next CD (excluding FFTR), Hall of the Mountain King. Amazing change!!! Criss was embracing the melding of classical music with metal. Then came Gutter Ballet and STREETS. Man - what a beautiful trilogy.
     
  5. VenomGA

    VenomGA At War With Stan

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    truly sad day for metal and hard rock fans everywhere. Paul was a legend in our business. His death will be a loss felt for years to come. Wonder what will happen to TSO now?
     
  6. NorseBlood

    NorseBlood franks n steins

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    Thank you for sharing this.
     
  7. panzermastery

    panzermastery Member

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    Beautiful words SavaVIIDude and Fixxer. Streets and Believe forever also changed my world. Helped me through a lot. So sad Paul is gone. Jon said Paul believed in them when hardly anybody else did. Paul touched so many lives! Jon Oliva is one of my all time favs got to tell him I love him. Hope and pray I see Jon again. Wish I could have told Paul the same ! Thank u Paul for all the lives you touched especially mine
     
  8. Sir Exar Kun

    Sir Exar Kun Member

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    TSO is such a machine now that I cannot see this slowing it down any. Given that their studio output is next to nothing anyway, I don't imagine we'll see anything else new for quite some time. Who knows? Maybe this will have the opposite effect. Maybe Paul was also the reason behind the slowed creative output, and this might even accelerate some ideas.

    I feel for Jon Oliva right now. Talk about a man who has lost so many people close to him, and all far too soon.
     
    Mardoch likes this.
  9. 1000 Faces

    1000 Faces Member

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    Given the number of TSO projects that have been announced but not released in the past (and that it seemed they were always recording when not touring), I wouldn't be surprised if there is an album or two (or three, or four) worth of finished stuff that could be released. I mean, they've been talking about Romanovs since the early '90s, and it seemed like every year on tour, TSO debuted something from an album that didn't end up being released.
     
  10. NorseBlood

    NorseBlood franks n steins

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  11. SavaVIDude

    SavaVIDude Savatage Fanatic

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    Thanks for that interview. I had never seen it. About the 28:30 time, Paul mentions "when we are all pushing up daisies", it gave me chills. Wish I could have been at Whacken that year.
     
  12. KingsGene

    KingsGene God of Thunder

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    TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA MASTERMIND PAUL O'NEILL REPORTEDLY DIED OF ACCIDENTAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG OVERDOSE

    “...TMZ obtained a copy of O'Neill's autopsy report, and it says he died of intoxication from a mix of methadone, codeine, diazepam (generic Valium) and doxylamine (an antihistamine). According to the doc, the cause of death is intoxication... but it also mentions other ailments O'Neill was battling… such as mild heart disease, hypertension and moderate hardening of the arteries. The medical examiner determined the death to be accidental....”
     

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