Wednesday, March 9, 2011

SAVATAGE mastermind Jon Oliva, who co-founded TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA with producer/composer Paul O'Neill, has released the following statement:

"As many of you now know, a member of my immediate family was diagnosed with
a serious illness that forced me to leave the TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA rehearsals. And while I am still unaware of their complete diagnosis, it is obviously impossible for me to participate in the upcoming European TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA tour. My family needs me here, and that is where I too need to be.

"I would also like to express my sincere apologies to all the SAVATAGE fans who were anticipating a SAVATAGE encore at the end of the show. I sincerely wish we could have given that to all of you. But, as usual, life is often beyond one's control.

"And to those out there who have heard ill-gotten 'rumors' about my me, I am doing quite well, thank you! I do appreciate the genuine concern from those that have asked.

"The Mountain King's got a lot of work left to do...

"Thank you for your prayers and please take care of yourselves and each other!"

Paul O'Neill told a year ago that he and company were re-recording "Gutter Ballet" (also the name of the second record O'Neill did with SAVATAGE) "in its original Broadway format," though there was no firm timetable on when it might go into full production. It's the culmination of a work that O'Neill began in the 1970s. Many of the songs have already had rock versions recorded by SAVATAGE, but will return to their roots for the Broadway show.

"We want to take it back to the original blues, gospel, Motown sound," O'Neill told in a December 2009 interview. "For SAVATAGE, you've got to metal it up."

He added, "Jon and I are kind of psyched to be doing it because Broadway is something we've always wanted to take on."

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