Jon Oliva was a founding member and the lead singer of the awesome and legendary US Heavy Metal outfit Savatage. It's hard to find words to describe the sheer brilliance of Savatage.
Tragedy struck when Jon's brother, Criss Oliva, was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver on October 17th 1993. Jon chose to continue the band, although he has often said that the band was pretty much over after Criss' death, but only kept going because of his memory and to "keep his music alive".
The band did however produce four absolutely superb albums after Criss' death, namely 'Handful Of Rain', 'Dead Winter Dead', 'The Wake Of Magellan' and 'Poets And Madmen'.
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Savatage finally disbanded after the 'Poets And Madmen' album and Jon formed Jon Oliva's Pain in 2003. JOP released an album entitled 'Tage Mahal' in 2004 on the SPV label, then subsequently signed to AFM Records in March 2006 for the release of their second album 'Maniacal Renderings' which was released on September 4th 2006.
JOP's third recording was released on May 6th 2008 and was titled 'Global Warning'. In the last two recordings, JOP has re-worked and re-recorded songs from a collection of old recordings with his brother Criss.
Jon once described JOP as "Savatage reincarnated" and has denied stories of a reunion several times in recent years. In 2008 Jon said: "There was talk about doing a show to kind of give Savatage a send-off but the logistics of doing so just made it impossible. The guys have the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, I have my JOP stuff, there's a lot of other things keeping us busy.
"It's pretty aggravating, though, with people always asking about when it's going to happen and pushing to have one. I mean, Savatage hasn't done anything in almost 10 years! It's just a small group of people, but they just won't let it go and I can't figure out why.
"You have the Savatage guys in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which was spawned from the 'Dead Winter Dead' and 'Wake Of Magellan' era of the band, you have Jon Oliva's Pain doing a lot of the old Savatage material, what more do you want?
"Don't get me wrong. I love Savatage and it'll always be dear to my heart because that was my start, man. I still play the songs, I love playing those songs, but I've got a whole new career now. I'm on my fourth record with JOP for crying out loud!
"It's like, to the people that keep pushing for a Savatage reunion, just let it go. I've got the rights back for the Sirens and Dungeons albums, so I might do something with those in a few years, but JOP is my focus now and I'm hoping people will finally catch on that I have a new band (laughs)..."
Matt La Porte
Jon Oliva's Pain play The Garage in Highbury, Islington, London on Sunday July 15th. The band will perform Savatage's iconic 1987 album 'Hall Of The Mountain King' in its entirety. This is an exclusive UK show celebrating the 25th anniversary of 'Hall Of The Mountain King'. Doors: 7:00pm, Starts: 7:30pm.
Here's a selection of Savatage classics and we'd especially like to pay tribute to Matt La Porte who sadly passed away last year. Matt features in the fourth video, 'Summer's Rain'.