CRISS OLIVA was the co-founder of the iconic SAVATAGE and the younger brother to (The Man Of Music) Jon Oliva. Criss Oliva was (and still is) a guitarist who has inspired and influenced countless of musicians across our planet. Criss Oliva’s tragic death on October 17th, 1993, from an oncoming drunk driver was a tremendous shock to the music world. The music of Criss Oliva lives on and he shall never be forgotten by this fan.
Below was a reminder I came across this morning, from Bryan Holland, co-founder/guitarist and songwriter of the outstanding Metal band Reverence, that the 20th anniversary of Criss Oliva’s passing is today.
As reported on the Reverence Facebook page:
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of Criss Oliva, guitarist of Savatage. Please take a few minutes today and listen to this hugely talented band and massively underrated guitarist who personally influenced Pete Rossi and myself’s playing and writing more thank anyone else ever has.
You won’t regret it…Keep his and the band’s music alive, that way Criss and Savatage will live on forever.
~ Bryan Holland
Metal Odyssey Note: The drummer for Reverence, Steve Wacholz, is also a co-founding member of Savatage. Criss Oliva’s former Savatage bandmate, the legendary Chris Caffery, wrote a heartfelt piece about Criss Oliva today as well; you can read it by going to the Savatage Facebook page here: Savatage
After I read memorial pieces that Bryan Holland and Chris Caffery wrote, I knew I had to listen to Savatage today in memory of Criss Oliva. The Savatage CD I chose from my collection: Ghost In The Ruins – A Tribute To Criss Oliva. This CD was released back in 1995, via Nuclear Blast America. All 13 songs are live and the sound is stellar! I included in the track listing (below) the year and venue for each song’s live recording. The production by Paul O Neill and Jon Oliva I applaud for having this CD sound like a continuous concert performance, with no silent breaks between the songs.
I honestly just bought this CD (used) for the first time, over this past Summer, for an amazing price of $2.99 (U.S.) at Omega Music, in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Unreal. To say I recommend this Tribute To Criss Oliva CD is an understatement! Hearing the guitar wizardry of Criss Oliva on this CD is incredible! The Criss Intro (guitar solo) is grand! The finale is Post Script, which is a sound check by Criss Oliva; it makes for a fittingly perfect way to end this CD. This Savatage lineup was simply… superb.
I feel very fortunate that I was able to see Savatage (back in 1987) perform live, as they were out supporting their Metal classic: Hall Of The Mountain King. I feel very, very fortunate.
SAVATAGE – Lineup On GHOST IN THE RUINS – A TRIBUTE TO CRISS OLIVA:
Jon Oliva – vocals and keyboards
Criss Oliva – guitar
Johnny Lee Middleton – bass
Chris Caffery – guitar
Steve Wacholz – drums
GHOST IN THE RUINS – A TRIBUTE TO CRISS OLIVA:
City Beneath The Surface – N.Y.C. – The Ritz – 1990
24 Hours Ago – Spectrum Coliseum – Philadelphia – 1988
Legions – Spectrum Coliseum – Philadelphia – 1988
Strange Wings – Spectrum Coliseum – Philadelphia – 1988
Gutter Ballet – Los Angeles Palace – 1990
When The Crowds Are Gone – Hollywood Palace – 1990
Of Rage And War – Brooklyn – Lamour – 1990
The Dungeons Are Calling – Long Island – Nassau Coliseum – 1988
Sirens – Long Island – Nassau Coliseum – 1988
Hounds – Brooklyn – Lamour – 1990
Criss Intro – Cleveland – Agora – 1987
Hall Of The Mountain King – Brooklyn – Lamour – 1990
Post Script – Sound Check – Hollywood Palace – 1990
* For More Info On The Life Of CRISS OLIVA:
* For More Info On SAVATAGE:
LONG LIVE THE LEGACY OF SAVATAGE.
REST IN PEACE, CRISS OLIVA.