When we see a celebrity leave us, it's always a bit shocking. We said goodbye to Don Rickles this week. It seems like we lost a friend. Remember how shocked we were when we heard the news of Glenn Frey's death?
When I heard of the death of Trans-Siberian Orchestra creator Paul O'Neill, it was more personal. I met him. For a few years our stations would team up with the Trans-Siberian show each year for a fundraiser. I would have the honor to present a "big check" on stage before the show. A few years ago, I got the chance to meet the great Paul O'Neill backstage. It wasn't like any other back stage "meet and greet." I can say that with confidence because I have been blessed enough to have met almost EVERYONE. It's easier to tell you who I have not met: Paul McCartney, Ringo, Dylan, The Who, Micheal Jackson. Who have I met? Elton, Billy Joel, Madonna, Janet Jackson, John Cougar Mellencamp, Phil Collins, Jon Bon Jovi, Heart, Petty, Sting...ok...you get the point. So why was Paul O'Neill different?
He treated ME and our two winners like the stars. He gave me a TOUR of his dressing room and "said..wait..follow me." He took me to a tour closet filled with MERCH!
Much to our STUNNED delight, Paul loaded us with TSO tour embroidered JEAN JACKETS and hats FREE. The value HAD to be $500. This happened to be all in a timeline of fifteen minutes. Imagine how our winners felt.
While I LOVED meeting all of the above artists, some stars choose to shine a little brighter off the stage.
Thank you Paul. Your Trans-Siberian Orchestra really IS Christmas.
(Picture taken this morning.)