There was never a thought that Trans-Siberian Orchestra would not tour this year despite the death of founder and creative director Paul O'Neill.
Guitarist and TSO tour music director Al Pitrelli tells us that if anything, O'Neill's shocking death -- on April 5 in Tampa, Fla., at the age of 61 -- fueled TSO even further for its annual holiday tour of North America:
"Paul...said he wanted this to live long past he and I and...long after we leave this planet he wants the next several generations to run it and carry on, let the art live forever. That was always our definition of heaven is how people remember you 100 years down the road; If they're still talking about us positively then we did our jobs, so it was never a question of will we carry on, the big question is, 'OK, HOW will we carry on?'"
This year's TSO tour, playing The Ghosts of Christmas Eve and more, begins November 16 and will again feature twin companies touring North America through December 30.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.