Trans-Siberian Orchestra Founder Paul O’Neill Dead At Age 61

first_imgYou can also get the full Trans-Siberian Orchestra experience with full pro-shot video of their 12/20/14 show at Boston’s TD Garden, thanks to YouTube user squintyt4e: This morning, we were met with the unfortunate news that Paul O’Neill, founder of the seasonally-inspired Trans-Siberian Orchestra, has passed away at the age of 61, after having suffered from “chronic illness.” A post on the Trans Siberian Orchestra Facebook page acknowledged the passing of the group’s friend and founder:Explains the post, “[Paul] was our friend and our leader–a truly creative spirit and an altruistic soul. This is a profound and indescribable loss for us all.” According to Rolling Stone, “O’Neill co-wrote ‘Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24,’which combined the yuletide staples ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ and ‘Carol of the Bells,’ with Jon Oliva, the guitarist for the metal band Savatage, for that band’s 1995 album Dead Winter Dead. Wanting to expand his vision on that song, he assembled Trans-Siberian Orchestra with Oliva and Savatage guitarist Al Pitrelli and keyboardist Robert Kinkel; they put out the album Christmas Eve and Other Stories and released the song as a single. The song has since been certified gold and has made appearances on Billboard’s rock and adult-contemporary charts in 1996, 1998, 2002 and 2004. The album was subsequently certified three-times platinum, and the group has issued five other LPs, scoring another multi-platinum release with 2004’s The Lost Christmas Eve and Top 10 releases with 2009’s Night Castle and their most recent album, 2015’s Letters From the Labyrinth.”Trans-Siberian Orchestra regularly embark on smashingly successful winter tours in the U.S., featuring lavish production with lasers and pyrotechnics. According to Blabbermouth, last winter’s tour sold nearly 1 million tickets, and grossed north of $55M. In 2009, Billboard ranked them among the Top 25 Touring Artists of the Decade. In recent years, Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Wizards In Winter” has gone viral as the backing music for some of the most impressive Christmas light displays on the Internet.In honor of O’Neill, take a look at one of the many amazing “Wizards In Winter” Christmas light videos below, via Atlantic Records:last_img

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