Paul O'Neill Biography
From the producer of big-hair bands to the creator of a modern Rock Opera Masterpiece
Paul O'Neill: Musical Roots
The fertile musical ground of the 1960s and 1970s helped craft a whole generation of artists that defied the mainstream and appreciate arts of many forms on many levels. One of these artists was the young Paul O'Neill. With a variety of music played in his home and the culture of New York City to nourish his creative direction, Paul O'Neill was soon a burgeoning musician himself. Like the childhood he grew up in, Paul O'Neill dabbled in a variety of projects from Rock to Folk to Broadway musicals.
Paul O'Neill: Savatage
Paul O'Neill moved into the lucrative career of a music producer in the 1980s and was influential in the careers of Ted Nugent, AC/DC, and the Scorpions. Paul O'Neill also made many international connections in the music business and discovered that music truly did have a universal appeal. In his producing career, Paul O'Neill happened upon the band Savatage and found the basis for his new musical project.
Savatage was a band that straddled the lines between Power Metal and Thrash. With theatric and storytelling lyrics and an almost classical sound to their keyboards and instrumentals, Savatage played like a musical storybook. Paul O'Neill quickly drew inspiration from this and began to tap the imagination of Savatage singer Jon Olivia. The concept of a band bringing cultures together appealed to both of them. Joined by composer Robert Kinkel, Paul O'Neill and Jon Olivia formed a musical think tank called The Trans Siberian Orchestra.
Paul O'Neill: Christmas Eve
Trans Siberian Orchestra finally came together in 1996 to record an album. Paul O'Neill envisioned fusing the traditional songs of Christmas with the lost art of the Rock Opera. With a full orchestra and several vocalists in the fold, Trans Siberian Orchestra recorded the debut album Christmas Eve and Other Stories. The album was an instant critical and commercial success and Trans Siberian Orchestra tickets sold out fast as entire families would make a holiday outing out of a Trans Siberian Orchestra concert.
As Paul O'Neill had planned, Trans Siberian Orchestra tickets treated fans to a modern opera. To bring his ideas to life on stage, Paul O'Neill utilized impressive stage effects, lighting, and pyrotechnics to give the lyrical tales a visual twist. The word of mouth for the Trans Siberian Orchestra was huge and songs like "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" were hits with both fans of Metal and traditional fans of Christmas music. The crossover appeal eventually moved Christmas Eve and Other Stories to double-platinum success and made Paul O'Neill an in-demand writer/creator.
Paul O'Neill: Christmas Attic
Paul O'Neill returned with the other writers to again compose another epic Trans Siberian Orchestra album. Matching sales of Trans Siberian Orchestra tickets and albums from their previous effort would be tough, but Paul O'Neill cared about the art more than the money. As it turns out, both of these needs would be fulfilled as the follow-up The Christmas Attic was another platinum hit for the Trans Siberian Orchestra. The Christmas Attic had a deeper and more complex narrative and had a story on-par with any Broadway play.
The Trans Siberian Orchestra was not known for singles, but Paul O'Neill recruited a beautiful and talented singer named Jennifer Cella for the song "Christmas Canon Rock". In a stripped-down version of the Trans Siberian Orchestra, Jennifer Cella toured many TV shows during the holiday season to perform "Christmas Canon Rock". This brought in an entire new fan base and again brought great attention to Paul O'Neill. Outside of Trans Siberian Orchestra, Paul O'Neill also gained mainstream attention as a writer and director of performances.
Paul O'Neill: Beethoven
Paul O'Neill felt that Trans Siberian Orchestra had gotten a little stale with the Christmas theme and moved to make another narrative. This time Paul O'Neill wrote a Rock Opera that was much darker than before, and the hit album Beethoven's Last Night was produced. The album did not sell Trans Siberian Orchestra tickets like the Christmas-flavored programs, but the two were eventually blended together into a packed show.
Paul O'Neill: TSO Future
For years Paul O'Neill has been hard at work with his Trans Siberian Orchestra magnum opus Night Castle. It was thought that maybe Night Castle would never be, but Paul O'Neill knows that great art cannot be rushed. After years of writing and rewriting, Paul O'Neill has finally gotten Night Castle recorded. With the album finally completed, Trans Siberian Orchestra is free to bring their musical spectacular on the road with many tour dates. As the holiday season approaches, Paul O'Neill will once again see Trans Siberian Orchestra tickets fly out of the box office.