Sad news in the rock world today. Trans-Siberian Orchestra founder Paul O’Neill has passed away at the age of 61. O’Neill had a long standing history in the music industry. He was an integral part in launching the careers of Aerosmith, AC/DC, Def Leppard, Ted Nugent, The New York Dolls, Scorpions, Joan Jett and many others when he worked for management company, Leber-Krebs Inc., before moving on to Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
He co-produced Aerosmith’s albums Classics Live I and Classics Live II in 1986 and 1987, respectively. He then went on to work closely with metal band Savatage and built a relationship, which eventually led to the recruitment of Jon Oliva and Al Pitrelli, to help form Trans-Siberian Orchestra in 1996. Under O’Neill’s guidance, the theatrical holiday act has released six full-length albums with five of them reaching platinum, multi-platinum or gold status.
TMZ has reported, “Paul was found dead in a Tampa hotel room. There are no signs of foul play, but police don’t know yet how long he was deceased before they responded to a 911 call. We’re told the Medical Examiner has his body now.”
Trans-Siberian Orchestra has also shared message on Facebook.