When the Crowds are Gone

Album: Gutter Ballet (1989)
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Songfacts®:

  • Savatage founder and lead vocalist Jon Oliva had this to say in Holland edition Aardschok/Metal Hammer in February 1990: "My favorite song, and also the song that was the biggest effort to write, because it's a very personal piece. It's the life story of a musician who has been trying to become successful all his life. In vain, of course and so finally he breaks down. How, that's not the main issue, because this can happen in many different ways. Suicide, an overdose of drugs... I've seen it happen around me, so I know what I'm talking about. And that goes for our producer, Paul O'Neill, who helped me write the lyrics, as well. He also knew musicians who went down because of the lack of success. The musician that this song is about spent his whole life composing one song, that was meant to be his absolute masterpiece. Finally, he completes the song, but then he's too old himself to accomplish anything with it. He's past the height of his glory. Then finally when the song gets airplay, it is too late, because it is at his own funeral. The way it's written, it is of course purely imaginative, but the reasons to write the lyrics the way they were, unfortunately are very true. It has cost me a lot to sing this song. Because it was so personal, and because I wanted it to carry the right emotion, vocally. Listen to the end of the song, then you'll understand what I'm talking about." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    DeeTheWriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation

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