I was saddened to hear the news yesterday about the passing of guitarist Matthew LaPorte who played lead guitar in Jon Oliva’s Pain. Having enjoyed the music of Savatage for many years I always liked what Oliva had been doing with Pain as this was essentially the closest that fans were ever going to come to this sound in today’s music world. As a guitarist LaPorte was a great fit in the lineup and did real justice to the songs that had originally been done by the late great Criss Oliva. He was forty years old at the time of his passing.
Jon Oliva’s Pain didn’t make it to NYC all that much but the one time that they played in Brooklyn, NY at a club called Brooklyn Music Terminal, my friends and I were there to support the Mountain King and his at the time new band. They had just released the “Tage Mahal” album and were doing a short tour with Chris Caffery and Tim Ripper Owens’ band Beyond Fear. The show was amazing, but the venue was an abysmal place that was not missed at all when it closed its doors. They returned a couple of years ago to a place in Yonkers but that was it to my knowledge. There is a ton of Jon Oliva’s Pain footage on YouTube.com which you can enjoy Matt’s playing in. He was a really gifted axe-slinger and we send condolences out to his family and friends at this time.