James Lewis Obituary, Death – The news that former Trans-Siberian Orchestra frontman James Lewis has passed away has been spread by Trans-Siberian Orchestra members Chris Caffery (Savatage) and Russell Allen (Symphony X). At the time this article was being written, no specifics surrounding Lewis’s passing had been made public. Between the years 2004 and 2012, he was a member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Today, our TSO family was reduced by one less member. James Lewis, the legendary figure. Although I never got the opportunity to tour with him, I did cross paths with him on a few occasions, and he impressed me with his incredible energy, charm, and humor. I had high hopes that we would be able to go on tour together. My other members of the TSO band spoke very highly of him, and I found out why. But alas, he was unable to make it back in time.
During the first few years of my involvement with the band, I did little more than “fill in” for him on the songs he normally sang in the vain hope that he would eventually return. I will never stop thinking of myself as James’ replacement, and I promise to keep giving it all I’ve got for as long as I’ve got it, as well as to attempt to follow the advice he gave me when I first joined the band. ‘Congrats! Now don’t mess it up,’ laughs the speaker.
He was blessed with a hilarious sense of humor. That was one quality of his that I adored. Rest in peace, brother. You are deeply loved by all of us, and you will be deeply missed. To provide an example – and no, this doesn’t happen at all on the tours anymore – it was a wintry night in Grand Rapids, and the backstage door was perilously close to the local pubs by the arena. The concert went on as scheduled. “Old City Bar” has traditionally served as an intermission for me off the stage.
This evening I ran into James, and I asked Lewis, “Hey, do you want to go get a shot?” He glanced at me and grinned, and then we raced out into the snow, across the street, and entered an old city bar during the performance of ‘Old City Bar’! I have no recollection of the specifics of what we ordered, but I do recall assuring the bartenders that I would settle up after the event. The expressions on their faces were so hilariously priceless. I was able to get back in time for the following song, and I will have this valuable experience with me for the rest of my life.