Update: official statement has been made. We don’t usually report music news here on the front page, but this one struck me pretty hard as I still listen to Type O Negative’s “October Rust” on a nearly daily basis (14 years and counting). Mistress Juliya of Fuse TV posted on Twitter today the heart sinking message, “Peter Steele passed today,” later adding, “He passed of heart failure today. Just spoke to Kenny [Hickey].” There has been no official statement, although KNAC is claiming to have confirmed at 11:15PM PST. Peter Steele, born Petrus T. Ratajczyk on January 4, 1962 in Brooklyn, was 48. Read my personal reflection inside and say your piece as well.Blabbermouth caught wind of the breaking news adding, “Back in 2005, many people were shocked when they logged into the TYPE O NEGATIVE web site and saw a gravestone with the words “[P]eter Steele – 1962 – 2005 …. Free At Last” carved on it. According to Epinions.com, there were rumors at the time that Steele was sick (with anything from cancer to AIDS), was on his deathbed, attempted suicide … and the list goes on. Needless to say, it turned out that Steele was very much alive and the gravestone was merely a joke, albeit one that wasn’t viewed as being in particularly good taste.”
Before forming Type O Negative, Steele played for the metal group Fallout and the thrash band Carnivore.
A PERSONAL REFLECTION:
I have such fond memories of Type O Negative that go back to the CD release of “Bloody Kisses” back in 1993. At the age of 13 I was just coming into my own, having become a huge fan of bands like White Zombie, Pantera, Megadeth, Metallica and Alice in Chains over the years. My late Uncle Lorin knew I was getting into these bands and had heard of Type O and recommended them to me.
I rushed off to Best Buy (I think it was Best Buy at the time?) and picked it up – I made sure to get the deluxe edition with the bonus tracks.
I was shocked, unsettled and hated every second of it. In fact, I took a knife to the CD and gave it a good scratch, rushed back to the store and demanded a refund (you see, back in the day you could pull crap like this off).
At the time, they were on tour with Pantera. I hated them so much that even I made sure to miss their opening act (well, I caught the encore, and looking back now – holy f*ck).
Anyways, enter high school. My friends would play “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend” and “Cinnamon Girl” over and over again. I melted, sucked it up and let Peter Steele and his Brooklyn goth/metal band into my life. I’ve never looked back. As I stated earlier, “October Rust” is a pinnacle of music in my life, an album that defines me as a person. It’s an album that represents a lot about me, and the best times of my life. Losing Peter Steele, and thus Type O, is like losing a piece of me.
Growing old and seeing this band more times than I can count, one thing I could always count on was their live performance. Type O could sound even BETTER live than on the album. Peter always appeared to take this seriously as one troubled show in Chicago resulted in him destroying his instrument and screaming at the venue. Sure, he was also aggravated by the weak sales (telling us he was gonna quit because we’d rather steal it than buy it), but the passion was fuming.
I introduced my wife Andrea to Type O, and always told her how incredible they were live (I’ll never forget the stage set up with dead trees and snow falling). Unfortunately for her, catching them in recent years would display the wear and tear of life on Steele, who would mumble and go off on ambient tangents leaving the band befuddled. It has been apparent for years that Type O Negative might be dying, but catching tracks like “Tripping a Blind Man” and “Dead Again” gave me a glimmer of hope for a triumphant return.
The sinking feeling in my stomach is that “The Dream is Dead”. Type O has become another “remember when” and that’s the most painful thing of all.