Category Archives: In Memoriam

As applicable this category will be used to remember those entertainment personalities that we lost.

R.I.P. Guitarist Matt LaPorte (Jon Oliva’s Pain)

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.

Guitarist Matt LaPorte Onstage (2005)

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.

One Year Later: Type O Negative’s Peter Steele Remembered

It’s been a year since the sad news about Peter Steele’s passing hit the Metal Republic and I have to say that it seemed to be the kick off to a number of other bad turns of events.  While none of the musical deaths that preceded Peter’s were any less important, his own passing set off a shock wave in the underground Metal scene where Type O Negative were kings and really left a lot of fans shocked and dismayed.  The band was obviously over and done with now that the principal song writer was dead and while members Hickey and Kelly would continue on with their side project Seventh Void, the chapter on Type O Negative was one that had apparently closed in the book of Metal music history.   Research had found that no unreleased music was left lying around, but perhaps some historically relevant video would surface for the fans to enjoy.

peter steele, type o negative, peter steele memorial
The Man Of Steele: Click Photo For Original Memorial Thoughts

A little over a month after Peter had passed away the world would lose the mighty Ronnie James Dio but thoughts about his passing are better discussed in the narrative that is dedicated to his illustrious career.   When Peter was gone and the word was confirmed as truth instead of another cruel jest; a memorial posting was made in the Official PiercingMetal.com blog.  With the First Anniversary of his passing being today I wanted to revisit those thoughts which can be read by clicking the photo above.  Comments about The Man are continually welcome by those who enjoyed his music as much as we did but we ask that you please leave them on the original memorial posting as opposed to here for greater impact.  We miss ya Peter and hope you are rocking with the likes of Hendrix, Bonham and many, many more.

peter steele, type o negative, peter steele memorial
Peter Steele’s Bass at Hard Rock Cafe Times Square

Peter’s Alembic bass guitar is now a part of Hard Rock Cafe historic pieces and at the time of this first anniversary could be viewed in one of the establishments windows.   When I learned that it was at this location I made sure to snap a couple of photos for proper use in these thoughts.

peter steele, type o negative, peter steele memorial
Peter Steele’s Hard Rock Cafe Placard

The words they showcased seemed to hit the nail on the head for me, so I was happy with how they were presented.  Don’t mind any spots on the image as there was a torrential rainstorm happening around me when I did this.

peter steele, type o negative, peter steele memorial
Peter Steele’s Thundering Bass Guitar Of Gloom

Kudos to the Hard Rock Cafe brand for realizing that Peter Steele and Type O Negative are worthy of inclusion among your legendary ranks of artifacts.  While the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will likely remain forever clueless and leave a band like this one out of its “honors”, its great to see that some others actually understand and appreciate such a vital musician.   I thank you as a decades deep fan of Steele’s music.

Note: Please know that the means to comment on this post have been turned off and we ask that any reflection thoughts or toasts about Peter Steele that you wish to share be left on our first Memorial posting that can be found HERE. Thank you.

Official Artist Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Steele

R.I.P. Scott Columbus formerly of Manowar (4/4/2011)

I’m saddened and shocked to add the name of drummer Scott Columbus to the list of 2011 memorial notes but alas it is true as earlier this afternoon the reports of the musicians passing started to hit the Internet.  He was 54 years old and that is too young.  The full details of his death are unclear at this time of my posting.

Manowar are one of the many bands that I have enjoyed from the beginning and how could a young Metal fan not be affected by the music found on the bands debut “Battle Hymns”?  Of course the drums on that release were by Donnie Hamzick but the band replaced him with Columbus soon after and he is the drummer who was on some of their most important work.  Scott played what were referred to as “Drums Of Doom” based on their being crafted from stainless steel.  He apparently destroyed conventional drums and this brought a more powerful backbone to an already thundering band.  Scott’s work on “Into Glory Ride”, “Hail To England”, “Sign Of The Hammer”, “Fighting The World” and “Kings Of Metal” is nothing short of amazing and these are works that all Metal fans should have in their music library be it physical or digital. If you liked kick ass Metal drumming, Scott was the guy to watch.

We send condolences out to his family, former band mates and fans during this time.  Rest in Peace Scott and thanks for the Metal.

R.I.P. Don Hill, Legendary NYC Club Owner: 3/31/2011

Don Hill photo by Patrick McMullan

This afternoon PiercingMetal.com learned about the passing of NYC club owner and promoter Don Hill who died after collapsing while on the way to a New York hospital.  He was a legendary figure in the New York City music scene, and ran the club that bore his name “Don Hills” for almost two decades.  He was sixty six years old according to reports.    The Soho club Don Hills was not one of my usual haunts but I knew so many people that were regulars there and knew Don from the fantastic music scene that he helped make even better by opening its doors.  Having only met Mr. Hill a handful of times I can simply say that he always greeted you with a firm handshake and a smile.   He was visibly passionate about the music scene and doing some good for New York bands and a wide reaching music fan in general.   It’s always a shame when someone like this leaves us because its a void that is not easily filled.

The Don Hills club was actually sold very recently to Paul Sevigny and Nur Khan and it is being renovated to some extent.  Over the years the venue was a regular showcase for local and national talent and hosted gigs by bands like Green Day, Quiet Riot and The Strokes along with up and comers such as ZO2 and many more.   I hope whatever renovating the space gets allows this kind of scene to flourish going forward.  I think Don would have liked that to be the case.  His full name was Donald Mulvihill and he leaves behind a Brother, a Sister and too many musicians and NYC nightlife legions to mention.  Rest in Peace Don, thanks for all that you did for the music world.  You will be missed for sure.

R.I.P. Mike Starr, former bassist of Alice In Chains (3/9/2011)

Bassist Mike Starr

The PiercingMetal Command Center was saddened to learn of the death of bassist Mike Starr today who was found dead in his Salt Lake City, Utah home at the age of 44.  The police DO NOT expect foul play as the cause but the results from the medical examiner will take a few months to determine. The musician appeared on the third season of “Celebrity Rehab” where he showcased his own personal struggle with addiction and while he seemed a bit frantic during this particular season, he did end up getting it together for the case of his own health. He and fellow show participant Tom Sizemore each appeared on the season four showing of this program and had been sober/clean for a number of months. Starr was arrested in February of 2011 with possession of several controlled substances so perhaps his own sobriety was not as long lived as his family and friends would have hoped. Let’s see what the medical experts report when they make that assessment.

Musically speaking, Starr was a founding member of the Alice In Chains band and appeared on their earliest and most seminal works such as “Facelift”  (1990), “Sap” (1992) and “Dirt” (1992).  Although he does NOT appear on the bands “Unplugged” album he can be heard on two tracks on the bands “Live” album.   I don’t think I need to speak more on how important the band was to the Seattle Sound and the Grunge Movement as a whole, but I will say that out of the crop of bands that appeared during this time, how Alice In Chains with Mike as a member were one of the best and most promising.

We express our deepest condolences to his family and fans as well as his former band mates.  If the cause gets cited as being from an overdose then I will feel all the more sad, because I hate when this kind of shit takes talented people away from us.   Some view the “Celebrity Rehab” show as sensationalizing the addiction recovery process, but I think at the end of the day it does good and showcases just how hard it is to overcome this kind of problem.

Photo used comes credited to “Iris Peace and Love”.