For many it feels like today’s date is March 44th based on the current state of affairs in the world with the devastating effects of this Coronavirus Pandemic. It’s actually April 10th and it’s a day that marks a very sad anniversary in the minds of so many Metal fans as that was the day that the inimitable Peter Steele, founder of the Brooklyn-based Heavy Metal group Type O Negative passed away. I remember hearing rumbling of the news not long after he had apparently passed and initially a part of me had to laugh at the notion that Peter had fooled us all once again with the same trick that he did some years before. Sadly, when I took notice of people who would be “in the know” about the band making posts to their socials about getting some terrible news that they were hoping against hope would be untrue a chill ran through my bones. It was true. He was gone. The world at large had lost the Green Man, Peter Steele was dead and he was only 48 years old.
My original “In Memoriam” post sums up so much of my own experience as a fan of the group since they were one of my favorites and on anniversaries such as this I tend to refer to it since there is more information to digest and reflect upon. That missive can be observed HERE for those of you who wish to see it. When I think back on my mental tenure with Peter’s music, I remember being a rather active musician myself when Carnivore was doing their thing. Since I was mostly a KISS, Van Halen and Judas Priest guy at the time, the description of what that band was like in concert was jarring. I knew some NYHC dudes that used to go and described them as bloodbaths. Back then I was half drummer and half carnival barker and I didn’t want my pretty blonde hair being torn out of my head so I never saw them.
When Type O Negative came to be I was in my main band Machine, but never managed to see the group during their “Slow, Deep and Hard” time. I would catch them after this when I had sold out and gone corporate since I was looking to not be broke. With that album the band had come to my friend Rebel’s radio show and while I didn’t get to stay for the interview and assist his show I was there when they walked in and Pete spooked the hell out of me. I don’t mind sounding lame when I say still that I felt an alarming chill and was uncomfortable most of the way home. He was intense for sure and as many know, a veritable giant. Thinking back on the bodies of work, I did enjoy “most” of “SDAH” but there were points in that one which I felt were too heavy for me, and by the time that the faux live album “Origin Of The Feces” came to be, I was pretty much a diehard. I wasn’t going to add much to this reflection as much as direct you to the original one which is linked above but I got to typing what was on my mind. It’s hard to wrap my head around this being ten years already but so it has and what a world this has become since that time. We’ve seen numerous changes in the way we are able to do things and still the overall unkindness to one another seems to remain a constant battle with those hoping for a better place around us. Perhaps its petty intolerances or differences or maybe even political stand in nature but this dreaded virus has shown us that its time to work towards common goals. I’m not sure why I typed all that but perhaps its based on Peter’s often acerbic and biting wit. In the old days the crowd used to chant “You Suck”, “You Suck” etc. before the band came on and when Peter and company arrived he would laugh at us and berate us like sheep and part of me thinks that he looks at us all today from the Great Beyond mumbling to himself in that deep baritone about our just not getting it.
For this anniversary I haven’t been playing any one particular album by the band but instead have opted for a wider assortment of tracks and some YouTube clips. I found the original “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” with Pete singing and was saddened that they never just released that and also a live recording of them doing “Light My Fire” by The Doors. Good stuff. What amounted to your very favorite TON stuff? Chime in down below or add your thoughts about Peter and the music of Type O Negative to the original memorial reflection from 10 years ago. Closing up I have to say that I miss the idea of new music from Peter and hope we see some remastered CD editions coming out or some collected live videos since I know that stuff exists. Thanks for reading.
Official Artist Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Steele