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Peter Steele: Gone Too Soon

(The post below comes to you from This Belle Rocks. She says it better than I ever could.)

January 4, 1962 – April 14, 2010

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An official statement by Type O Negative bandmates and family was posted late Thursday on the band’s website, Myspace, and Facebook pages confirming the April 14 death of singer/songwriter/bassist Peter Steele.

Like many of Peter’s fans, I woke up to this tragic news on Thursday morning, when Starr sent me a message simply stating that reports were coming in that he was dead, and for real this time. (Note: in 2005, a photo of a tombstone bearing the singer’s name, part of which was obscured, and birth and “death” dates was posted on the main page of the band’s website prompting widespread rumors of his demise at that time. This was later revealed as a gag related to the band having signed with a new record label.) My first words back to her were “Reports? Where? Did this happen last night? Because I have not seen ANYTHING.”

I’m a pretty dedicated fan of the band. I check the website often, as well as the band’s fan pages on Myspace and Facebook. And I had literally not seen anything the day before. A trip to Type O’s site didn’t exactly confirm the news, but said to expect statements from the band and family later that day.

Despite condolences pouring in from everywhere, and R.I.P. statuses popping up all over fans’ social networking pages, I still couldn’t quite wrap my head around it. I couldn’t get sad about it. I would continue to hold out hope that maybe it was all a huge mistake until I saw something “official,” and unfortunately, that confirmation finally came.

And to me, it is heartbreaking. I still can’t quite believe it. A beautiful man and tortured soul, he has intrigued me from the minute I first heard his one-of-a-kind, deep, booming voice. Over the years, I’ve read and watched every interview I could get my hands on, and found him to be both smart and funny in addition to being a shamefully under-rated talent. He came across, to me, as sometimes humble, sometimes obnoxious, always opinionated, and devoted to his family – particularly his mother. And all mamas know how wonderful it is to know our children think we’re amazing, and share that with the world!

I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but he’s led me to some of the best people I know. By all accounts (and by this, I mean everyone I personally know who has ever met him), he was a down-to-earth, genuinely friendly man. And few musicians have had quite as much of an impact on me as he has. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to attend a handful of shows in the past few years, as they are some of my best memories and I will cherish them for the rest of my life.

How is it possible to say goodbye to someone who has made you laugh, made you cry, kept you motivated, kept you sane at times, and who you truly feel played a huge part in making you a stronger and better person….all without ever even having met you?

I don’t think I can. And a part of me still hopes this isn’t true. That he’s just gotten sick of it all and pulled an *Eddie Wilson-esque disappearing act. Regardless, he will be truly missed. And there will NEVER be another like him.

Playlist: I obviously like a lot of the older stuff the most. So I put together just a few of my favorites and ended it, appropriately, I think, with a Black No. 1 “finale”.

1. Set Me on Fire
2. Nettie
3. Blood and Fire
4. Wolf Moon
5. Everything Dies
6. Cinnamon Girl
7. Christian Woman
8. Anesthesia
9. Gravitational Constant
10. Love You to Death
11. Black No. 1

*A reference to the movie Eddie And The Cruisers
Image Credit: Unknown

16 Responses to Peter Steele: Gone Too Soon
  1. This Belle Rocks
    April 17, 2010 | 11:06 am

    Thanks so much, Ri, for letting me share how much this man meant to me with your readers!
    .-= This Belle Rocks´s last blog ..So….it’s been quite a week. =-.

  2. ThisBelleRocks
    April 17, 2010 | 11:16 am

    On Music Savvy Moms: Peter Steele: Gone Too Soon @ http://musicsavvymom.com/2010/04/peter-steele-gone-too-soon/

  3. Sound Check Mama
    April 17, 2010 | 11:46 am

    Beautifully written! I know how much he meant to you, and that comes through in this piece. Peter has a really unique voice, and I see why you like it.

    Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Sound Check Mama´s last blog ..No longer on duty =-.

  4. Starrlight
    April 17, 2010 | 12:05 pm

    I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around it too. My dad called me from Maui Thursday night to demand to know if it was true as well. He was only 48!

  5. Susan Helene Gottfried
    April 17, 2010 | 3:09 pm

    I don’t think he’s dead. Truly. I think he is a true, honest-to-God vampire and he had to go underground for awhile ’cause people were starting to notice he wasn’t aging.

    Which means our kids or our grandkids will get to experience his greatness, too. And not ’cause they’re listening to our old recordings.

    Man, I remember jamming to Type O back at the radio station… right when they’d first come together. I never met Peter, and my friends told me that was a good thing. They said he’d scar me for life. I didn’t doubt them.
    .-= Susan Helene Gottfried´s last blog ..Susan’s Book Talk: Top Ten Rock Books =-.

    • This Belle Rocks
      April 18, 2010 | 10:38 am

      Oh, Susan, I LIKE your theory!

      I am probably still too thin-skinned to have actually had a conversation with him, so it’s probably best I didn’t get to meet him, either. Still wish I had, though.
      .-= This Belle Rocks´s last blog ..So….it’s been quite a week. =-.

  6. ThisBelleRocks
    April 17, 2010 | 3:19 pm

    At Music Savvy Mom….Peter Steele: Gone Too Soon @ http://musicsavvymom.com/2010/04/peter-steele-gone-too-soon/

  7. Tiff Hill-Patterson
    April 17, 2010 | 3:28 pm

    RT @MusicSavvyMom Tribute to Type O Negative's Peter Steele by guest poster @ThisBelleRocks up now at Music Savvy Mom: http://ow.ly/1zGrn

  8. Tiff Hill-Patterson
    April 17, 2010 | 3:30 pm

    RT @ThisBelleRocks At Music Savvy Mom….Peter Steele: Gone Too Soon @ http://musicsavvymom.com/2010/04/peter-steele-gone-too-soon/

  9. tonbabydc
    April 17, 2010 | 3:38 pm

    A word from the male perspective….

    Pete always seemed seemed deeply unhappy to me, as though he was constantly masking his troubles with humor, self-deprecation, bad behavior and controlled substances. I often wished that he were more content to pour that pain into his songcraft, instead of directing it back at himself…especially in recent years.

    That said, less than a month ago, I wrote about how his music often centered around the doubts and failures that most men face, but are unwilling or unable to articulate (….and which we often misdirect in very destructive ways).

    That perspective was very comforting to me at a time when I was being confronted with my own failures and shortcomings as a young man.

    I’m very grateful to him for that.
    .-= tonbabydc´s last blog ..R.I.P. Peter Steele: 1962 – 2010 =-.

    • This Belle Rocks
      April 18, 2010 | 10:42 am

      I wish that, too. And you bring up some very good points about the misdirection of troubled thoughts; that’s something I hadn’t really thought of before.

      Thanks for coming by to read my post!
      .-= This Belle Rocks´s last blog ..So….it’s been quite a week. =-.

  10. Elysia Fionn
    April 17, 2010 | 4:40 pm

    Pete Steele and his music came into my life at the very same time that I realized who I really was. I threw away the fairy tales, the organized religion, the crap other people had fed me, and I dug down into my own soul to find myself. Type O Negative is to me what The Beatles and Elvis were to normal people.

    I smoked a clove cigarette in your honor, Petrus. Everything dies.

    • This Belle Rocks
      April 18, 2010 | 10:47 am

      He, and the band, seemed to have struck a chord with many people for reasons similar to yours, as most of their lyrics weren’t pretty.

      Thank you for coming by to share what he meant to you!
      .-= This Belle Rocks´s last blog ..So….it’s been quite a week. =-.

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