A Death In The Family

Some of you have asked about Peter's love for cats. Actually, it's a love of all animals, but traditionally, his grandmother and mother always had an affection for cats -- he grew up with cats, and as you all know, had several as pets.

One of Pete's first beloved pets was a cat he named, Venus. Peter was very close to his cat, and Venus was always with him, just hanging out, always nearby. As you know from Peter's music, that he writes about the things that affect his life -- and the song, Death In The Family, was written for Venus after her untimely death. 

Very soon after the death of Venus, Peter met a beautiful, interesting lady. When he asked her for her name, she replied, “Venus.  My Mom named me that because you’ll probably never get to meet 2 Venuses in your life”.  (This girl's Mom must have seen "One Touch of Venus" with the brunette beauty, Ava Gardner, since this line was from that movie.) 

Peter always remarked on the irony of having two Venuses in his life.

Listen to this song. Can you tell it was written with his favorite cat in mind? 


Still Scary After All These Years

Since my sister Cathy and I are only a few years apart, we often listened to the same music and wore the same clothes. Every Friday nite, my parents would go to their siblings' homes leaving Cathy, Peter and I home alone. Peter, about 10 years younger than Cathy, would be off doing something in his room, building or drawing something, and we'd be listening to music and just hanging out in the bedroom that she and I shared.

One night, we were sitting on the beds, room darkened, candles lit, music a little loud when I thought I heard a creaking noise. I jumped up, turned the music lower and listened carefully. Nothing.

So, we turned the music up and we heard a weird scratching noise. I jumped up from the bed, turned the music off and listened again. Nothing. Then, we both heard it, it sounded like something was scratching at the door to the bedroom. The door was opened just a little bit, so Cathy called out to Peter but didn't hear anything back. Then, a monster hand appeared at the side of the door. It was disgustingly caked with wrinkles and blood dripping from it. We screamed, both jumping onto Cathy's bed, yelling at the tops of our lungs ... and the hand pushed back the door and there was Peter with a flashlight in one hand positioned under his face making it glow and his "monster"  hand was dripping in ketchup and covered in crackers.

I think I beat Peter with my album case that night. Then we spent the rest of the evening cleaning up Peter's monster project in the kitchen and all the ketchup and cracker crumbs smeared along the door and walls.  Even though we were the youngest of the sisters, he still knew exactly how to scare the shit out of us. He found pure joy in doing it ... even when we were older, he loved to hide behind a door and pop out, or make scary noises when walking in the street. He was a lot of fun.

Hope you enjoy our little story - Thanks - Peter's sisters Pam and Cathy.


He Who Protects Everything ...

My sister, mom and I lived down the street from Peter during our childhood. Not only did we see our Grandparents every day, we saw Peter and other cousins too.

We would go to Pete's after school, and when it was almost time for my mom to get home from work, my sister and I would walk down the street, use our key to get into the apt, and call my grandmother to let her know we made it home ok.

At this time, I was 13 yo and my sister was 10 yo. We walked into the building and saw that this crazy guy from the building was coming in behind us. He always talked to himself (and answered) and we were afraid of him.  So, we did what stupid kids do - we taunted him, we gave him the middle finger, we called him killer - and we ran as fast as we could. I looked back behind me and realized he was chasing us up the stairs to our apt with a large knife in his hand. I opened the door as fast as I could, and he jumped on the door trying to bust it open before while I tried to close it. All the while he was yelling that he was going to get us and cut us up and eat us.

We were screaming. My sister was crying and I yelled at her to call Nana's house. My sister was screaming on the phone to my Grandmother -- but my Grandfather wasn't home from work yet. So, Nana called Peter who was 15 or 16 at the time.

It must have been seconds, because Peter arrived in a flash at the building with a hatchet. He ran after the crazy guy and he shut the door on Peter. My mom arrived and saw us crying and Peter chopping the guy's door down and she ran over to help him. Suddenly, the nut opened his door and hot boiling soup was thrown in my mother's face. She fell down on the floor. That was it -- Peter the Protector emerged -- and Peter  actually kicked the door open. The only thing we heard were BOOM, BANG, SMASH and Peter threw the guy out the apt, onto the floor and held him down until the cops came.

My sister and I always thought we were going to die that day. If it wasn't for Peter scaring the guy and making him run away from our apt, I am not sure I'd be typing this today.

But, Peter has always been a protector for us. He has always been there for us ... introducing us to things, scaring the life out of us during scary movie night ... or in this case, chasing our monsters away. 


Nettie & The Mosh Pit

It wasn't until "October Rust" that Peter allowed his mother to see him in concert. It wasn't that he was worried that she'd have to stay up late (she was a night owl) or that she wouldn't understand the music (she listened to all Peter's music), I think he was waiting for the best venue so she could really see what he was doing all those months away from his family.

So, we all went to Nassau Collusium (about 15 - 20 family members) when TypeO performed there, even Nettie who, needed a walker. Pete had arranged for her to have a good seat in the audience, stage right.  The stage was decorated beautifully with autumn leaves and plants to celebrate the “October Rust” songs in the venue. Nettie, whose eyesight was also failing, complained of not being able to see her son Pete in her first time at a big concert. 

She made the decision to get up, work her way down some steps, and with 4 security guards surrounding her, made her way through the flailing and frenetic mosh pit up to the stage to wave to Pete. The sight of this  5 foot gray-haired old lady excusing herself through the moshers was one to behold.  And to our surprise, the mostly male moshers were very nice about it. They parted and allowed her to use her walker to get to the front. They punched and pushed each other, as Nettie stood there and watched. She pushed herself down to the front and marveled at the stage, smiling at Peter, as if he was playing in the backyard when he was a little boy. 

Peter, on the other hand was horrified. He spent the whole time on stage glued to watching what his mother was doing and if she was being protected properly. 

The rest of us stood at our seats watching and laughing. We wondered would she get caught up in the crowd? Would she get carried away and end up stage diving? Would she beat one of those guys with her walker? 

When we found her again and went back stage after the concert, her reaction was all too funny. After hugging Peter, she exciteably talked about the outfits and high heels  the girls in the audience wore ... she was amazed by the artwork and colors of the lighting on stage ... and with Pete blushing, she admonished Peter for using the F*** word too many times when he addressed the crowd.

Peter's mom was a gutsy lady who wore high heels to do her housework ... taught her granddaughters how to fist fight ... encouraged us to dance in the street during a sun shower ... and knew that laughter and family was the best way to get through life's hardships. 

While Peter adored her more than you could imagine any son's love for his mother ... she taught him and us to never be afraid of anything or anyone. We can only imagine that she didn't crowd dive at that concert because she was wearing a dress, but most likely she didn't want to lose her walker.


Hey Pete -- Ever Hear of Paper Plates?

So, alot of people don't know but at one time during Pete's crazy schedule, I was his personnel assistant. Me, the baby niece of the family - Marie. It was during the height of Pete's career. He was recording, touring, doing interviews, and was gone for months. He had been taken advantage by friends, and he didn't know who he could trust, so he asked me to care for his house.

So, while Pete was away, I took care of the apt, fed and cleaned his cats, attended to his personal business, cleaned the house for him, did his banking and called him to let him know of personal messages.So, one time when he left on tour, I went to his house( I lived right down the block) I started to clean and do his laundry. On the table I saw a note. It read, "Mimi, while you are here,  can you do ALL my dirty dishes." 

I said to myself o-k . So, I went to the sink, and there were no dishes. I looked in the dining area - no dishes. I went into his bedroom - no dishes. I thought to myself, "Where are the freakin dishes !"

Usually, when Peter got a moment on tour, he would check in with me. So days later, I asked him, "Pete, you said you had dishes to be washed, but I couldn't find any dishes anywhere in your house. Where are they?"

So, Pete told me to open the back door and I would find his dirty dishes. I said to him cool..no prob. Well we finished our conversation and I hung up the phone. About an hour passes and I said SHIT I forgot the dishes!!
I opened the back door and all that was there was 2 big fifty gallon drum garbage pails.

So, I'm standing there, thinking, "Ohhhhh Kkkkkkk. I still don't see any dishes." So, I open one of the garbage pails and it is filled to the top with DIRTY SMELLY FOOD CAKED dishes ! I open the other pail and it's the same. The smell was horrendous ! I almost passed out.

I called Peter back on the phone and said "Wow..You saved all these dishes for me! You must love me! "  He started laughing like a little boy saying he was sorry, but he ran out of his own clean dishes and had to raid his mom's cabinets for her clean dishes. He also said he poured ammonia and water on the dishes to help the cleaning process a little. But he didn't want to clean the dishes because it was just too many to deal with. 

Hey Pete, you ever hear of PAPER PLATES? 

This is a CLASSIC PETER story. He always had a different way of doing things.

Oh, and BTW, it took me about two weeks to clean and dry all of Peter's dirty dishes. For Christmas I bought him a package of paper plates.


Strong, Emotional, Melodic Vocals ... Peter Always Stood Out

This photo is Josh and Pete from the very last show they did together. I love this picture.
Two childhood friends ...
Can you imagine being in business with your childhood friend for most of your life?

I thought I'd share another review from writer Kyle Bowser -- whose style of writing, I feel resonates with blog readers. He has passion when he writes. AND, he seems to be a genuine kinda person. So, with Kyle's approval, here is his review of "World Coming Down" cd, which was published over a year ago.

From Metal-Archives.com:

With the passing of Peter Steele, I felt it was about time I got to writing a Type O Negative review, finally. I’ve been listening to this band now since about January of this year. Yeah, not for very long, yet in that short time span they have catapulted into one of my all time favorite bands. I’ve even gone through the trouble of finding just about all of their full-lengths (aside from The Origin of the Feces and Life is Killing Me yet), which I’ve never really done before for any band that I can remember, as incredible as I consider some of the bands I’ve listened to. They just never struck me in quite the same way as Type O Negative did. I suppose the album that I first listened to by Type O Negative had something to do with it, this one; World Coming Down. This album is clearly the band’s crowning moment in their existence, because it has two of the most incredible songs I’ve ever heard in my life. I suppose partly why I’m writing this review at this time is to cope with the reality that I will never see this band live and to be honest, it hurts. However, I also had a feeling that I never would and in a way you could say I was both a bit too late and just in time in discovering this band. Either way, I consider myself lucky for even discovering this band when I did and I know I will never tire of them as long as I live.

So, you might be asking yourself why Type O Negative struck me so deeply and so instantly as they did. Well, for one, I can tell you Peter Steele’s vocals are probably the most incredible and unique vocals I’ve heard so far in my journey through music. I think I’ve also always had a leaning toward strong melodic vocalists as well, such as Hansi K├╝rsch. I was listening to a lot of Joy Division before I discovered Type O Negative and Ian Curtis utilized strong memorable baritone vocals. I suppose it was a step by step process and when I finally hit on Peter Steele’s bass-baritone vocals when I did it was just a perfect next step of Ian Curtis’ vocal style, yet to a further degree. I certainly can say that Peter Steele’s vocals are the most pivotal and vital part of Type O Negative for me, without them I don’t think they would have stood out nearly as much as they did. His delivery is always with strong emotion and passion, while being able to have actually a relatively wide vocal range. He seems to be able to flow from mid-bass range to the higher end of baritone seamlessly, which creates for fantastic dynamics in each song. An example of this can particularly be heard on the massive dark and dirged out song “White Slavery.” Regardless of where Peter Steele is floating in the vocal range, his voice is always powerful and very heavy, not something that can ever be missed.

The riffing on World Coming Down is, of course, about as incredible as you will ever find on some of the songs. For instance, I mentioned that World Coming Down possesses possibly two of the most astonishing songs I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. The first being the opening track “White Slavery”, which begins with possibly the most crushing dirge infected riff of all time, completely devastating and hardly something that is beautiful in any way. However, that is what makes it so fantastic, it is practically like looking into the soul of Peter Steele himself when that riff explodes in the first opening seconds of “White Slavery.” The tempo on this song is also painfully slow and finding the beat is near impossible to do, as generally with the whole album. The other masterpiece is, of course, the title song; “World Coming Down.” From my experience with this band, which regrettably, hasn’t been nearly as long as I would wish, “World Coming Down” is the finest song they ever wrote. This song is simply perfect in every conceivable way and I will never grow tired of it. “World Coming Down” opens with another slow dirged out riff and a china splashing cymbal beat, with possibly Peter Steele’s finest vocal performance and lyrics as well. The somber and quieter interludes are possibly the most memorable moments I’ve yet discovered in music. I’m completely wrapped up in the atmosphere created by these interludes without another thought crossing my mind. These interludes possess, ironically, some of the most beautiful riffs ever recorded, along with Peter Steele’s bass voice and mournful bass lines, make it pure musical bliss. I really can’t say anything more about it, other than it is the most awe-inspiring moments I’ve had in music. “World Coming Down” will never be forgotten.

On that note, I think I will attempt to conclude this review somehow. I suppose I didn’t do the greatest job of describing the music, but I did what I could. All I can say is, if you have yet to experience Type O Negative, please do because you will never regret it. I suppose, music such as this won’t appeal to everyone, however, I think everyone needs to hear this album at some point before they die. The music found on this album is mature and sincere, unlike a lot of the fans Type O Negative seem to have gathered over the years. For me, this album is nearly perfect and an unforgettable experience, opening my eyes to a completely new band and their drab outlook on existence, which I think I always kind of felt all my life anyway. Perhaps that is why I love this music so much, I understand Peter Steele’s point of view, whether that be good or bad, and connect so much to his bleak view of life. I just hope I’m not doomed like he always seemed to be.
R.I.P. Peter Steele, lost but not ever forgotten.

                                                                          * ~ * ~ *~ *

Oh, and one of Kyle's favs is "White Slavery" so enjoy the audio. I love the emotion in Peter's voice with this song. I could imagine that if this was an instrumental, it would be powerful, too.

Had to Share

I found this on a friend's FB page, and I'm sorry, but I don't know the artist (photo shopper) who did this, but WOW. Love it ... THANKS

A Step Back

With Passover and Holy Easter week falling within the same time frame, most of the people who read this blog had an opportunity to spend time with family - sharing stories with the kids while the grownups cooked and served. It was the same with our family. Though only half of us could gather in one place - Peter's deceased sister's home -- we came together to do what we do best, tell stories, laugh, eat and enjoy each other.

Which made to think about today's blog. I thought it was a good time to take a step back and share why the family asked for privacy for the year following Peter's death.

Simply, we were still mourning the death of Pete's eldest sister, Annette, who was the kept the family together with parties, dinners, events, structure. The family (Peter too) was dealing with losing her and helping her immediate family carry on, when Peter's untimely death occured. It was unfathomable that Peter had died -- especially since his middle sister Pat had JUST SPOKEN to him just a week earlier. It was unbelieveable that we had to get people together and follow a trail to find out just how Peter could have possibly died when he was supposed to be living in NY in a couple of days. HOW ? WHY? WHEN? WHERE? These were the questions Pete's sisters had to deal with while the rest of us supported their quest.

But it was during this last year that we began to connect with all of you. We read beautiful stories, saw artwork, photography, poems written by all of you expressing your heartfelt rememberances of Peter. And, we learned so much more from all of you.

Every musician, author, artist will tell you that their job takes them away from the people who love them most. But, while they are away, if they are lucky, they create their own traveling family - band of brothers - who deal with the mundane and business side of their life while on the road. (or while they are in the recording studio).

When Peter came back from the road, we'd all get together. Every single time he came back, he'd call a bunch of us and we'd get together. But, there was an understanding -- don't ask him about the shows, he was sick of talking about the shows -- so instead, he wanted to know exactly what each of us were doing while he was away. If we traveled, he wanted to know. If we had new business things, he wanted to know. If someone was sick or dying, he wanted to know. Then, after he caught up with most of us, he would start telling stories. Crazy things the bands did, or interesting everyday people he met in places around the world that most of us have never been to. He told us stories about being strip searched at the border of Germany, or locked up in Poland for not having the right paperwork. And in each story, there was always some fan or roadie who saved the day.

Lots of times he'd have cds of bands he had played with or songs that other people passed to him at shows. He brought home musical presents for his nieces, he gave out bumper stickers, he shared gold records with his sisters. And, we in turn made him his favorite foods like a whole, homemade apple pie (just for him). He sit there, with a fork in hand eating from the middle of the pie, drinking a quart of cold milk. And, when he'd finish up, he'd just get back into the groove of being a little boy stuck inside of a giant man. Rolling on the floor with the kids or playing with the dogs and cats. When he was home, he was just Pete, fun, laughing, telling stories -- our Pete.


Classic Carnivore at Lamour in Brooklyn

This is from 1986. Notice how short Pete's hair is ...

If anyone has a better version of this video, let me know. Enjoy


From The Metal Archives ... He's Dead Again ...

I hope no one minds, but I saw this review of "Dead Again" on a site called, metal-archives.com. The writer, Kyle really did a great job of reviewing this cd, while honoring Pete's legacy. Enjoy and go to the site to see other reviews written by Kyle. And thank you Kyle for the repost

Here is a memorial photo I totally love.
If anyone knows who did this piece of art,
I'd love to tell them how gorgeous it is !

Encyclopaedia Metallum

... The Metal Archives ...


Dead Again

Type O Negative

A Glimpse of What Could Have Been… - 96%

It’s been a year since the passing of Peter Steele and I had decided some time ago I would get to writing my second Type O Negative review when said day had finally arrived. Well, here it is and Dead Again, in my humble opinion, is Type O Negative’s second greatest achievement. Yeah, I know what you are going to say… how can that be? Dead Again doesn’t possess classics like “Christian Woman” or “Love You To Death.” Granted, that point is well taken, and those two songs are legendary, but the strength of Dead Again doesn’t lie in a single song or a collection of a few songs, but the entire journey from start to finish. Let me hit you with one fact, Dead Again is the longest album Type O Negative has ever put out (and ever will sadly) and that is long indeed, about as long as can be possible on a single CD. Sure, it’s only longer by a minute or two, but consider that all other albums had filler of some kind; even the legendary World Coming Down had three ambient soundscapes, which could be considered filler. Dead Again, on the other hand, has no filler tracks, no joke songs or anything of the sort. Dead Again is a serious and relentless dirge-y doom masterpiece from start to finish -- all one hour and 17 minutes of it.

During the writing of Dead Again, Peter Steele had a change of view on a very important topic; religion. Unfortunately (from my perspective), he fell back into his Roman Catholic childhood beliefs after decades of atheism. This change is reflected in a few songs on Dead Again, most notably on the songs “Profits of Doom” and “These Three Things.” And even if I don’t agree with the lyrical content of these songs (or his conversion), which I don’t, I can’t deny the sheer brilliance of the arrangements and riffs present in these songs. The intros of these two songs are crushingly heavy and devastating, perhaps the heaviest minutes to be found on any Type O Negative record. And besides, I’d rather Peter Steele express himself honestly and have a damn opinion rather than write vapid lyrics about nothings, like seems so common these days.

There was a noteworthy change in the production and recording process of Dead Again involving the drums, which altered the overall sound and experience of the album. After the recording of Bloody Kisses, the departure of Sal Abruscato and the joining of Johnny Kelly, nearly everything that Type O Negative recorded had programmed drums (at least the studio full-length material). The reasons for this are understandable, as the band wanted a dark, slow and brooding drum style and the best way to achieve this was using programmed drums, I suppose. All that changed on Dead Again though, as Johnny Kelly was allowed to take up the kit finally in the studio and have more control of the drum arrangements, and what resulted was a faster more upbeat nature to the drums. The drumming tends to be more traditionally structured with straight forward heavy rock beats rather than the slow, plodding, restrained and oftentimes obscure beats found on World Coming Down. In a way, it seems to fit the album despite the fact that Type O Negative hadn’t gotten any more cheerful or happy (quite the opposite in fact). The drumming style of Dead Again seems to drive the songs forward more so than other albums and tends to contrast well with the riffing.

Each of the songs are packed full of quality riffs, frequently being catchy without sacrificing a bit of the doom-y heaviness of previous albums. In fact, I’d argue that Dead Again is Type O Negative’s heaviest album, solely because of the style and nature of the riffs. While the riffs aren’t the nightmarish, murky and hazy style of World Coming Down, they are more upfront conventional slabs of doom-y hard hitting riffs, giving them their heavier nature. I don’t want to give the impression that the whole album is like this though, as Dead Again still has the usual diversity expected on a Type O Negative album. If considering “September Sun” with its piano heavy intro, or the ultra dirge-y and doom-y intro and (later on) the somber and melancholic conclusion of “These Three Things” analogous to “World Coming Down,” Dead Again has it all. There are even throwback moments to the earliest Peter Steele material of Carnivore, when considering “Some Stupid Tomorrow” with its fast, blistering drumming and hardcore shouted sections. Despite the diversity, Dead Again feels like the most “together” and streamlined album Type O Negative put out. The album passes by like Iron Maiden’s The Final Frontier, quick and steady and when it’s all over you say to yourself; “Wait, that’s it?”

With a heavy heart I have accepted that this is the very last Type O Negative material that will ever be seen or heard and it’s a terrible thought -- but that’s the reality. It just makes me continuously wonder, what could have been? Peter Steele died at the young age of 48 (perhaps old for him) and still had so much more to offer the music world. The timing of his demise was cruel, considering he had been clean from drugs and alcohol for many months, was in the best shape of his life in years and was to imminently begin writing new music (May 1st from an interview). Type O Negative had also signed to Napalm Records just before he died, a label that holds several quality bands on its roster, further enhancing the potential for more legendary Type O Negative material, but alas it was not meant to be. Instead, we fans will have to settle for the heavy epic swansong of Dead Again, a lengthy and expansive expression of a soulful man that had many demons and somehow overcame them to create some of the most acutely sorrowful music in history. After all, everything dies…
- DrummingEdge133, April 15th, 2011

Inspiration Came From ... Anywhere ...

Steele, who credits Black Sabbath and the Beatles as key inspirations,  co-wrote the song "Just Say No To Love" with Tony Iommi for the Black Sabbath guitarist's solo record in 2000.


"I felt like a big kid," said Steele. "To be writing music with him (Iommi), I was awestruck. I was stuttering. I've loved Sabbath since I was 15. I like that slow, heavy sound. Grinding, churning stuff. Ozzy (Osbourne) sounded like the ultimate outcast and I didn't fit in too well in high school with the nerds, the jocks or the cool jeans."

Now, Pete being the joker and always finding the humor in a situation, we can only surmise that this story about the inspiration for the song may be full truth or a tall tale. But, a close friend of Pete's told us this story as being the inspiration for how he came up with the song: 

Pete was extremely nervous about working with Tony Iommi and had to run into the men’s room before meeting Tony.  Pacing back and forth, racking his brain for a subject, tune, title or lyrics to contribute to their collaboration. While taking care of business and staring at the wall, he saw a small anti-drug sticker that read, "Just Say No To Drugs." Pete thought to himself, “That’s it” … Just say no ... which turned into "Just Say No to Love."  And then a song was born. In Peter's mind, he could find inspiration from anything ... even in the bathroom. 



Tall Tale From Little Men

This story is a recollection of a Thanksgiving adventure of Peter and a neighborhood friend Joey -- both 8 years old. Pete's sister Pat recalls:

With Thanksgiving a few days away, Nettie had to start preparing for the feast.  She asked Pete & his friend Joey to run down to the store to pick up a 25-lb frozen turkey; it needed time to thaw with Thanksgiving only days away. 

So the two 8 yr old boys sauntered to the store 4 blocks away & picked out a good one.  Joey, being probably half the height and heft of Pete, had a bit of a problem trying to hold up his end of the paper shopping bag on the way home, and of course the bag ripped. 

Then they tried carrying it in their arms together, but it was too cold to handle so after a couple of steps it dropped on the ground. 

Next they each took an end of the plastic mesh covering to try to carry it that way; but with their unequal heights, Joey ended up with most of the turkey weight falling on him. After another block, Joey needed to sit down.  

It was the last block to home when we saw Pete pulling the frozen turkey by its mesh cover along the concrete sidewalk with the tired & worn-out Joey riding on top of the turkey. 

I don't have to tell you what Nettie said to Pete when he got home with a dirt covered bird, but the rest of us thought Pete's story was hysterical.

That's Peter, Always the  Considerate, Kind, Ironman in Training.


Another Standing Ovation For The Fans

We've gotten some comments about the artwork picked for the tribute shirt and the photos uploaded to the FB page. I have to say that you guys have some amazing talents out there. From colored drawings, to poetry, to digitized versions of Pete's likeness, we are constantly floored over your inspirations and devotion to Peter.

So, if it's not too overdone, we'd like to highlight some work that we really think is stunning. If you have suggestions, please let us know. For further inspiration, TON's gallery is fantastic too (thank you Diana).

Here's a 3 part tribute from MELISSA (Thank you )

Kudos For Piercing Metal's Tribute

A beautiful write-up by Ken Pierce in "When the Music Died" section of his site. Great photos Ken ... I hope you don't mind that I post one here for fans and a link to your piece.



Prelude To A Bloody Kiss

Prior to performing in concerts held all over the world, Peter started out a regular guy doing what regular guys do when they love to play music -- he and his childhood friends got together and formed Northern Lights and Hot Ice. Along with neighborhood friends, Josh, John and Dennis, the quad recreated cover songs of their favorite bands -- playing at neighborhood block parties and festivals -- attracting a following of friends, family and local fans.

                                           Here at the Avenue M Mardi Gras (street fair)

For several years, the band played at the street fair, but one year, the electric was accidently turned off just before the guys were supposed to play. There was a crowd filled with friends like Lauren, Billy, Susan, Gary, Nancy and many other friends from East 15th & East 18th Streets. More than 100 people were chanting and screaming because they waited all day in the sun to see their friends play.

One of Peter's brothers in law, Johnny, decided that he could wire the band's equipment into the street lamp next to the stage. It saved the day and the band played their song list before the local area politicians decided to unplug and shut off the power to the band. I was young, but I remember my sister, cousins, aunts, uncles and Pete's parents sitting by the stage, singing along and clapping for Pete and the guys. I had a secret crush on two band members, but ultimately I was there to cheer on my favorite ... Peter.

This picture is from the 18th Street block party down the street from his home


It All Began On East 18th Street In Brooklyn

Peter was born into an extremely talented and artistic family. His mother Annette Pallon and father Peter Ratajczyk Sr. met in Redhook Brooklyn, married, had five daughters and 1 son. His father was Polish and his mother being a mix of Irish, Scottish, English and French -- Peter got his intense eye coloring, dark hair, and powerful physique from a good genetic mix.

Between his dad's baritone voice and his mother's artistic talents for sculture and painting, Peter was submerged in music, color, singing, and laughter from the moment he was born. 

In fact, being surrounded by a large family filled with aunts,  uncles, cousins that he saw on a daily/weekly basis -- Peter's early musical and artistic influences came from what was around him. With his sisters anywhere from 10 to 20 years older, they were introducing artists, musicians and a variety of music genres helping to shape the influences you hear in his music thoughout his career. Each of his sisters have musical talents or artistic talents -- so Peter grew up with his family singing, painting, sketching, and playing a variety of instruments.

So, while it didn't concern his parents when he announced he was taking the basement over to be a practice space... it just surprised his parents that it was heavy metal that he was playing. And with his childhood friends, he played the music real loud. Stan Pillis, the first guitarist from Carnivore, remembers his parents coming over to hear the rehearsal in the basement, and afterwards, all the parents took a walk and jointly complained, as parents do, about why "the boys" were interested in that loud crazy sounding music. But, Pete's parents never stopped him from being who he was and what he wanted to express. Even when Nettie was making CroMag loin cloth and fur sashes for the bandmembers, she was proud of the performances that her son created. In fact, she particularly enjoyed making the fur boots they all wore.


Something About This Photo Stays With Me

I don't know whether it's the way the camera catches Pete's image reflecting in the background, but something about this picture gives the feeling of calm, clarity and satisfation this early morning.

It may also have something to do with a small  gathering we had tonight with friends who have always been there ... throughout the ups and down ... It was a great bunch of people. It was relaxing. It was needed after this long week ... and much longer year.

You would have thought Peter was in the room with us, at a favored hangout, laughing about all the crazy stuff he taught us, or things he used to do or say. It just felt good. Really good.

I leave you with one of Peter's favorite phone prank clips ... He played this audio all the time (ignore the stupid graphics)



Old Fans ... New Friends

We are eternally grateful for the support, love, devotion, sentiment bestowed on Peter (and to the family) during this horrible year. But, yesterday, on the anniversary of losing him, every word you wrote and photo you posted made the day so much more liveable.  You may be old fans of Pete's but we feel like you've become new friends to us.


~ Thank you for all those who gave us a shoulder to cry on, accepted phone calls in the middle of the work day or late at night when we needed to talk through some emotions, angers, frustrations, sorrows.

~ Thank you to the long-time family friends who reconnected and stayed present in our lives throughout this ordeal. We love you. We thank you for everything

~ Thank you to our new friends who have spent the last year emailing us on Cathy's FB page, leaving snippets of songs, posting gorgeous artwork, and letting us know you are out there, feeling just as badly as we do

~ Thank you to the amazing artists, the bouncers, musicians, producers, managers, publicists, radio hosts, roadies, songwriters who have made us smile with tributes, messages, dedications -- you are all so important to us and have been a huge family to Pete. We will never forget you.

~ Thank you to Peter's TON brothers during the latest tribute interview:  Josh for eloquently descibing your working and playing relationship with Peter. Thank you for putting aside the jokes and telling the public about Peter's intense creativity and work habits. It was so good to hear it from someone else. To Kenny for being able to putting aside your own fears and doubts about the music industry and being able to acknowledge the amazing working relationship you had with Peter. Without too much sarcasm, your true feelings came through your words, and seeing that in b/w this week, was the greatest honor you could give him. To Johnny for being the partner in crime in the videos and a gracious friend and longtime supporter of helping Peter overcome his demons. We know your love for him is deep and profound.

Did I miss anyone? Oh yeah, my family ... it's been a hard year and half with first losing Nancy and then 4 months later, Peter (oldest and youngest). But, we are making it though by helping each other with the grieving process. It's a long haul, but if Peter had anything to say about it he'd tell us to keep the drama to a minimum and listen to the Jerky Boys and laugh a little.


Somehow We Missed Seeing This Tribute From Destrophy (Ari)


Type O Negative

Ari from Destrophy reflects on Peter Steele and Type O Negative's last tour:
Remembering our friend, Peter Steele (1962-2010)

We were lucky enough to be part of Type O Negative's last tour, along with Kenny and Johnny's side project, Seventh Void. The memories of that short run in late October of 2009 are heartwarming and joyous, and for me that includes getting the opportunity to work alongside and befriend an icon of mine, Mr. Peter Steele.

The most important thing that I want people to know about Pete is how humble and kind he was. Although his 6 foot 7 inch frame took up most of whatever room he was in, he seemed more comfortable being in the background and supplying choice witty commentary, most often self deprecating and always hilarious. My manager, Damon Moreno, became friends with Pete early on in the tour, and arranged for me to come onto their tour bus to meet him for the first time after a show in Hartford, CT. His gentle handshake belied his massive frame and he offered me a slice of pizza and tried to make me as comfortable as possible, amid the bedlam of a tour bus crowded with bands and supporters. I told him what a fan I was of his work and our talk ranged from music to his physique of old, which he was anxious to return to. He would intersperse between jokes, over and over, with a serious voice and deadly serious tone, "if you guys need ANYTHING- if you're sick- if you need any help- come over I'll take care of you." I walked out of the tour bus with my manager excited to have met the legend and come away even more impressed with his kindness.

The next show, in Cleveland at the House Of Blues, afforded me my fondest memory: working out with Peter Steele. After soundcheck, Peter popped his head in our dressing room bearing a gift of some red wine. In fact the wine had been given to him, but he was to be completely sober and drug free during this tour and offered it to us. He then offered the use of his free weights if we wanted to use them and motioned to come next door. He had a couple 50 lb dumbbells that they were using to exercise with, and I was overjoyed at the opportunity to talk fitness with one of the people who inspired me to be a frontman with an intimidating physique. We picked up the dumbbell for a bit and spoke about his physical ailments- his knees and back, and how he always wanted to develop his shoulders more. I brought up my infamous kettlebells, which like Pete had a Russian heritage. He was very interested in them and I could tell he had a great respect for traditional strongmen and the proven techniques of old. In the meantime, my guitarist Bruce and Damon had gotten one of the kettlebells from the van, and started shooting some video while I showed Pete how to properly swing and press it. He picked it up and exclaimed just how heavy and "dead" the weight was and lifted it a few times, very reverential toward it as a true strongman's tool. I never had a chance to really train him and he was timid to go all out with any of the weights but afterward we all sat down and he told stories about working out in the back of his bus on the Danzig tour. As he was doing bench presses and the Type O bus was clipped and tipped slightly by the Danzig bus. Mid rep, he watched helplessly as the room tilted, causing the weight to shift to one side and fall off the bar. This caused the heavy side to fall through the floor of his room, nearly destroying the engine.

Pete loved to poke fun at our haircuts. When asked about us on the radio, he said: "Destrophy. Great guys with bad haircuts." He would always yell at Joe when passing him in the hall: "Ay- when are ya gonna get a real haircut??" Phil, who has a shaved head, told Pete he'd pay for Joe to get an appointment with his barber. Pete said: "You pay him too much!"

I remember with great pride the feeling of having Pete come watch us side stage on one of our best nights on tour, in front of an initially hostile crowd in Clifton Park, NY. Everyone had arms crossed and could have cared less for an unknown band that was getting in the way of them watching their boys in Type O; but we did our thing with as much intensity as we could muster, and I remember looking over at the side of the stage and seeing my hero right there, watching us do our best.

One of the last days on tour, at the Rave in Milwaukee, Pete asked if he could come hang in our room for a while, just to get away from the noise and the smoke and the drinking. He was outfitted with a sensor on his leg that would detect any alcohol in his body, even to the point of certain perfumes, and this would have violated the terms of his parole. He seemed to enjoy the relative calm of our dressing room, content to tell a few stories and jokes, always making fun of himself. He talked about how he used to drink a bottle or two of wine to get himself ready for stage to deal with his nerves, and how now he understood as a sober person what it's like to deal with people that are drinking.

Damon had become quite close to Pete during the tour. In fact, Damon had been the most passionate Type O fan, having seen them 12 times on his own before going out on tour with them. He wanted people to see the new Peter Steele- the newly sober man, fighting to get his life back on track, and offered to shoot a question and answer session with him so that Pete's fans could see where his head was at and to talk about his plans for the future. Pete was very excited about this idea and did the video, and the footage is wonderful and gives great insight into Pete as a recovering alcoholic, his thoughts on religion, and in general gives an endearing profile of a very penitent man.

It was the scary times of H1N1 and Phil had become very sick, in fact having to leave the stage during our Chicago performance on October 30th several times to throw up into a trashcan (while still playing the bass parts). Noticing that Phil was ill, before the show Pete snuck in our dressing room with a pile of Pepto and allergy meds and said that Phil could ride in the tour bus if he needed. Pete repeatedly asked us to all come onstage and "help them" with the chorus to their finale, Black No.1. It took me until that Chicago date, the second to last show, to finally have the courage to get up there with Joe and the other guys from Seventh Void and gang vocal it, but I always appreciated how emphatic he was and how gracious he was to share the stage with us.

Our last show was at Harpo's in Detroit, and by then we had all caught that nasty cold, complete with coughing, nausea, and overall horribleness and decided to head home as quickly as possible, so I never got to say a proper goodbye to Peter. I saw Johnny Kelley on the way out and told him thank you for the opportunity and what a pleasure it was to meet everyone. Johnny lamented that I never hung out enough, and this was very true as I'm actually a very shy person and have difficulty mingling with the partying alphas and adapting to their world. But I am thankful that I was able to spend a great deal of quality time with a fellow shy guy; a humble, respectful, and wonderful human being; our friend, Peter Steele.

Note to Ari - I'd like to shake your hand, man. THANKS

Pete Being Pete ... A Wacky Fun Video


Enjoy ! If you thought Pete only acted this way with the bandmates ... no way... this is what we were treated to at Thanksgiving, pool parties, wedding, family events, outings, etc.

Limited Edition Memorial T Shirt Available


As gratitude to a legion of dedicated fans
who have always loved Peter more than he loved himself
We are releasing a Limited Edition Memorial Shirt
in memory of Peter Steele's legacy &
his contributions to the world of music

1 . 4 . 1962  -  4 . 14 . 2010

Tribute Shirts details go to:

World Coming Down

Aptly titled. It describes not only the lives of TON's fans, Peter's views on some of his life, but today, the title describes the family's LIFE, one year ago, when we learned that Peter had died.

Think of it from our perspective:

Peter never drank or did drugs until later in life

His world was filled with turmoil and pain during that time

He struggled getting sober (and we struggled in various ways to help him)

His life for a while was killing him and killing us

Only with the help of everyone around him -- family, Lisa his gf, bandmates, friends, strangers -- He gets clean, sober, starts to have clarity, embraces people the way he used to. He apologizes (part of the steps) and starts to plan out his life.

We (band, family, friends) are thrilled he's moving closer ... HE HAD COME FULL CIRCLE IN HIS LIFE

Then ... he dies ... after a brief illness



WHY?  That's an answer no one knows.

As I'm weeping writing this, please continue to honor our beloved. Please continue to post pictures. Please continue to share snippets of emotion ... it helps everyone who is suffering to know your pain too

To submit artword for the TON memorial gallery go to http://www.typeonegative.net/
Check in with the Band's FB and MYspace pages
Connect with Cathy Ratajczyk on FB
Or, stay a little while on here as I post photos and stories.

BTW, I've been asked to repost the memorial message:

                                                        ~ * ~ * ~

April 14, 2011

It is with great emotion, continued heartache and collective sorrow that the family of Peter Ratajczyk (Steele) remembers that on this day, only a year ago, we lost our only brother. To the world he was an acclaimed songwriter, lyricist, musician, artist, and singer; to us he was the heart of the family and love of our life.

While battling many demons in his life, he poured out his emotions in lyrical creations that would make you cry, scream or laugh. Along with hallowed music, Peter had that ability to translate love, hate, fear and sorrow into music notes that could bring even the strongest man to his knees in acknowledgment of his feelings. From his musical legacy we learned to feel and express deep-pitted emotions with a driving beat and strong voice, crying the very words we wish we could utter.

But it was the fans that understood Peter the most.  It was the fans who understood his self-depreciating humor, his love of a good joke (even when it was at his expense), his playful on-stage persona, and his sarcastic, analytical way of looking at the world that only Peter could put into words.

The family thanks the adoring fans, the long-time friends, the amazing musicians that have graced Peter's presence, and the photographers and artists who have captured his likeness and beauty. We appreciate every kind word, offered prayer, beautiful letter, gracious hug, and a bounty of support during this horrendous time. You know who you are and we will always embrace you for it.

In the past few months a couple of writers tried to dishonor Peter's legacy by concentrating on his failings and mistakes rather than honoring him for the weight he bore for us all. Please remember these wonderful things about Peter: his genius for writing music & lyrics, his gifted orchestration, his artistic design of album covers, performance backdrops, and inventive printing fonts and logos; his magnetic ways with the audience and fans; his talent for words and languages; his insatiable desire to study science, engineering and war strategy; his love of animals and children; his way of making everyone feel more important than himself; and his generosity and gentlemanly ways.

We encourage everyone who was ever touched by Peter Steele to tell the world about their feelings. We thank you for standing up and acknowledging our brother with the respectful and dignified tributes that a man of his talents, abilities and accomplishments deserves.

Thank you,
The Family Of Peter Ratajczyk Steele

                                                                     ~ *  ~  * ~

Thank you for staying NEGATIVE this year with us


The Tribute Mag That Got It Right - Part 2

I have to thank MetalSucks writer ANSO for getting an indepth look into the story of Peter's life, by talking with Pete's sister, bandmates, childhood friend, and adult friend. Unlike the Revolver Mag piece that was a huge dishonor, Anso really did his homework, asked the questions that people wanted to know and dove in with respect for a fallen music hero for a tribute that totally rocked. If Peter's spirit is reading this piece ... well, he probably would be making fun at the beautiful tributes ... but later, when he was alone, he would have reread it and would have been thankful for the people interviewed in this article. Because that was the type of person he was.

The pic is from the TON site. I love it.

The amazing article is below. Please share it with your friends. And thank you for coming back to our site. We are going to need you all to lean on tomorrow ... it's going to be quite a day ...


You Can't Go Out If Your Roots Are Showing ... Dye Them Black !

A fan reminded us this morning that Black No. 1 was the song that got him into loving Type O Negative. I'm sure this resonates with lots of people.

MTV noted this shot to be one of the scariest monsters in music ...  every year around Halloween they do an ad with a pic of the wolfman, then dracula, then this picture of Pete ... A bit scary, YEAH, I sort of agree.

Pete's been playing the stand-up bass since attending Edward R. Murrow high school (with fellow Carnivore bandmate Stan Pillis). Actually, Pete plays several instruments, including drums, tuba, piano, and is a classically-trained musician in college where he wrote several orchestated pieces. Which, if you read Josh Silver's comments in  MetalSucks yesterday, you would understand how he liked to put together complex components of music - similar to an orchestration - but in metal music sounds.

What I like about the video is the FUN and playful attitude of it. It's full of action and personality. It's a great piece to sing along too, in the car, windows open, not caring about the car next to you. Turn it up ... This song is an anthem to the goth fans ... be yourself and express how you feel ... and for the christ's  sakes, dye your hair already ! 

A Round Of Applause For The FANS

Once again, the fans continue to amaze the family with their artistic talents and personal expressions as they continue to give TRIBUTE to PETE.

I was greeted this morning with the Peter Steele Memorial Gallery created by TON's WebMistress and contributed by all of you. A personal favorite is posted here .... Amanda Reeves ... thank you for this painting.

All yesterday I thought about what we should post on today's blog being it's the anniversary day leading up to tomorrow's 1 year anniversary. I thought we'd honor Pete by showing videos and giving you some personal backgrounds, stories, reactions and other funny moments surrounding the songs. If you know anything about Peter, you know his songs come from his life experiences. Some of the sounds and phrases in those songs are paying tribute to the people and pets that are dear to him. It was his way of giving back to the people who helped bring him into this world. And in some ways the animals that comforted him through all the downs.

Let's start this off with one of my favorites. It's a play an idea of what Catholics believe that you receive god within you. He's not being anti-religion. He's just looking at the idea from a different more sinister way. Just listen to the words. As you will see, this a different video version of the song. It's not the MTV version. The end of the video which shows the band playing the song is fantastic because (blushing) Pete really shows off his incredible body and gorgeous looks.

Pete spent days building the cross in his parent's backyard. He erected it, however in Josh's backyard. But, you should have seen the looks from the Italian lady who lived next door. She'd see Peter working on the cross, and she'd do the sign of the cross and say something in Italian, putting her hands up to the sky.

However it was this version of the video that made them STARS... And let me tell you, it's a talent to be able to roll your eyes back so you only see the whites. I should know, he'd have us do this all the time as a contest to see who could do it and who couldn't. Proudly I could ... and we'd all laugh doing it. Is it any wonder we all turned out to be tom boys?


One Tribute That Got It Right On Peter

I wanted to post this just released MetalSucks tribute to Peter Steele because it interviews Peter’s friends, bandmates, and one of his sisters as they talk about Peter's childhood, his tours, composing, and his final days.

Halloween Musing - From Another Family Member

The photo posted in this morning's entry is at my house, about 4 years ago. Most of the time when Pete was on tour, he wasn't home for Halloween, but my guess was he was playing locally. At the time, Pete was dating Summer - a striking  blonde women with hair down to her toes. She came as a fairy (Summer, do you have that photo of you two ?) and Peter, well, he came as a VAMPIRE BAT PRIEST.

That year, his sister Pam came dressed as Frankenstein's Bride  (fantastic costume) and his other sister Cathy was a Giant Spider handmade out of black garbage bags. But still, Pete won first place.

The joke of the night was at my husband's expense:  Tony dressed up as a big baby - diaper and all. Pete thought the get up was hysterical, so half way into the party he took a diaper out of my closet, poured our dessert chocolate pudding into it and walked around to everyone at the party with his best 'old lady' voice, showing them what "Little Baby Tony Did In His Diaper."  Then he stuck his hand in the pudding and wiped it down my husband's inner leg saying, "Look at little baby Tony with shit running down his legs. Bad baby Tony."

We couldn't stop laughing at my husband and Peter's sense of humor. And you know, we never had chocolate pudding in the house again !


Yep, so you all know that Halloween was a theme for Pete - especially when he created TON.

What you don't understand is it's been a family tradition of doing something huge for halloween every year. Since we were kids, we had halloween parties - with the entire family there. Pete's mom, Nettie sewed everything, so of course we were those kids on the block with handmade costumes -- elaborate -- colorful -- and NEVER store bought ... Nettie wouldn't allow that.

Pete taught us a few things on Halloween:

* That in order to secure the maximum amount of candy in the shortest time period was to actually have 2 costumes. One for the afternoon right after school and one for the evening.

* When Egging houses that don't give candy, it's best to remember to buy those eggs in September. Put them into your front garden (don't let mama see) and by halloween night, they will be good and stinky

* Always be something scary ... scary is sexier


Funny Story Behind Pete On Jerry Springer


So, Pete comes home after a band meeting and says to me, I'm supposed to appear on Jerry Springer. And I looked at him and said, "Who are you gonna fight?" He said, "no, it's not like that, it's gonna be something about groupies or girls that follow bands." And I said to him, "maybe they'll let you audition for being one of the show bouncers." His answer: "Well, it will probably pay more than what I make now."

It's a funny clip. He looks great. And I think he even smiles a little on the show.

Enjoy ...

A Memory Of Pete - By Another Family Member

One of my favorite memories of my Uncle Pete was when i was a little kid. On sunday's we would all pile into my Grandfather's stationwagon and go to my Aunt Patty's house for Bagel's,Coffee and alot of conversation. We would spend the whole day there running around like maniacs with all of our cousins. On the way home I would always fall asleep in Peter's arms. When we got home he would carry me to bed,kiss me on the forehead and tell me how much he loved me.Please take a second of your time to honor my Uncle Peter. His Music,His Smile,His Caring and Loving ways. I will cherish all of my memories and pass them on to my own child so Peter's Legacy will never die. Thank you and I love you Pete ... your niece Marie