The Day We Played Dead

It must have been 1981, I was about 14 yo,  Josh and Pete came to me, my sister and our friends on East 18th Street  about a "photo shoot" for their band, Fallout. I remember it was a very small  print run - about 500 singles - I still have my copy hanging up on my bedroom wall.

Peter Steele - bass and vocals
Josh Silver - keyboards
John Campos - guitars
Louie Beateaux - Drums

Around the corner from Nettie and Pete's house was Midwood Field (where the Midwood HS football team played) and where Marty Markowitz held free concerts on Summer nights. I remember Peter and Josh told us to round up our friends and follow them behind the stadium, next to the train tracks to an overgrown area that was off limits to people (but everyone went there anyway).

While Peter's bandmates got themselves ready for the shoot, Peter and the photographer told us where he wanted us to lay down and pretend we were dead. Friends were positioned hanging out of trees, on rocks, on the floor, mouths open, eyes closed, while the band stood on us and next to us as the photographer snapped away.

I remember being thrilled because my crush (Josh) had his foot ontop of my back while posing for the pictures. We stayed back there for hours, covered in dirt, garbage and leaves, changing positions to suit the band's taste.

Months later I recieved my 45 record as a thank you for being an extra in the shots. The two songs released were Batteries Not Included and Rock Hard. It was a great experience, but I do remember being skeeved out by the worms and bugs that I saw up close.

But, it's what you do for art and family.


  1. that is awesome! bet that was an experience lol to be on an album cover would have been great!

  2. Is that Mardie on the cover?

  3. Great story! Maybe you'll be able to post the pic you have of the shoot?

  4. I just want to say this is NOT Mardie, Peter's gf on the cover of the Fallout 45. It was a model that was hired for the shot.

    As soon as I find the photo - I'll be happy to upload it to the blog. I've seen it out on the inernet, but I haven't been able to locate it in our own stash.

    Thanks for posting and reading the blog as always

  5. This post is great! Great story, great pics - thank you so much for putting this together!

    I think someone posted in a previous blog the idea of putting a book together. I would like to agree with that person. This is such an uplifting way to remember Peter!

  6. great story, thank you so much for sharing. I loved the detail about your excitement at having Josh rest his foot on your back.... true teenage crush! lol Rings a bell all right. :) It would be lovely to see these pictures, if you happen to find them :)

  7. This is so interesting. I have only heard a few Fallout songs but they are great! Peter was a born artist. Thanks for sharing Ratajczyk Family. Peter's life story as a parson and a musician is really amazing. Keep Peter's memory alive! ---Jessica (Black Number 1)

  8. Very cool. Glad you still have flyers and newspaper clippings from such a long time ago. He was very lucky to play at such an iconic place as CBGB. I believe it was torn down!!! Why? In Brisbane Australia we also had an iconic venue Festival Hall, it was also torn down.

  9. This is such a great story, and I thank you again for sharing them with all of us. It means a lot.
    I love the fact that you were excited that Josh had his foot on your back because you had a crush on him. Here he is, making you even dirtier, and all you can think of is the butterflies in your stomach for him. I think all of us ladies can relate to that! I'll tell ya, if I did a photo shoot with Peter, and he had his foot on my back, I'd be as giddy as a school girl and would never wash that shirt! :*)

  10. Sounds like a goooood time to me :) Thank you for sharing

    Amy W., Newark, Ohio

  11. Love to hear all your stories! Thank you for sharing:)

  12. If you could find the pics you took that day, that would be great!

  13. Deborah Fischer1:27 PM, June 02, 2011

    love the story and the excitement conveyed ! thanks for sharing such a fun story

  14. Great & interesting story - love the old newspaper clippings and pics & and the fact that you had a crush on Josh ;-) - Peter the born artist - thx for sharing all these great memories with us, it's always surprising & I always look forward to read them.
    -Sabine, Austria-

  15. Hi, thanks for this nice anecdote! Do you know where the artwork that features on that Fallout poster that was later used for the Retaliation cover came from? Did Peter draw it or is it a collage or...? I've always wondered about this! Rose, Belgium.