Peter Steele Was A Limbo Rocker?

This weekend, the core family got together to go through the last of Peter's possessions. It was very hard to do and very sad. The good thing was that while we poured over his expansive book collection -- about 25 boxes --and looked through his jewelry box (he saved from his mother), we found that Peter was fiercely sentimental.
He saved mass cards from dead relatives. He had his mother's costume jewelry. He had all of his father's tools - hundreds of them. He saved pictures of his cats. Every card he was ever given for confirmation and graduation. His father's wallet. His mother's hair pins. School books from Catholic School. Pictures of his sisters, their children, their pets. CDs that fans gave him to listen. A lock of his mother's hair. He even saved the first doll his parents gave him --- a cloth doll that was made by his mother when he was just born.
Finding these things led to many stories. Many memories. A little bit of laughter. And of course, sadness.
But I wanted to share this little tidbit that Pat, Pam and Cathy were talking about this weekend. Barbara added in some of the details. While I don't know how many of you have seen Peter dance ... we have a few times ... but back when he could first stand in his crib, Peter loved to dance ... to the LIMBO ROCK.
~ ~ ~
Pete in Red Hook, Brooklyn

Posted By Pat:
It was the early 1960s and Pete was barely able to balance standing in the playpen. The livingroom (Nettie called it the parlor) was lively with music playing in the background. Pete's sisters sitting around, clapping to the beats of the song and singing along. There was Peter, holding onto the side of the crib with both hands, swaying forward & back, doing his own interpretation of dancing. Every time we played that Limbo Rock, Pete would move back and forth shaking his booty to the beat of the song. 
We liked to influence his little brain with music of the moment. So, with Pete still in diapers, we propped him up in the corner of the couch sitting with sisters Pam & Cathy, sporting huge headphones over his ears. His eyes wide as saucers as they introduced his little ears with the sounds of Shout, Heat Wave, Wipeout and Surfer Girl.

Pete was born to the fading era of DooWop and Dick Clark’s Bandstand, and raised during the emergence of Rock & Roll as it progressed to next level of expression.

Over the years, all of the sisters had a hand in influencing Peter with music of the day, but it was his closest siblings, Pam & Cathy, that kept Pete’s ears busy with a progressive flow of music of the generation. They turned him onto the Beatles, Animals, Kinks; Rolling Stones, Momma & Pappas, Jefferson Airplane, Doors, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Who, Moody Blues, Cream, Iron Butterfly, Fleetwood Mac, Zombies, Blood Sweat & Tears, Led Zeppelin, Chicago, Deep Purple, Santana, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, Elton John, Grateful Dead, Blind Faith, & Janice Joplin.  

By the time he was 6 or 7, Peter started to carve out his own music choices. But he always shared new things with his sisters. It was all part of the family's pleasure.


  1. I so much love to read all these cozy family moments...They all are priceless memories to remember...Reading through all those beautiful memories of this great, cheerful and loving family I remember all my precious memories and times with my own great family, too...Luckily, all my dear family members’ alive though I've been living far away from them amd miss them so much...Thank you for these lovely memories resulted in both smile and tears at the same time! And, thank you so much again, to make me realize how priceless to have a loving family like yours...

  2. This is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing! :) --H

  3. I saved the cherry pit remover from my grandma. And many other things that I never use. But it's nice to know they are there.

  4. first of all, I am so sorry for what must have been a hard task you had to perform this weekend. That it afforded further proof on Peter's gentleness and sweetness I can only hope brought you some measure of comfort in the midst of your sadness.
    I thank you all - especially the sisters - for this beautiful account of Peter's first steps (literally) in musical fruition.
    Having spent these last 3 days with my niece and nephews (15-month old twins and 4-year old), it was particularly touching as I played them all some Type O Negative. Black Number One was very well received and got one of the twins tapping her little hand rhythmically on my leg.
    thank you.

  5. im glad to read this today,i needed to read this.thank you for posting it really is something to imagine him (little) and dancing in his crib...R.I.P. PETER...

  6. This is very touching,heartfelt,and very emotional story. That fact that peter kept all of the memorabilia... From family,friends,fans and his love for music,just goes to show what an amazing man peter is. Peter's heart and soul is truly beautiful.... One of a kind.

  7. Peter was a gentle sentimental giant with a big heart and a love of music (I love the big earphones on his lil head N wide eyes statement, I can imagine it clearly in my mind) (thanks to his family), he will never be forgotten N will always be missed....as always thank you for sharing and May God Bless the Family

    Amy Wigle

  8. Another jewel in my treasure of Pete memories. Each one is a treasure to me, as are all of you dear family. ♥

  9. Hi girls--

    As someone going through the last of my grandmother's belongings (along with a few other family members), I can relate to what you're going through. It's not an easy task, for sure. Some families seem to have more strength than others to get through things like this; your does and will. This just goes to show that Peter was indeed a gentle giant, and more caring, sentimental and big-hearted than I think people realized and gave him credit for.
    Be strong and thanks again for a wonderful story. I laughed as I pictured a 'small' (was there ever such a thing?! ;)) Peter sitting wearing HUGE headphones! THAT put a smile on my face!
    Love & Gratitude--Patty P., Stamford, CT

  10. It's no surprise that your brother was quite sentimental. Thank you for giving his fans genuine insight into his world.

  11. I have a few mass cards socked away myself. They're too beautiful to toss aside. One of the perks of being Catholic, I suppose - we have pretty things, even for the most sorrowful of occasions.

  12. Really, it's hard not to comment on every one of your beautiful blog entries, as much as they are extremely valued & appreciated , I generally refrain.
    This one, however, really got to me.
    I can only imagine how emotional it must have been for you all, so extra special thanks for sharing this with us. I really hope it was cathartic, despite the pain.
    I'd have LOVED to have raided Pete's library, & picked his brains - I'm a hardcore non-fiction freak myself, & funnily enough, I counted 28 boxes of books last time I moved house 5 years ago, gotta be a dozen more by now :D

    Thanks, love & respect to your whole family <3

  13. Deborah Fischer6:44 PM, June 14, 2011

    it doesn't surprise me that Pete was such a sentimental person, it is so obvious that he had a golden heart.Imagining a small Pete with earphones brings a smile to my face

    i'm sorry you had to go through all this, i know how hard it is to sort a loved one's belongings

    Much love and respect

  14. Please don't take this wrong but I feel like I'm loosing him all over again. The flip side is that I am so happy to find that all of the reasons I felt so connected to him were because I was...

    I always wondered about the tattoos and now I know about the eagle. You can still see the vasoline on his new tatt and that he had his sleeve slightly rolled up to show it off.

    Thanks again for the insight into Pete's 'behind the scenes' life. I really appreciate it.

  15. Like you said once before....If you were in Peters heart he never let you go. I love that he kept lots of "things" for sentimental reasons that belonged to the people he loved. Because we were not family and dont have his personal possessions we keep his music and photos in our hearts and will never let him go. Peter was a caring loving man and the more we learn about him, the more we realize what a beautiful soul he was. Thank You Darcie and family for the effort you are putting in to this blog. We will never be able to say THANK YOU enough.

  16. this is so sweet..... these stories make my day i love it when my phone beeps with a new email i get so exctied to read these blogs they make my day so much better

    RIP peter xoxo

  17. Thanks for sharing these memories with us. Thanks for this whole website. Still hard to believe he's really gone.

  18. this is so healing and honouring - thank you.

  19. Wow, this was very sad, but also very beautiful. I cant imagine having to go through what you ladies are right now. But doing so is bringing up fun, funny and fond memories of Pete as a wonderful warm hearted person, and that, can put a smile on all of our faces. Much love and support to you all.
    PS- when you told the story about Pete with the headphones, I was hoping that when I scrolled down id see an old photo of this. Darn. This is what happens when you are born in the 60's or 70's, there isnt much to look back on. can you imagine if we had digitial cameras when we were kids? Sorry, I digress...
    Thank you for the wonderful story. Listening to Type O now at my desk..

  20. Really enjoyed reading this one, thanks. I've been listening to TON nonstop since discovering this blog, all these stories has brought a whole new perspective to his music. Thanks for honoring Pete in such a personal way, keep em coming YA'LL ROCK!!

  21. Truly I think that his family has achieved a first and an incredible milestone of sharing stories about Peter openly to the world. I know this is tough for you to post things and keep up with the blog. I want you to know how much I appreciate you. x

  22. going thru his things, I had to do that when my son's best friend David passed away almost 4 yrs ago. That was the sadest day to all I can understand how you all felt. Laughter and tears mixed up together. My son has David's guitar, some of his tapes, a cigarette box, an artist drawing pad. Whoever has Peter's guitars, I know that is so emotional. When and if you play it again please notice how Peter comes thru to your fingers. It's beyond the grave he communicates. He will show you he's still around. I feel so close to you all. My thoughts and prayers still are w/you daily. Love to you all. Stay strong. We love you all.

  23. Peter saved stuff like me and my brothers and sisters do. the costume jewelry and hair pins...my brother saved one of my mothers cigarette butts with her red lipstick stain on it. It's STILL in his wallet to this day. Peter loved desperately. And I think that's why his real fans still fight like hell for him. He's STILL SO WORTH IT and even in death he's still HELPING US go thru our bullshit in life. We have something special here and it irks the hell out of some people. Thanks again ladies!!

  24. Once again - we can never thank you enough for sharing all these memories with us - I am sorry that you had to go through this .. I can hardly imagine - tears of joy & tears of laughter. The story of little Pete dancing is too lovely ;-) thank you dear family & much love & respect to you