The Secret Attic Stash

What we've tried to show you in this blog is the many sides of Peter Steele. The jokester ... the musician ... the friend ... the songwriter ... the son ... the school boy ... the brother ... the genius ... the different parts of every great man.

Originally posted by Louie Montalvo

When we say Peter had a great personality, it's because he had a good foundation and good genes. It's true. But I have to mention Peter admired and loved his Uncle Louie, who was married to Aunt Dee, and lived only a few blocks from his house.

Louie was the jokester of Pete's mother's generation. He had a secret stash of gags and costumes up in his attic that was off-limits to everyone else in the family -- except Peter and Louie's own daughter Katie. Whenever Peter would go to Louie's and Dee's house, his uncle would show him all new tricks and jokes, crazy hats, tell him funny stories and just act goofy.

In fact, when Nettie and Pete Sr. were young adults -- before TV was popular -- their generation got together on Friday and Saturday nite and created their own entertainment. We have home movies of Pete's uncles George and Louie dressed as women, while all the aunts and others are creating skits, singing, dancing and acting like clowns for the camera.

Whenever we see videos of Peter hamming it up for the camera or being the jokester with an interviewer, visions of Uncle Louie come back to us. We know that during those visits to the secret attic stash, Louie was teaching Pete some great material. 

We all have had an "Uncle Louie" or an "Aunt Dee" in our lives ... It's good to remember them every once in a while. Keeps the spirit alive. And if YOU ARE the crazy aunt or uncle, don't forget to share the fun with the kids. We will remember you for it. We might even write a blog about you.


  1. This is great thank you for sharing! :)

  2. great story as always. Peter did grow up surrounded by inspiring, intelligent, original individual so it is no wonder he would turn out to be such an original himself. I am the crazy Aunt in the family I believe and it is a role I take great pride and pleasure in. thank you for sharing :)

  3. very cool insight to his uncle louie...the one he speaks of in everything dies im thinking...thanks for yet another story of the family ive learned to love through your words and labor of affection and love,-erik hernandez-

  4. A great reminder to always save time for fun. Thank you. xxx

  5. Peter mentions his Uncle Louie in Everything Dies. What a great influence Louie was in Peters life even into adulthood. I am sure all those jokes and tricks were put to good use being on the road touring so much. I cant believe what a fun family you all were. It is true, laughter is the best medicine and it seems as though it never stopped in the Ratajczyk extended family. I will do my part to keep the pranks going. I am sending my brother a pair of shoes, I will make sure they have fake dog poo and vomit in them.

  6. OH yes I can relate to this message for sure. I come from Mount Vernon New York but lived in Brooklyn, Fort Hamilton, Peekskill to mention a few (Long story). When living in Brooklyn around age 10 my brother and sister and myself would put on shows in the neighborhood, we would charge 5 cents. We'd do mostly The Beatles. This was around 63-64 when they first arrived in US. We'd put on some moptops and play guitars (to the music of The Beatles). I really thought I'd end up in show business but ended up in later years working for a record company in the 70's. I was backstage at a Chubby Checker concert once and who passes right by me in a doorway? George Harrison. I almost fainted. I know Peter loved The Beatles. I watched him play with TON last night Day Tripper and other songs...loved what he said about if you're not a Beatles fan, then this is your chance to take a pottie break and go away. He was one in a million. Miss him so much. Love these stories, get teary eyed a lot. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Yes uncle Louie. I had one but mine was Aunt Dottie. She taught me how to dance and we listened to rock and roll. She was my role model. All my favorite relatives are all gone. I valued each one of them. Reading your stories I go back in time with my life in New York. I picture the streets you speak of, the towns. I lived there too. Got to go back someday to see you old neighborhoods. I miss New York. Thank you for sharing your neighborhood stories about Peter. He was such an influence growing up, you all looked up to him. I understand you all so much. Keep sharing, helps all of us keep his memory alive. Just got thru listening to Love You To Death in my car and Black No. 1. Watched those songs live on youtube last night. God we miss you We really really miss you Peter.

  8. Hi,

    I thought you should know I made a mix of TON's Glass Walls of Limbo.
    You find it on soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/sadistica/sadistica-steel-e-walls-of
    and also on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoxXq_lX1aY

    Enjoy! :)

    Greetings, stay negative
    Alice aka Sadistica

  9. Sadly I was part of the TV generation. But now, ironically, I find myself surrounded by creative people who write novels, play in bands or make movies, so I guess we're returning to that need to create entertainment. It's good to be reminded of how times have changed. Thinking back to the old music halls that were popular before radio and TV...

  10. Deborah Fischer3:54 PM, June 16, 2011

    i wish i had a great personality like Pete's or Louie's in my family...

    Loved the story ! thanks so much

  11. Wondering can family tell me if Peter liked any Motown music? I'm listening to some right now. thinking of him getting on that big base and wailing out a Booker T and the MG's or James Brown soul song. I would have loved to hear that. Loved Peter and TON doing Beatles, saw it on youtube. That man could play that bass like noone could. Makes me cry, when music makes you cry it's great. We miss you

  12. Great story! Peter was a talented person right from the start, but its people like the Uncle Lou's in the world that really help define those talents even more. I so wish I had someone like that in my life. Somehow I turned into Uncle Lou! I am definetly the crazy silly aunt to my family, 2 nephews, 1 neice and 1 godchild. Just another reason that I feel I can really relate to Pete

  13. Thomas Wallenberg2:31 PM, June 17, 2011

    Love the story!

  14. You know if the adults would teach their kids how to create their own healthy entertainment the way they used to, the world would be sooo different. Me and my friend used to create skits and plays and things of that nature to entertain the family. I guess we just come from a very special generation. What a blessing the uncles and aunts were/are. This blog is a blessing to me. Love you girls. xo

  15. Pete loved "Bernadette" by the 4 Tops of Mowtown
    I know Pete wanted to rename the title "Burn to Death" and the lyrics too (maybe a pyretta blaze mix-goodness knows what he would have come up with)!