Past Discussions Come to Mind

The last few days have been amazing watching the news and seeing all the flooding up and down the East Coast. During the course of these days, we saw bridges washed out, streets flooded to the tops of pole signs and the devastation that homes had gone through with rising waters near flood zones.

It brought me back to a conversations I had with Peter not too long ago. It reminded me of conversations in the past we had together. And, like everyone who really knew Peter could attest, he liked to talk about everything. Math, theories, science, art, mechanics, physics ... you name it and you could have a long thoughtful discussion with him.

To give you an idea of what these conversations could be like:

One day, we were talking about how all cars have motorized windows now. You never see the crank windows. Peter and I were talking about the possibly usefullness of those types of windows. He pondered whether crank windows would be more useful than motorized if perhaps we drove into a lake or drove into a flood zone. With a crank window, even if the car's motor seized, you could still crank the window and climb through the window to safety.

This of course led to if, for some reason, his father's 1970s car drove off a bridge, and hit the water, what would be the best way to escape the car. Would you be able to push the door open and jump out and away from the car plummeting into the ocean? This led to Peter using his mathematical mind to determine the speed of the car times the drop from the bridge, how many seconds you'd have to fling the door open and jump. Or, would it really matter because in the case of a bridge accident, would you just die on impact of the windshield shattering against the force of the car hitting the water.

I remember we discussed this for about an hour, as we figured out which scenario had the best outcome and whether or not it was possible, that if you had an old crank window car, that you could even open it under water. And, if you could open it, what would be the best way to do it ... a little at a time, or would you open it as fast as you could and escape through the window.

It's impossible to explain exactly what it was like to get into a conversation with Peter. It could seem like a trivial thing, but after an hour of talking about it, you ended up with a lesson in physics, a mathematic session and a serious discussion with a man who joked about most things ... except when it came to the matter of the logical mind.

We concluded that if you could keep a car that had crank windows -- it was a good thing for most scenarios -- except driving off a bridge.

It's a good reminder when I drive over the Brooklyn Bridge.


Lucky Number 13

Since we had so much trouble with Blogger yesterday - with the blog wiped from existence - today's post is a bit of a trial as the wheels get turning on blogger again.

Some fans have asked about Peter's preoccupation with  the number 13. From what we've been told by Peter, it comes from a number of things ... of course, as we meantioned in the past, Peter's love of The Munsters (1313 Mockingbird Lane) ... and there's always the idea of the "unlucky number 13." It's interesting to note that in many buildings there is no 13th floor -- something that never escaped Peter's notice.

FearNet posted their top 13 songs/videos that readers indicated where their favorites for their spooky content. They noted one of TON's songs ... see below for an excerpt from A WEREWOLF'S PLAYLIST:

Another icon taken from us too soon, Peter Steele had a unique way with macabre subject matter: behind his ominous bass-baritone voice and brooding stare hid a sly sense of humor and a true empathy for the outsider, making his songs about creatures of the night (both real and imagined) feel inviting and openly sexual. At the helm of his gothic metal band Type O Negative, Steele's only direct approach to the werewolf tale is in this piece from their classic album October Rust, which draws a direct connection between monthly wolf transformation and the menstrual cycle – a theme which would become central to the classic horror film Ginger Snaps. It's also a deeply romantic piece, whose protagonist wants to either cure or partake of his doomed partner's "curse" before a silver bullet ends their love forever.

To find out what other bands were named in this playlist, see link below:


Diehard Romantic Posing

Here are excerpts from a "lost interview" with Peter for The Aquarian during the October Rust release. Enjoy:

~ by John Fortunato, May 11, 2010 The Aquarian

                                  Courtesy of Mark Weiss from the article that ran in The Aquarian

"When I find myself useless by my own standards, I'll take my life. I will take a swan dive off the World Trade Center hopefully on top of someone I hate, " Type O Negative's Peter Steele quipped while promoting his greatest commercial accomplishment, '96's October Rust. Coming on the heels of '93's fascinating Goth-metal breakout, Bloody Kisses, this gloomy rhapsodic follow-up gave the band an East Coast stronghold fortified by Steele's naked Playgirl photos. But Steele never got to end his own life by way of his own hand, as jokingly promised.

You seem to be a diehard romantic affably posing as a loony psycho-killin' Goth rocker.
I am. The Goth term was thrust upon us by the media. People, in general, need to know where to put product. It's like trying to hammer a semi-cirular piece of wood into a circular hole. We kind of fit, but kind of don't.

Do you think because you're a big man with a deep baritone register that you'd have to contrast that image by being incurable romantic? Otherwise, you'd be exploiting what's obvious.
Ah, genetic engineering. I've always been very sensitive. That's always contrasted greatly with my physical appearance. Sometimes people are taken aback by the contrast--which I find pleasing. Someone who's big is expected to act a certain way. But when I act nice--I've become a good actor (insert sarcasm) --people are impressed.

You talk a lot about getting your heart broken in song.
Everyone does, though. Everyone gets screwed over. It's part of being young. I've had many different girlfriends. I prefer tall women so I don't have to bend down to kiss them because I have back problems. The incomplete evolution rears its ugly head. (laughter).

Is 'My Girlfriend's Girlfirned' based on a true romantic tryst?
First, there's the lesbian snicker. Then, there's the comically absurd statement that what people's beliefs are, and what the true situation may be. The song was actually based on a few true life experiences which turned out to be quite pleasant. There are no philosophical implications. It's purely flesh and fantasy. You definitely have to be up for (the menage a trios).

Check out the complete article:



In Praise of Storms

If you are on the East Coast of the U.S., you are probably sitting in your livingroom hoping like hell the house doesn't float away because of Hurricane Irene. If you are reading this, you are fortunate to have electric.  Everyone else in the world ... enjoy this Saturday's edition of "For The Love Of Pete's Fans."

Kristen Rezendes writes:
Hello everyone-
I knew I was missing some photos from the night I saw TON in May 2008, so I combed my email and found that I had uploaded all the pics I took from my phone ( this place will not let you take a camera) into my email!
To my joy, I found this photo of Peter. I was front row at the fence, as you can see. Its kinda blurry because it was a phone, but you can see everything and its just such a cool photo!
I also have a photo of myself and Johnny, which I think I have shared with you before, but I also caught his autographed drum skin, which I posed with.  It was a great night!  


This was shot by a mobile phone in Wacken 2007


Watch For The Eye Rolling

You can only laugh when reporters interview Peter Steele and they don't know how to react when he's joking with them with a straight face. Listen to the very beginning of this piece where this poor little girl from MTV just doesn't know how to react to his opening statements.

What I like about this interview is Peter talks about why he writes music ... what he thinks about getting older ... "I want to be remembered as someone who has helped people with my songs."

It's a 7 minute interview from 1996 that I believe you will enjoy -- taking you into the weekend with some good words to remember.



Here's a live cover of Paranoid. It a good way to end up the week. Turn it up !



The Inspirations of Classical Music Gods

Many of you have asked about the creative process of how Peter Steele formulated his songs. I think the only person to answer that question is Peter himself. As Josh, Sal and Johnny have noted, Peter would come into band rehearsals with songs in his heart, the sheet music prepared and the words in his head - any of his bandmates would have seen all that first hand. But it's what happens during these band rehearsals that formulates the songs.

Photo by:  HardRock publisher Marc Villanova
posted by Lorraine Brenner
on Louie Montalvo's 13Casketcrew13 FB page

From the other side, alot of Peter's music came from feelings and life experiences that touched him so deeply. Remember, while he was a big, larger than life guy, just like his lyrics say, he was not made of Steele. There was a very sensitive, sentimental part of this big man that came to life when he took out a pencil and started writing.

Other times, Peter would get a subject in his head that he wanted to talk and debate about - like religion, sexuality, politics, death, life, hate, math - and he'd ask opinions to those around him. He would speak to his mother and father about these subjects. He'd debate his sisters about life's situations and then next thing you knew, what you were talking about with him becomes a song.

In Peter's musical education, there were many turning points that inspired him to take what he loved of rock music and classical music and combine it to his liking. From a teacher in H.S. to a music composition class in college, Peter learned that a song tells a story ... it has passion ... and it provokes some sort of emotion. Peter would come home from college with sheet music written for an orchestra, show it to his mother and play some of it on the piano. It was a great lesson for me when Peter explained how to read music and a bigger thrill to watch him play.

If you wondered why his  songs were twice as long as "standard issue" songs, it's no accident. He loved the way classical music had various parts to it ... the different tempos ... the melody transitions ... and if you listen closely to Peter's music, you can hear the inspirations of classical music gods. He enjoyed creating songs that could run into each other, sometimes beginning the song with a thought, and trasitioning to a feeling, then winding it up with a realization. You can hear the story he's telling you.

It's an honored thing when a person can take a thought process and turn it into a song. That's why my family has so much respect and honor to songwriters because they can take a single thought and turn it into an amazing concert.

When we read the comments from you all, we see what an impact Peter Steele has had on your lives, your music, your relationships -- and in some cases, your own deep feeling and creative expressions.


So, back to you all. If you'd like to share a little bit of your song writing skills, please do so. I want this blog to be a place for sharing good vibes, deepest feelings, good news and life situations. Never have any regrets.

PS: I think it stands to mention that while any writings done by the Ratajczyk family on this blog are the property of the Ratajczyks, however, your artwork and your songwriting is of course, of your own rights. Please copywright  your material before you put it up on the web. There are lots of poachers out there.


They Put You In a Wooden Box

Written by one of Peter's niece's Marie:

We come from a family of singers. Peter Sr. had a deep baritone voice, quite possibly lower than his son. Nettie sang and danced, and all their siblings are singers, so music was encouraged in our family.

Every Wednesday night, most of the family would flock to Red Hook to visit our Aunt Helen and along the trip, we'd do what other families would do in the car -- we'd sing. Sometimes they were melodies on the radio. Sometimes they were tunes from Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra ... they were usually songs that could be adapted to various octaves. Sometimes we'd practice tongue twisters -- sort of an old-fashioned rap -- and other times Nettie and Pete would tell stories about life when they were younger.

This next song was taught to us by the younger Peter - like a witch's bedtime story - it soon became a family favorite. I don't know where Peter originally heard this song, but we love it. Enjoy:

If  you see a hearse go by
Then you know that you're next to die
They put you in a wooden box
Cover you over with dirt and rocks
And then it starts
The worms crawl in
The worms crawl out
Into your stomach
And out of your mouth
The worms crawl in
The worms crawl out
Eating your guts
And shitting them out


Check out this video from Toledo OH 2000


Vampires Take Your Tonsils Out

The beauty of being young is that you believe everything that is told to you by other kids, teenagers and adults. Then when you are a teenager, you believe nothing that adults tell you. It's an interesting cycle.

                                                     Thanks JANA for Sending me this sketch

When I was 7 years old, I had to get my tonsils out. I remember being told by my mother that it's a wonderful experience. You go to the hospital. You wear a pink gown. They put you to sleep and when you wake up, you will never have a bad sore throat again.

Nettie told me a great story about how all girls who get their tonsils out get to have their toe nails painted. They get to stay home from school with her. They get to watch cartoons on tv in bed. And you can eat all the ice cream you want.

I was thrilled to get my tonsils out. I was looking forward to it.

Then, Peter sat down with me and told me how the surgery is done

"First,"  he said "they put you in a pretty pink robe. Then you get wheeled into a big room with lots of strangers. Then they turn the lights out and they shine a huge light in your eye. Then they put this large tube down your throat and it sufficates you till you pass out. And then, the doctor is a Vampire. He doesn't use any tools to take your tonsils out. He bites your neck and rips out the tonsil with his large fangs. And then you wake up and spend the next year with a big hole in your neck where your tonsils used to be." He handed me a bulb of garlic and told me to bring it with me to the hospital.

So, I did what any little girl would do ... I cried all the way to the hospital holding onto my bulb of garlic. I cried when they wheeled me into the ER. I cried when they put this large thing over my nose. And I dreamed about being chased by a vampire through the ER with his fangs dripping with blood.

And when I got home and after I looked in the mirror to see if my throat was still there, Peter came into the livingroom to see how I was. He inspected my neck for puncture marks. I showed him that I still had the bulb of garlic with me from the hospital. He laughed, took the garlic from me and handed me a large McDonalds Vanilla Shake.  I don't think he ever really understood how much I believed him about my surgery.

I have one thing to say ... Thanks Uncle Pete for scaring the shit out of me when I was a kid. 


Thanks to Gwen Whyte for remembering this Peter phrase:

"At Your Cervix"


The Day Pete Invited Us Over For Pizza & Jack

The great part about FB and the internet is getting back in touch with people who know you as a teenager. (Well, I guess that could be good and bad). Peter Steele's niece, Marie got a reminder recently from her high school friend Debbie about the day Peter invited them down to the basement to watch him create the inspiration for JACK DANIELS & PIZZA.

                                                                   Summer of 1984

Tara, Marie and Debbie were hanging around at Nettie's, when Peter asked them if they wanted to see what he was doing in the basement. He invited the 3 girls downstairs to the kitchen area. He had the sink filled up with water, multiple canned tomatoes were open on the counter, and he had a microphone and a recording machine hooked up near the sink. The place was a mess with tomato pieces and sauce all over the counter. He looked like he was starting to cook something. But he wasn't.

He asked them did they know what Jack Daniels was and how badly it goes with Pizza. Peter started telling them about a time that he was hanging with his friends drinking and eating, until he felt the undeniable tell tale sign that the food and drinks were going to make a reappearance in the form of projectile vomiting. So, that day, he was trying to recreate the experience without having to deal with the hangover.

Peter told the girls to be very quiet. He started the recorder, put his fingers in his mouth and started to make retching noises. Then with the other hand, he grabbed crushed and whole tomatoes in his hand and poured it into the water-filled sink. Between the retching noise and the tomato dunks and water splashing, Peter would try to stifle a laugh.

It took several takes for Jack Daniels and Pizza to get recorded, because the girls couldn't stop squealing and Peter couldn't hold his laughter back. But it was fun ! They also did the recording in the bathroom too, dropping tomatoes and sauce into the toilet while holding the recording device nearby. Peter wanted to see if there was a difference between the sounds between the sink and the toilet. Of course, the girls had to try the retching too (but that didn't get into the recording). Peter used up lots of cans of tomatoes that day, and the kitchen was a watery red mess by the time they finished the recording.

Now, everytime Marie, Tara or Debbie hears the recording, they know they were there for the inspiration. And no one can even go near Jack Daniels without thinking about the afternoon they spent with Peter dropping tomatoes and making musical history.


Love You To Death

Nice Lettering on this Tat from Robert
 in Louisiana. Thanks for sharing


A Big THANK YOU to Manuela (aka Dark Angel) (aka X-DA-X)  for sharing this very personal story ... From The Netherlands :

Although I saw TON in concert 5 times I never got to meet Pete.
Nevertheless he's been a big part of my life for the past 18 years.
So here's my story, I hope you don't mind me sending it to you, I needed to write it down...

The year was 1993, I was 16 and I was hanging out with some friends at a local poolhall.
One of my friends walked in, handed me a cd and said "here, this is new and I think you'll like it!"
It was a black and green cover with 2 girls....
When I came home later that afternoon I ran upstairs to my room and put my cd-player on loud.
I listened to the album while reading the booklet. And I listened to it again, and again....

This was something I had never heard before..... 
The music went from left to right, up and down and all the way around, amazing!
And that voice!! OMG!!! That voice would make any 16 yo girl melt....

The very next day I went to our local musicshop and bought anything I could find from TON.
Since that day TON has been and will always be my favorite band.
A love was born, never to die....

I have had my fair share of ups and downs in my life and music has always been there for support, to let steam off, to dream, to escape, everything.
I listen to a lot of bands and all kinds of music, here's a very short list of my favorite albums:
Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses / everything
Life Of Agony - River Runs Red
Alice In Chains - Dirt
Sisters Of Mercy - Floodland
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath   (TON covers are MUCH better though!!)
Pink Floyd - The Wall

My first reaction is always to grab a TON cd. It always fits perfectly, no matter what mood i'm in.
TON was there when i fell in love, when i was in a fight, when i was happy, or drunk, or stoned, or dreaming, or when i was depressed.
TON was there for me when my relationship ended after 4 years and i moved back home.
When I was 21 my father celebrated his birthday 2 days early. Normally we would never celebrate a birthday to early because we didn't wanna jinx it. However that year we did because in the following 3 weeks my parents had other obligations. His birthday was on a monday so we had a big party on saturday. And ofcourse we would joke around a bit, 'if anything happens tomorrow we at least had this party!' Little did we know then..
My boyfriend at the time and I came home around 4 o'clock in the morning. Only 4,5 hours later we were rudely awakened by this incredible annoying noise of the doorbell ringing constantly. It was my sister's boyfriend, we had to come with him because something happened to my father....
Only 15 minutes later we arrived at my parents house but by then my father was already dead of hart failure.
(you can imagine that I will never ever celebrate a birthday too soon again.)

I saw TON live 5 times in Holland and Belgium, sadly I never actually got to meet them.
I came very close 2 times but I missed my chance (which i still kick my own ass for!)
I even gave a heads up to whatever boyfriend I had at the time, if I get the opportunity then I will forget about everything and anyone else!
My current boyfriend, we have a serious relationship since 2003, was really scared the 2 times I went to festivals where TON was playing haha.
I love my man to death, he means everything to me but Pete has always been the prime example of 'The perfect man'!

Last year was a very bad year. On the 15th of february my best friend got the news that they're stopping her treatment for cancer, she died january 10th of this year. On the 26th of march my boyfriend lost his job because his company went belly up. On the 2nd of april 2 good friends lost their daughter, only 20 minutes after she was born. On the 12th of april my uncle died of cancer. And then came the news that Peter died..... I cried the rest of the day. For the next 3 months I listened to TON only. Even though I never met him, it still hurts... because he meant so much to me for 18 years. This year up until now has been mostly about reflecting and remembering, reading For the love of Pete Steele and thinking about friends and family, the ones that are gone but also the ones that are still here. There also was one good thing in 2010. My sister gave birth to her first daughter and my goddaughter. She's only 10 months old but I spoil her rotten hahaha.

For the past 18 years I have listened to TON on a weekly basis, sometimes a little less, sometimes a lot more.I don't think they will ever descent from the number 1 position on my list, I still love it as much as I did in 1993....

So thank you Peter for being a part of most of my life, rest in peace green man.
I will always love you to death and now it's halloween in heaven..... (I could go on and on with wordplay but I won't ;-p)
See you on the other side!

Thank you Ratajczyk family for sharing, please don't stop!

Check out video for Profit of Doom on:


That's When It Sucks

Sometimes you never really realize how much you miss someone till you actually reach for the phone to call them and you realize, shit, he's dead. Peter Steele is dead.

Pete's niece Nancy called me last night saying, "I just watched a Lon Chaney silent film with a midget who made believe he was a baby. All I could think of was THIS must be the film that inspired the Bugs Bunny episode with Baby Face Finster."


As she was explaining the storyline, we both started giggling and said Bugs Bunny's line at the same time, "FINSTER ... Oh Finster Baby ...there  you are you naughty baby ..."

Nancy went on to say she had to call someone who would understand and appreciate the story ... someone who loved the Bugs Bunny episode as much as she did.

I knew exactly when she said it, that I wasn't her first choice to call. As soon as I thought it, Nancy took the words right out of my mind and said, " Usually it would be something that Peter would call me about or I would tell him ... especially since it's an episode of Bugs Bunny that we both knew by heart."

I smiled through the phone and said "yeah, I understand."  And I did. That's what happens when you lose someone ... you deal with the pain of missing them ... and you go on with your life.

Then all of the sudden, something happens and your natural instinct is to pick up the phone at 3am and say, "Hey Pete, I'm watching Channel 25 and Lon Chaney is on and there is a little person playing a baby who is smoking a cigar." Then you are staring at the phone thinking ... shit ... now who am I gonna talk to who understands me and my humor.

That's when it sucks.

But, I bring this up because it's a good Bugs Bunny episode. One of Pete's favorites. In fact, it's a phrase he'd use all the time. Finster ... Finster Baby ... When we weren't watching the episode together as kids, Peter would use that Bugs Bunny phrase to talk to kids and refer to babies as Finster. He loved to use his Bugs Bunny voice and tell jokes.

It's Friday ... go do something crazy ...  I'm gonna go surf the waves  at Rockaway Beach ... Enjoy

Canada Live Concert


After I'm Dead I'll Just Be P-E-A-T

Thank you Karla

I might be mistaken but you guys are starting to sound like fans of Peter and TON. Here are your collective additions to yesterday's blog about the Isms of Peter Steele:

Being bipolar and of Polish descent made him: BiPolack.
Let me say Pepsi generation, a few lines of misinformation, watch your money flow away oh so quick, to kill yourself properly, Coke is it
Creepy Green Light
In our Meat Triangle
Once Upon a Slime
Profit of Doom
Dark Side of the Womb
In a Pyromantic Way
Can you help me feel love, because I’m not made of Steele
World Renowned failure, at both death and life
Flock of Assholes
The Drab Four
Roadruiner Records
We are not right wings nor left wings … but chicken wings
Am I a snob? Call me whatever the fuck you want. Call me whatever four-letter word  you want. Okay? “Pete” – another four-letter word. And after I’m dead, it’ll be “P-E-A-T” (from Rocksalt.mx interview)
Eat shit white trash media lackeys, fuck you and your weak world, die
A Special thanks to the radical left for making me famous (reference to Al Gore's wife whose organization put Carnivore album on the "bad" list)

‘Cause I’m an equal opportunity destroyer
If not for the courage of the fearless crew the band would be lost (I stand corrected. It is Gilligan's Island. Sorry. Not from Lost in Space theme – another tv show favorite of Pete’s)


I Can Agree With The Mistress' Other Band Choices, but Guns n Roses? 

Courtesy of Revolver Mag:

Mistress Juliya is best known for her work on Fuse TV hosting such metal-themed shows as Uranium, Metal Asylum, Let It Rock, and Slave to the Metal. She has also made appearances at the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and Rock on the Range. She currently co-hosts the Top Twenty Countdown on Fuse premiering at 5 P.M. every Tuesday. Email your advice questions for her to AskJuliya@revolvermag.com and check back every Wednesday for her latest column.

I know I’m sure you get these questions all the time…. But what are your favorite five bands of all time and your favorite five movies of all time? I have been a fan for a while, and I think you are great!—Zach
Dear Zach, these questions are always hard as there are so many…but here is what I came up with:
Guns N’ Roses
Type O Negative

Nine Inch Nails
Dracula *
Rosemary’s Baby *
The Exorcist *
The Godfather
Edward Scissorhands *
* BTW: Peter loved these movies. Scissorhands was a favorite for many of the sisters too.


This Post Should Be Called ...

Today's post should be called "How Many Ways I Hate Blogger ... Let Me Count The Ways ! " because they lost today's post and I had to recreate the post from memory. Sorry ... ok... I'm done boo bitching now ...

                                                           Courtesy of Soundcenter.com

The other night my immediate family had a little birthday dinner for one of Peter Steele's sisters, Pat. Just a few of us. It was nice. Marie made Italian sauce (no cinnamon). While we were eating, Pat came up with a game recalling some of Peter's best "play on words" or puns as we were referring to them as. Peter used them in interviews, lyrics, cd covers and in every day speech. It was the special way he looked at things - I guess smart people can do that with words and meanings.

Here are some of our favorites. What are yours?

Christmas Mourning

Saturday Night Seizures


Wrath X Speed of Fright Squared

Bensonhoist Lesbian Choir, Courtesy of Loud & Queer Records

Boo Bitchcraft

(She was ... ) Rock Hard

Periodic Tableware

God ... I don't have caller id, hey was that you pranking me?

Her Soul Done Medium Well

Christians Who Like Cats = Cat-Licks

A Dead Time Story

Venus Envy

Let Us Prey



I think I'm schizophrenic, but I can't make up my mind

Our Love Of Pete Consensus Regarding Aug 16th's Munsters Blog:

* Black # 1
* How Could She
* My Girlfriend's Girlfriend
* Who Will Save the Sane


Really Clear Video:  Are You Afraid


Do You See The Resemblance?

It's no secret that Peter loved The Munsters tv show. Not only did Pete use some of the music from the show to spice up his songs, he always felt that our family represented a little bit of Herman and Lily Munster.

So tell me, can you name the songs and albums that Peter used Munster references in?

From his unconventional mother Nettie who was always doing things very different from her neighbors to his father, Pete Sr. who his son lovingly called "Herman" when he wasn't in the room because of his defining broad body and square-shaped head. Peter himself lived in the basement and would often refer to himself as the creature from the basement (spot) or the mad scientist (grandpa). We all thought Peter looked a bit like Eddie Munster when he was younger.

In fact, either Pete's sister Nancy or Nettie had three hand towels made that were embroidered with the words: Him, Her, & The Thing That Lives In the Basement. Peter loved those towels and proudly displayed them in the bathroom.

When I was younger, afternoons meant gathering around the tv watching the Munsters. In between during the commercials, Peter would jump up and run to the piano to play the distinctive show music. He didn't have the sheet music for it, but could figure it out by listening and imitating.

Original 1964 version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuHr00nxeew

Slightly more upbeat version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFCnvH2E-6A

TON Unplugged ... A little too raw for me ... but you guys judge:



Are You Making Your Halloween Plans?

Maybe if one publication wishes for it, the gods in the heavens make it happen:

“Danzig has scheduled a “Legacy” show in NYC at Hammerstein Ballroom on Oct 28th ... Tickets also just went on sale for for an October 23rd Gwar show. It’s going to be a Happy Halloween (I just wish Pete Steele would come back from the grave and schedule a Type O show that week too).” (brooklynvegan)

Also, the Haley Band will be doing a Peter Steele Memorial in Philadelphia, PA at the Legendary Dobbs on South Street, Friday, October 28th at 8:00pm. This will be a night of celebrating the music and life of Peter. This memorial will be held EVERY year. Check them out the band's FB page for more info.


A BIG Thanks for our Blog sister HEATHER for sharing this. I don't know if you've already read this elsewhere, but it's good enough to share again: 

 Interview With Peter Steele

By: Lesa (Dead Lesa)
Posted @ UnEarthed.com on: 10/26/00 
Link taken from CasketCrew.com

Anyone who knows me on a personal level also knows that Peter Steele has been an object of my admiration for nearly a decade. Finally, I was given the time and space to pose some of the questions that I thought might be of interest to his other fans out there. In the couple of weeks prior to the release of the band’s first greatest hits compilation, The Least Worst Of, Type O Negative are playing some East coast dates, looking forward to the holidays, and the arrival of some new members of the Type O Negative family – via Josh Silver and Johnny Kelly – both are soon-to-be fathers. In this interview, I went the more personal route for the most part, and allowed Peter to talk about where he sees his life heading, as an individual, and as the front man for Type O Negative. Knowing that the band consists of four of the most self-critical musicians on Earth, one has to be curious what possessed them to put a ‘greatest hits’ compilation together at this stage in the game but Peter had plenty to say about this latest compilation. And seeing as how he generally hates the scrutiny of being interviewed, I felt lucky to have the opportunity to talk with him so openly. Peter Steele is nothing if not a gentleman, however, and he was no less charming and hospitable as he was in our past encounters during this “official” chat. The rock n’ roll lifestyle definitely has its ups and downs – money-wise, health-wise, not to mention the toll it takes on personal and family relationships. The world keeps spinning while band members are on the road away from loved ones, sometimes losing touch or losing them altogether.

How’s your mother? She’s doing okay, and I say “okay” in that she’s not getting any worse. I try to spend time with her and cheer her up, and talk about nice things, or funny things, or old memories, you know. Because I don’t know how much time I have left. She’s 78, and I learned from my father’s death, and even though he’s dead 5 days, it still feels like it happened yesterday. There are so many questions I had for him that I wished I had asked him, like where was his first date, or how did he feel about my mother when he first met her, you know, things like that. So you know, now I make sure that I spend time with my mother, having learned this lesson from my father. I try to spend time with her every day. If she needs me to do something around the house, I don’t even think twice. I do it out of my love for her. It sounds disgustingly Christian, but you think if a person goes through his or her life asking the question of ‘what would make me truly happy’ and I think that I’ve found the answer. I’m happiest when I’m making the people I care about happy.

That’s a good answer. Has your mother heard “It’s Never Enough”?
(The song is one of the new tracks from The Least Worst Of, which was written about his mother.) You know, I’m kind of embarrassed to let her hear it. I don’t think she would appreciate “Fuck You, God”. I think I would have some explaining to do. If there is a God, I mean, I’m pretty pissed off at him for killing all the people I love. So, I don’t think she’ll being hearing it.

Why a “greatest hits’ CD at this point? There was a 3-year gap between October Rust and World Coming Down, and I think that the label was afraid that that was going to happen again. They wanted to put out a product somewhere between World Coming Down and our next album, just to keep the momentum up. Right. There was just way too much time between albums.

Well, you guys work hard at what you do. It’s not like you’re going to go in there and come out a week later after giving the fans some cheesy, K-Mart quality piece of junk. Thank you for giving us the benefit of the doubt, but in truth, we were just kind of sick and tired of each other. I mean, after having toured from ’94 to ’97, with relatively few breaks, we needed time off. And what happened is that we really didn’t do anything for a while. But we’re gonna see what happens, and do a tour that is going to coincide with the record release of The Least Worst Of and then go back into the studio and start working on a new album. With so many major changes happening in everyone’s lives right now including two new babies on the way, and Peter’s more optimistic outlook on things, Type O fans will be quite curious to hear what the new material will be like. Could it be, dare I say, a more “positive” feel to an otherwise “negative” history? “Who knows? Peter jokingly replied, “It could be an album of nursery rhymes!” Garnering a solid reputation of forever being their own worst critics, one also has to wonder if the band members actually realize the impact of their music on their legions of cult member-like followers.

Peter Steele’s response to this question? “I’m not too thrilled with my songwriting”, he said. “I’m not too thrilled with my lyrics. I don’t understand why people continue to support Type O Negative. I think it must be mass psychosis. Maybe they’re all just masochists. Maybe they just have money to burn.” Positive or negative, the topic of being labeled ‘gothic’ always seems to follow Type O Negative like a dark cloud, and at least in the past their signature dark and sinister musical overtones, and doom-laden lyrical content, the band maintain a high level of respect from their easy-to-spot-in-a-crowd fan base of black-haired, black-clad male Doc Maarten’s wearers, and their female cohorts dressed in velvet and black lipstick. Peter Steele’s gothic-metal roots are evident in his own art though, and if asked whether the band finally feel worthy of the loyalty and attention from his fans, and if this greatest hits CD finally acknowledges that…

Well, that’s why we called it The Least Worst Of. We don’t think we’re great at anything. For most bands, when the label releases a greatest hits album, it’s usually the last nail in their coffin, but in our case, it’s the first nail. It’s not such a bad thing. I’m glad that we put some new songs on it because it gives it a lot more selling potential. And I do need to mention that all the other songs on there, you cannot find on any other Type O recording. So, it’s not just a ‘best of’ or singles, but it’s also rare and hard to find things.

Good. People really dig that stuff. Yeah. I agree. When I was really into Sabbath or into Deep Purple, ACDC whatever; if they put out a greatest hits album, and it was songs off of like, uh Paranoid or Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, I would probably buy it anyway, you know, just for the product, and because I was a fan, but at the same time, there was a small part of me that felt like I was being ripped off a little bit. And I’m sure that most fans would, like, wanna blame the band itself. But, I never blamed Sabbath for We Sold Our Souls for Rock n’ Roll. I never thought that it was the band trying to get over. I figured it was just like, the legal department at the label saying “Hey! We can rip off the fans one more time!” by putting different artwork or putting some pictures in there or.. blah, blah, blah.

Speaking of which, who are the 4 little old guys inside the new CD? That was just a public domain shot. Really? Yeah, it was. I was just curious, because I think the little old men are cute. You know, the ones who wear the hats and have canes, or the little old ladies that wear hats and gloves. The little old guys were so cute; I was curious which one you thought would look the most like you when you get old. Type O Negative has been in existence for over 10 years now and there’s no end in sight. So, I guess that’s a glimpse into the future. It’s not a clear shot. It was just an arbitrary decision.

Do you feel that you’re going to live into old age? Wow. Well, you know, I’m 38 and I feel like I’m 18. So yeah, I think I’m doomed to live a very long time. Old enough to see your grandchildren? Well, I better get to work soon since I don’t even have any kids. It’s a really strange thing that I’m actually jealous of the rest of the band Because I do want to settle down. I do want a wife, and I do want kids and a house, you know. I really thought that my life was headed that way, and I found out recently that I was kind of wrong about things.

Do you think you’d be a good father? I actually think so, yeah. They say that people who are good with animals are good with children. So.. Well, you’ve lived with the guys in your band, if that’s any indication. (Peter laughs that laugh.) That’s right. You’ve been on the bus; you’ve been around them. You should know. Nah, they’re not so bad. Aww. I know. Little kids run up to me, and cats like me, so, you know, I think I’d be okay.

Do you have pets? I have two cats. Do you? Me, too. So you’re a cat person. Well, if my life ever calms down, and I don’t have to go on tour for months at a time, then I’d like to have a dog or two, but dogs aren’t like cats. They’re much more dependent. Unless you could have tour dogs. Yeah, if it’s work in the country that would be okay. But shipping them overseas and stuff, I wouldn’t want to do that to my pets.
You know, putting them in a cage for 8 to 10 hours. Yeah, that’s no fun for them.

What CD in your opinion is the most definitive of Type O Negative? Either Bloody Kisses or October Rust. I those really define the band. You know, songs about women, fire, sex, paganism, death, suicide, drugs.

I know those things have been fascinations of yours, but what would you say really scares you? Abandonment. Really? Yeah. I don’t like to be cheated on. I don’t like to be left. That’s the first thing that comes to mind? Absolutely. You know, I’m not gonna be a macho guy and say that I’m not afraid of anything, or that there’s nothing that really scares me. (long pause) I do have a fear that when I’m with somebody that they’re going to find someone better. That they’re just gonna walk out of my life. It’s happened. Actually, I just had that recently happen. And uh… (Peter lets out a deep sigh) this was a person who I felt I was really in love with, and she was just not the person I thought she was. And, you know, my head’s still spinning, and at this point, I don’t think I’ll ever love anybody, ever again, just because it’s not worth the pain.

In the past, would you say that you’ve fallen in love easily, or has it been more of a slow process? You know, there were times that I thought that I was in love, and I said that I was in love, but I think I was in love with the idea of being in love. And so, it wasn’t really true. It wasn’t really accurate. But, I was with a girl for close to 10 years, and yeah, I really did love her. But she made me fall in love with one side of her, and there was another side I guess I didn’t see. So, I’ve learned my lesson. Pretty serious stuff coming from a man who is perceived to be the epitome of a rock god. He’s on the road all the time entertaining the attentions of a barrage of attractive women on a nightly basis; he once even posed for Playgirl. So who IS the ideal woman? “Elizabeth Hurley”, he answered, within a split second, “She’s fucking amazing.” Amazing indeed. And we all know what she’s been through! If Liz Hurley could take the tabloid coverage of Hugh Grant’s escapades and still stick by him, Peter Steele’s antics would be child’s play. Weird coincidence that the name of Peter’s ex was also Elizabeth. This is a big man with an even bigger heart that fell that much harder when things came crashing down. But, let’s lighten things up a bit…

What’s your best feature? The fact that I was born, and that I’ll die someday.* *(That was a quote from the After Dark video, for all you Type O trivia enthusiasts out there. Watch for it being re-released on DVD with new footage! Yes, this has been a shameless promotional plug by the writer.)

Come on, Peter. There has to be something that even you can appreciate when you look in the mirror. What’s your best physical attribute? Best physical feature? Yeah, something you see about yourself that you think, “You know, I’ve got a pretty nice…” I’ve got a pretty big dick. (lots of laughter) So, that’s your best feature? Uh, it’s the best because it’s the one I can hide. That’s fair enough. (Peter had no idea how brightly I was blushing over this one. Thankfully, we were on the phone.)

Okay, I have to ask this question because I’ve always appreciated your very sarcastic and very dry sense of humor. Step back to World Coming Down for a moment – in the song “Everything Dies”, there is a line that sounds like you say “I LIKE VITAMINS!” and the crowd chants “WE LIKE VITAMINS!” One of my best friends asked me to be sure to inquire about that line. Is that really what you’re saying? That is exactly what I’m saying. Seriously? Yes. (an outburst of laughter ensues) I wanted it to sound like a totalitarian speech. Like Stalin or Hitler or something like that, and I thought it was funny that if like, Hitler got up there and he screamed “I like vitamins!” that the crowd would scream back “We like vitamins!” That is really funny. I feel like I’ve known you since long before I met you. Yeah. And you were the first person to get it. After all this time? I’m honored to be the first one. Yeah, although once someone did say that it sounded like “no black firemen.”
So, who are the members of the Bensonhoist Lesbian Choir? Well, ever since I was in Carnivore, I’ve always invited my friends down to our recording sessions, just to help out with backing vocals. So, the members probably number close to 100 now, just because I have a lot of friends. I can’t really recall exactly who sang what, but it’s all these guys from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and sometimes girls, and I like having my friends in the studio with me because it gives it kind of like a party atmosphere.

On the subject of atmosphere, would you be interested in doing a soundtrack or a movie score? Yeah. I think either a horror or science fiction movie would be great, yeah.

There has always been something about your music that is so vivid, it makes these little movie scenes play in my head. I think it would be a real challenge to have a director hand me a film and say to me, “Hey, come up with something.” Because I always right the music first, and then those little scenes pop into my head. It would be much different if I had a scene first, so I would be quite curious to see how that turned out.

Have you ever been approached to do any acting? Uh, minor things. I would love to get into acting. Especially horror films, because they could save a lot of time and money on make-up. Forever the sarcastic one. Well, I don’t know how much longer I can do this band thing, because I’m not a big fan of touring. But yeah, I’d like to get into acting. Even commercials or cartoon voices! That would be fun! Yeah, that would be great. You really do have a great sense of humor, although, not many people catch you smiling. I’m actually just grimacing; I’m not smiling. I’m covering my teeth.

I remember when I first met you and we were all hanging out on the bus watching those videos and listening to the “Red” tapes, and we were all laughing so much. I remember watching you, and it was so endearing the way you would physically try to hold it all in. But when you couldn’t do that anymore you would finally just let out this huge laugh. I think it’s that whole laughing in church attitude. Some things are just so funny, and I’m just dying, and it feels so good to finally just let it out. Yeah, maybe that’s it then. It’s like a laugh-gasm.

You also introduced me to a bunch of new music when we first met. What have you been listening to lately? Pretty much the same old stuff. I’m not into new music. I don’t like rap n’ roll. I hate that shit. That’s just what’s really common right now. I guess being 38, and not being too fond of the music scene that 18 to 23 year-olds listen to, I would imagine that when I was 20 years old that my peers who were in their 30s didn’t think very positively of what my music was either. So, you know, I think I’m just getting too old for this. Rock music is for youth. It’s about rebellion, you know. If you’re listening to something, that doesn’t upset your parents or it doesn’t upset the church or the school system, then it’s not rock. Personally, I’m a complete conformist. I don’t like to upset people that way. I don’t hold society responsible for my shortcomings. If you wanna blame someone, don’t blame your parents, don’t blame the priests, don’t blame the school. Look in the fuckin’ mirror. If we’re all equal, and you don’t like your life, get up off your fuckin’ ass with the baggy shorts hanging down, and look in the mirror.

Do you listen to music or prefer a certain scenario when you write? I don’t really make a concerted effort to say, “Okay, I’m gonna sit down and write a song.” It’s usually when I’m doing something physical. Really? Yeah, and I’m thinking about what might sound interesting, and then when I get a chance later in the day, I’ll sit down at my keyboard and of course, my big left hand will be bass and the right hand will be either guitar or keys, and work out harmonies and see if the riffs sound as good to my ears as they did in my head. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Do you consider yourself successful? Uh….. no. I’m not. No? I still define success as being financially independent. I’m not broke, I’m not poor, but I’m not at the point where I can live off the interest in my bank account, which is what I’m working towards.

What is the biggest misconception you feel people have about you? That I’m this completely suicidal, depressed guy all the time. That’s not really true. I mean, yeah, I do get depressed sometimes, but I take this side of me and exorcize demons by writing songs about negative things. It’s sonic therapy for me. I’m actually just an average guy that happened to be in the right place at the right time. You think so? I think so, yeah.

How will you be spending Christmas this year? Hopefully with my family. I have 5 older sisters, and usually we just meet at someone’s house, and have Christmas dinner there. I do actually go to midnight mass. Of course my skin crawls as soon as I walk in the door, but it seems like the right thing to do.

I understand what you mean. I went to church on Easter for my boyfriend’s family, and I felt like Satan, but I did it. How would you like to sign autographs in church? Are you kidding? It’s happened.

That’s got to be the worst. It makes me look hypocritical, thus the term “hypochristian”.

>What goals does the future hold for you personally, as an individual, instead of as the frontman for Type O Negative? Well, I do have to include the band in this answer. Okay. I don’t see any end in sight for Type O Negative. I mean, I’m not gonna say that we’ll last 50 years, but I would not be surprised to look into the future and see Type O Negative still together.

Like the Stones? Yeah. Because they’re friends, too. I think that’s one of the main things that makes us unique is that we were friends even before the band was formed. Like I said earlier, I hope I’m with somebody that I love, and hope that she loves me the same way. It kind of scares me to think about loving someone again, but I want kids, and I hope that my life is much less hectic. Hopefully that’s not too much to ask for.

Ready to settle in and age gracefully? Pretty much. I want a family. I don’t want to be a 60 year-old man with a 10 year-old son. When that happens, the generation gap is so large that communicating with each other and trying to understand each other’s points of view becomes more and more difficult. My father had me when he was 39, so by the time I was 18 and into Black Sabbath and fast cars and even faster women, he was over 60 years old.

Yeah. Even if you remember being there, it is like going through it in a completely new time, in a new era. So, we had nothing to talk about then, nothing in common whatsoever.

I think the thing that’s scary about having kids is thinking about what kind of world they will grow up in. Technology is a scary thing. Yeah, every year technology seems to take this great leap and who knows what it’s going to be like in 10 or 15 years down the line.

Well, let’s hope we’re both around to watch what happens then. – Lesa Pence

HA HA ... Here is a COVER of Christian Woman done by someone named Loic Malassagne:
It sounds like a karaoke version of TON:


Perfect for the Promise of a Full Moon

A big thanks to Mary Wolfe
I can't decide which picture I like best ...
Your Thoughts?

* ~* ~* ~* ~*

A Big Thank You to another Special American Friend
Who Graciously Shared This With Us and the Family
Thank YOU Miss M:

I had a terrible childhood and really clung to music to make it through. And the 13 year old version of myself was absolutely besotted with Peter Steele.  I remember when October Rust came out - me and a friend of mine sat in her room listening to it all the way through - giggling and bouncing like two teenagers in the front row of a rock concert.  Life was really hard for me, and although he never knew it, Peter and I made it through that together.  (And by Peter - I really mean his ideas and voice, I never actually met Peter.)

Time went on ...   I got older - as did Peter.  Music became less of a crutch then it had been when I was younger.  Then Peter dissapeared off the face of the planet for a while, so I lost touch with my former love of Type O.  (Still listened to Type O when I could, but between raising kids and going to school, there wasn't a lot of time for any of that.) Some years later I did a google search on Peter and found videos of a much older, very different looking Peter.  ... I looked into his situation further and realised he had been sober for some time after a long battle with it. He had become a much more tolerant person, he had pulled himself into sobriety out of the pits of hell - not to mention that it was appropriate that Peter should age, because he was in fact *getting older*. Not only that, but the internet has been full of interviews where Peter takes responsibility for his shortcommings and the harm that has done others - in other words - he had matured into a much more honourable human being.  I always thought Peter was likeable, but I was really excited to see that as he had gotten older, that had become much more true!!!  
As far as I have been concerned, at the age of near-50 - Peter Steele never looked better.  I genuinelly looked forward to more of hearing what Peter had to say as he continued to age and mature.  I really believed in him, as I always did.  When I listened to his music, it always felt like he believed in me.  (As he generally did of all my generation.)

  I have had many life goals, and achieved much of them.  One that I sincerely wanted though was to meet him.  I wanted to thank him and his bandmates for the contribution they had made to my life.  When he died, it immediately occured to me that this was someone's son, someone's sibling, but that sadly he would never be someone's Dad.  It had become irrelevant that he was a rock icon.  When someone dies, all the superficial stuff gets lost in the seriousness of that.  So I don't want to belittle how much more important his family is in all of this then his fans.  But can I just say - that although I had never met Peter, I felt genuine mourning.  I've even cried a few times (though I'd dare not let anyone in my household know that.) I have felt silly for it.  I never met him - he's just been some posters on my teenage wall.  But yet, I definitely feel hurt about it.  I had followed Peter's story for over half of my life, he was so deeply embedded in my make up.  Although I hadn't listened to Type O very much for years, I suddenly felt a little lost without the possibility of more of it in future.

  So when I came to your blog, I experienced something really great.  I got to hear all these real stories of Peter, and see that there were countless others who appreciated him for what he was at the time of his death, that I wasn't the only one who thought he was beautiful, perhaps more so, in his older age.  That others felt the same sense of loss despite not ever knowing him.  That his family was real, and most importantly, ok.  I feel like I had caged in this big sense of loss and that upon reading your blog, I was allowed to have feelings about it.  That the family had given their ok for that.  It means an enormous amount and I feel like I can now allow myself that and then, let it go.  
It's been a truly great ride Peter Steele, and since I never get to say that to you, it's wonderful that I can say that to your family.

Interview from a French show ... a little short, but very clear:
Biohazard's Evan Seinfeld's Interview with TON:


Before Chucky There Was The Zuni Warrior

Most weekends when we were younger, Nettie and Pete Sr. would take my sister, Marie and I for Friday night or Saturday. Pete Sr. would go to sleep by 11pm, but Nettie stayed up all hours of the night, doing things around the house.

When we slept over, there was a ritual. Cousin Nancy would come downstairs from her apt, to join Peter, Marie and I to watch whatever scary movies Nettie could find on TV. This was before Netflix and DVDs, when you had to wait to see what the TV guide noted was on TV. Usually after 11pm there were a couple of movies that involved vampires or werewolves. Nettie would make hot tea with lots of milk and sugar in a large tea pot. She'd bake up some Oatmeal cookies or pull out the Breyers Vanilla Ice Cream with Yoohoo Chocolate syrup (I believe she even used Ubet at one time).

Peter's favorite was "Trilogy of Terror." The movie had 3 parts and we all loved part 3 with the doll (Remember, this is BEFORE the Chucky movies). Nancy was always the chicken of the group. She'd sit next to Nettie, eyes half closed, hiding behind her arm ready to scream. Peter would turn the lights out and sit on the floor. I would lay on the sofa across from Nettie and Nan. My sister would either sit with me or next to Nan. When Michelle and Tara stayed over, usually all the girls climbed onto one sofa with Nettie.

If you've seen the movie, you know that Part 3 has a Zuni hunting doll with a spirit inside the doll.  The doll looks like a warrior, with large white jagged teeth, scraggley out of control hair and a spear in one hand. We would watch mesmerized, waiting for the scariest part to happen when the doll comes alive. Then, when the best part happened, all us girls (including Nettie) would scream. In fact, when the hunting doll was running around and stabbing people with the spear, Pete would have a fork in his hand, stabbing Nan in the leg or trying to scare his mother with growling noises and scratches.

At some point one of us would jump up to turn the light on or jump on hit Peter to make him stop, but it only inspired him to do something worse.  One time during the movie, he must have left the room without us realizing it. At the last moment of the film, he ran into the room with a caveman wig on his head, Nettie's large wooden spoon and jumped onto Nan screeching like he was on fire and dying. All I remember was running out of the room and coming face to stomach with Pete Sr. who wanted to know what was wrong because we sounded like we were dying at 1 o clock in the morning.

One look at Peter and he knew exactly what was wrong.

Needless to say, our monster movie nights continued with Nettie, but we were required to keep the screaming to a minimum and Peter wasn't allowed to leave the room.

This was Peter's favorite scene. He would mimick the zuni doll's growl throughout the entire night and most of the next morning through breakfast.


Thanks to Eric for sending the blog this link:


Picnics & Kickapoo Juice in Prospect Park

It's fitting that a group of women on Facebook are collecting money to plant a tree in Peter Steele's honor in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. (Check out Peter's Tree on FB.) Known as one of the largest parks in the 5 boroughs, it's been the home to photo shoots, artful inspiration, numerous performances at the Prospect Park Band Shell, and for us every year, a place for Peter to take his friends and if we were good, his nieces to picnics.

While you know already that Peter got his inspiration for fall leaves from his mother Nettie's artwork and home decor, he also said that it was the time he spent working on Brooklyn Promenade while he was in the Park's Dept early on. While he cleaned up and maintained the city's park, he would often come home to his mother with a tale about a certain leaf color that when it glinted in the light, gave off a multitude of color variations. It was common to hear her ask him specific questions about whether the red was a "true red" or a "china red" with an orange tint, and if the golden yellow was more green yellow or was it more pale. It was a great pleasure to sit there on these late Summer days listening to Peter and his mother talk about the delicate differences between colors and how amazingly beautiful the beginnings of Autumn were.

This was also about the time of the Summer when we'd hear Peter and his friends making plans to go to Prospect Park for a picnic, a nature walk or a day of exploration. The Park was about 15 minutes away by car and 30 minutes by train. I remember I'd sit on the stoop with my cousins and we'd try to look bored and upset, hoping that he'd pay attention to our sour faces while we waited for an invitation to go with them.

Sometimes he'd make us do something for him, like lug his gym bag to the car or carry the jug of iced tea while hopping on one foot. Or, he'd already made plans with his mother to take us, but didn't tell us till he was just closing the back door. I do remember one time he borrowed his sister's car and he told us if we wanted to come we had to ride in the trunk -- which to 10 year olds -- is thrilling. But mostly we would usually pile into a bunch of station wagons (Peter's dad had the one with the paneling) with his friends, their girlfriends.

Pete and the oldest niece Nancy would make this concoction called Kick A Poo juice, which as it turns out tastes great with Vodka, but at the time, I was only handed the "virgin" version. Part grape drink, part lemonade,  Pete and Nan would make a batch of it the night before, freeze it and bring it in a large jug. I remember sitting on one of the 20 blankets lining the grass around "lake" tasting everyone's glass to see why some of them tasted sweet and some had a very strong kick to it. Four different radios blared with each tuned to the same station as we'd sing out the classic rock songs of The Who, Led Zepplin, Deep Purple and Moody Blues.

It's these days that I look back and remember how special those times were. How great a guy Peter was and how he would have made an amazing father had he ever gotten the chance.

 Good Clear Video: