Slasher ... Horror ... Scarefest

As you can see I'm on a weeklong horror movie bend.

Thinking about all the movies we watched together as kids has me excitedly looking through my dvds getting ready for the weekend. While Peter loved campy slasher films as much as Hitchcock films (who could forget The Birds), the primal killer and supernatural lured him too. While he could enjoy black and white films, there was nothing like watching blood and gore with him doing sound effects and setting up visuals to freak out his mother and sisters.

Do You See The Resemblance? 

To cap off the week of ghoulish movies to kick off Fright Month, here are a few more of Pete's favorites:

* Jaws ( I know  you don't consider this to be a horror film, but Peter liked it) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz4nFYMYTY4

* Carrie  ( nothing like blood in a bucket) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-nvpjS0-y4

* American Werewolf in London (Peter loved the special effects ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFLQS12z8K4

Side Note: I've seen Peter recreate the American Werewolf scene (minus the ripping off clothes). He would be in the middle of a normal activity and then he'd throw himself on the floor and recreating the wolf growls and the blood curdling screams. God ... I miss those days when you could be a child and do that in public !


You Remind Me Of The Man

You Remind Me Of The Man
What Man?
The Man With The Power
What Power?
The Power of Voodoo
Who Do?
You Do
I Do What?
You Remind Me Of The Man


I don't know if you read The Gothamist or AOL News but a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory store opened in Times Square today. And, just like the movie, they are giving out GOLDEN TICKETS. I mention this because Pete LOVED the 1971 classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie. While my mother thought the movie had a terrible message to kids about not being accepted in the world, Peter and the cousins would delight every time it was on. 

Can you guess the song he loved most? 

Stephen King Classic Spooky Movies:
(Note: We all LOVED the books too.)
* The Shining (A personal favorite of Peter's) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TVooUHN7j4

* IT (Darcie can't even watch the trailer for this movie - it freaks her out ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wDQbf5x4iw


He's Dracula's Soul Brotha

You Can Tell It's Peter By the Tatts

A Werewolf, Dracula, Frankenstein, Mummy ... yes even a cowboy once ... Peter Steele, like every little boy dressed up for Halloween. As an adult ...well, you know he didn't change very much.

I remember the time he went as a Mummy. We were older then, almost too old to go Trick or Treating. Peter, of course was HUGE but he didn't care what people thought of a 6 foot 13 year old (or so). I remember the month before his sister Nancy helping him with his outfit. First he tried to use toilet paper and elmers glue to apply the bandages. Then Nancy came up with the idea of getting boxes and boxes of gauze and dyeing them to appear old and decrepit. We liked the yuk factor. It had to be realistic or it wasn't a costume to be proud of.

Here are more of Pete's favorite movies:

* Amityville Horror (Nancy had moved out to LI by then, so we visited the house ... several times) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fSqS0MrOZ0

* Audrey Rose (A favorite of Nettie's) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr-iri3B11E

* The Omen (Nettie would say the rosary during this film. She found it unsettling. Which of course made Peter laugh at her even more) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA6gxjzBPLM

* Blacula  ( Peter cracked up over this one - he's dracula's soul brotha!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN2a5zGmBPI


He Did The Mash ... He Did The Monster Mash

As you can tell from stories from this blog by now, Peter's love of horror and suspense films ranged from the completely ridiculous to pure adrenaline-inducing fun.

Apparently CBS features a gallery of Peter Steele fan pics: http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-207_162-10003137.html?tag=page

Following in this week's Monster Mash theme (Peter LOVED that song), here are more movie favorites:

Friday The 13th (Peter and Nan took us to see this one Friday nite. We walked home in the dark from the theater and then slept over Nettie's house. I don't think I ever closed my eyes that night) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjiqwTv9yeI

He Knows You're Alone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=293uShwU8cc

Maniac ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcZew9lFAgY

Prom Night  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5pRzHJp_pM

Halloween (We saw this 5 times in one week - Peter would hum the theme music from this all the time) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljchb1tsLfs


Our cousin Katie says there's a full length silent film, Nosferatu, which has been redubbed with TON music. It's available in several parts on Youtube, but I can never get the audio to work. Here is a snippet from the film:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l06WjpJOnrI


Count Down To Monster Movie Month

Back when tv had no Netflix, Blockbuster, Cable, DVRs, the Ratajczyk cousins would sit in the livingroom with Peter as he read through the TV Guide telling what movies were coming up the first weekend of October.  Each week when the Guide came, Peter would scan through it and announce what movies we were going to stay up and watch with his mother, Nettie.

Usually, we could catch a good monster movie on Channel 11 WPIX in New York and on occasion, Channel 13 PBS would show a classic horror flick in black and white.

Some of Peter's (and our) favorites:

The Blog (the original 1958 version) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhyRpvgm03g
(Peter would stuff his mouth with grape jelly then squish it through his teeth and down his chin to portray "the blob" coming out of his mouth. Grossed us out every time)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 & 1978 versions) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTSR6bu0Nq0

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (1972) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm8elaYH7c4

Night of the Living Dead (1968) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pElSu_ECJGM

The Exorcist (1973) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDGw1MTEe9k
(of course Peter recreated the "pea soup" segment for Tara, Marie, Michelle, Nancy and I one night. We tried pea soup and tomato soup - we all agreed that the tomato soup was way more disgusting)


Oh, wanted to share. Interesting "memorial piece" combo for Peter and Bela Lugosi:



My Pete Of The Week


A Huge Thank You to
for her great note to us

I just wanted to send a note to tell you how much I love the blog. I’ve subscribed to the email updates, and read them every morning while I sit on the porch with my coffee and the dogs and start my day (read: smoke two cigarettes) before getting ready to head into the office.

I was never a “super-fan” of TON, rather I had a deep love for many of their songs, and yes, like all women, I fell in lust with Peter’s physicality and self-deprecating humour.  I loved how he buried his joke by wrapping in thin sheets of metal. I was turned on to TON while falling in love with the love of my life; he lent me the CD (already 6 or six years old at the time) and that was literally it for me – the music just resonated with me, made me laugh, made me feel human, really just made me “feel”  – the great irony is that, Bloody Kisses - to this day- gives me the physical feeling that is the beauty and pain of falling in love. I will cherish it forever as it was the soundtrack to one of the happiest times in my life.

 The man I fell in love with at the time happened to be a 6’7” metal fan with long blonde hair, a strikingly beautiful face and a build very similar to Peter’s. Each and every year I would try to convince him to “go as Pete!” for Halloween, but he was on to my evil ways and refused my requests for black hair and fangs – despite that fact that my Dad is an oral surgeon and could have done them for free.  But alas, I tried.
 Like many people, I have a list of “must do” things – they run the gamut of riding a horse in Germany (done) recording a cover of Teenage Kicks (done) driving from coast to coast in a convertible (done) seeing Roddy Frame play live (not yet) and seeing TON (sadly, no)

 A few Halloweens ago, TON played in Detroit but the show wasn’t announced until after we had purchased tickets to another event in Buffalo (we live in Toronto) –  and we agreed, as much as it pained me, to carry on with the initial plan, and my husband promised me we’d make the trek to see Pete the next time he was anywhere in the vicinity – we’ve been known to drive to NYC, Chicago and Detroit for shows as were really only 7 or 8 hours from all of those places. In hindsight, missing that show was one of the biggest regrets I have as we lost Peter a little over a year later.

 The day he died I had a busy day and was in meetings for most of the morning; when I walked into the office my entire staff looked at me and looked away – they knew of my fondness for Pete through my “Pete of The Week” Facebook posts. Id often slip in quotes from Peter or some of TON’s lyrics into my  “motivational” emails to the group to help keep a sense of perspective and humour in an exceptionally corporate environment – needless to say, I was devastated by the news, mainly for selfish reasons as I hadn’t seen TON play – but also because but I loved and relied on that persona to be out there in the world, much like how I felt about Joey Ramone – life just felt better knowing he was out there.

 Keeping up with your blog has taught me a new sense of your loss and the love that surrounded Peter. I feel like I am beginning to understand him as a person through your relationship, remembrances and life with him - more so than any album or interview could ever convey (although Playgirl did come pretty close…)

Thank you for helping me to understand his greatness as a person, friend, son, brother – please keep going for as long as you can, because it helps to make it feel like he’s still here. And that’s a really good feeling.


Looking for that Spa treat for Halloween,
here's a shout out to Jessica Cassino.
A fellow beauty blogger and music journalist


If You Were A Crayon, What Color Would You Be?

While I wasn't in on the conversation between Peter Steele and his sister Pat, I do believe that Peter either didn't realize he was having this experience consciously, or he didn't realize it until having a conversation with Pat, and then he realized he was experiencing synesthesia.  While I'm not sure if people who see chakras are the same people who experience color associations -- it was a good point to note. Was Peter having a synesthesia moment when he saw people as colors or was he really just reading their chakras? Also, while he was a left-handed person who was immensely creative, I'm not sure we can say that the correlation between left-handedness and synesthesia is the norm. Pat isn't left handed, yet she has experienced a couple of forms of this phenomenon and I'm not left-handed. But, I might add that neither she nor I play musical instruments - though as many of you know, we are related. So ... not sure what all these means,
but still ... pretty ... darn ... interesting.

I was feeling a little green today


Synesthetes often report that they were unaware their experiences were unusual until they realized other people did not have them, while others report on how they discovered synesthesia in their childhood. The automatic and ineffable nature of a synesthetic experience means that the neural pairing may not seem out of the ordinary, and the involuntary and consistent nature helps define synesthesia as a real experience. Most synesthetes report that their experiences are pleasant or neutral, although some report that their experiences can lead to a degree of sensory overload.

Though often stereotyped in the popular media as a medical condition or neurological aberration, many synesthetes report it as a gift—an additional "hidden" sense—something they would not want to miss. Some have learned how to apply this gift in daily life and work in memorizing names and telephone numbers, mental arithmetic, but also in more complex creative activities like producing visual art, music, and theater.

Various forms
Synesthesia can occur between nearly any two senses or perceptual modes, and research has discovered one synesthete that linked all five senses. Given the large number of forms of synesthesia, researchers have adopted a convention of indicating the type of synesthesia by using the following notation x y, where x is the "inducer" or trigger experience, and y is the "concurrent" or additional experience. For example, perceiving letters and numbers (collectively called graphemes) as colored would be indicated as grapheme color synesthesia. Similarly, when synesthetes see colors and movement as a result of hearing musical tones, it would be indicated as tone (color, movement) synesthesia.

While nearly every logically possible combination of experiences can occur, several types are more common than others.

Grapheme color synesthesia
In one of the most common forms of synesthesia, grapheme color synesthesia, individual letters of the alphabet and numbers (collectively referred to as graphemes), are "shaded" or "tinged" with a color. While different individuals usually do not report the same colors for all letters and numbers, studies with large numbers of synesthetes find some commonalities across letters.

As a child told her father, "I realized that to make an R all I had to do was first write a P and draw a line down from its loop. And I was so surprised that I could turn a yellow letter into an orange letter just by adding a line." Another grapheme synesthete says, "When I read, about five words around the exact one I'm reading are in color. It's also the only way I can spell. In elementary school I remember knowing how to spell the word 'priority' [with an "i" rather than an "e"] because ... an 'e' was out of place in that word because 'e's were yellow and didn't fit.”

Sound Color Synesthesia
Sound color synesthesia is "something like fireworks": voice, music, and assorted environmental sounds such as clattering dishes or dog barks trigger color and firework shapes that arise, move around, and then fade when the sound ends. For some, the stimulus type is limited; for others, a wide variety of sounds triggers synesthesia.

Sound often changes the perceived hue, brightness, scintillation, and directional movement. Some individuals see music on a "screen" in front of their face, while for some music produces waving line configurations moving in color, often metallic and with height, width and depth.  Individuals rarely agree on what color a given sound is (composers Liszt and Rimsky-Korsakov famously disagreed on the colors of music keys); however, synesthetes show the same trends as non-synesthetes do, that loud tones are brighter than soft tones, and that lower tones are darker than higher tones.

Number-Form Synesthesia
A number form is a mental map of numbers that involuntarily appears whenever someone who experiences number-forms thinks of numbers. It has been suggested that number-forms are a result of "cross-activation" between regions of the parietal lobe that are involved in numerical cognition and spatial cognition.

Ordinal Linguistic Personification
OLP, or personification for short, is a form of synesthesia in which ordered sequences, such as ordinal numbers, days, months and letters are associated with personalities. Documented in the 1890s, only recent modern research has paid attention to this form. For some, in addition to numbers and ordinal sequences, objects are sometimes imbued with a sense of personality.

One synesthete says, "T’s are generally crabbed, ungenerous creatures. U is a soulless sort of thing. 4 is honest, but… 3 I cannot trust… 9 is dark, a gentleman, tall and graceful, but politic under his suavity." And, "I is a bit of a worrier at times, although easy-going; J is male; appearing jocular, but with strength of character; K is female; quiet, responsible...."

Lexical Gustatory Synesthesia
In the rare lexical gustatory synesthesia, individual words and the phonemes of spoken language evoke taste sensations in the mouth.  Additionally, these food experiences are often paired with tastes based on the phonemes in the name of the word (e.g., I, n, and s trigger a taste of mince, f triggers serbert.  Another source of tastes comes from semantic influences, so that food names tend to taste of the food they match, e.g., the word "blue" tastes "inky."

Note from Darcie: I'm glad that we can end the week with informative reading. Some of you have asked to know more about what Peter liked to read. These are exactly the books he would have read or the discussions he would have had with you when he had a chance to sit down and REALLY talk. Some of you have wondered (via email) if Peter's synesthesia only happened when he was using drugs. It may have. We don't know. We can only tell you that this conversation happened when he was sober and he noted it was something he experienced his entire life.

To us, Peter was one in a million. Now we know that he was at least 1 in 23.

If you haven't already shared this test link with your friends and family, I encourage you to do so. It would be interested what you find and what people's reaction is to this "gift."

Take the test, The Synesthesia Battery … ://synesthete.org


Glad We Could Learn You Something

I'm glad that yesterday's post seemed to strike a colorful cord with a lot of you. Thanks for the enormous amount of direct emails about your reactions and thoughts on the subject.I promise we'll email back everyone within a reasonable amount of time.

We remember one of Peter's friends sharing that when Peter said he touched a person, he'd see color representations for different people. So, to him, one person was a red and another a purple. Could you imagine what a rainbow was before him when he played on stage and worked with so many people.

Apparently it's all a part of Synesthesia ... read on:

Posted on FB by Mary Wolfe on Sista's & Brotha's wall

How someone with synesthesia might perceive certain letters and numbers.

In one common form of synesthesia, known as grapheme color synesthesia or color-graphemic synesthesia, letters or numbers are perceived as inherently colored, while in ordinal linguistic personification, numbers, days of the week and months of the year evoke personalities. In spatial-sequence, or number form synesthesia, numbers, months of the year, and/or days of the week elicit precise locations in space (for example, 1980 may be "farther away" than 1990), or may have a (three-dimensional) view of a year as a map (clockwise or counterclockwise). Yet another recently identified type, visual motion sound synesthesia, involves hearing sounds in response to visual motion and flicker. Over 60 types of synesthesia have been reported, but only a fraction have been evaluated by scientific research. Even within one type, synesthetic perceptions vary in intensity and people vary in awareness of their synesthetic perceptions.

While cross-sensory metaphors (e.g., "loud shirt," "bitter wind" or "prickly laugh") are sometimes described as "synesthetic", true neurological synesthesia is involuntary. It is estimated that synesthesia could possibly be as prevalent as 1 in 23 persons across its range of variants. Synesthesia runs strongly in families, but the precise mode of inheritance has yet to be ascertained. Synesthesia is also sometimes reported by individuals under the influence of psychedelic drugs, after a stroke, during a temporal lobe epilepsy seizure, or as a result of blindness or deafness. Synesthesia that arises from such non-genetic events is referred to as "adventitious synesthesia" to distinguish it from the more common congenital forms of synesthesia. Adventitious synesthesia involving drugs or stroke (but not blindness or deafness) apparently only involves sensory linkings such as sound vision or touch hearing; there are few, if any, reported cases involving culture-based, learned sets such as graphemes, lexemes, days of the week, or months of the year.

Definitional criteria
Although sometimes spoken of as a "neurological condition," synesthesia most often does not interfere with normal daily functioning.  Early cases included individuals whose synesthesia was frankly projected outside the body (e.g., on a "screen" in front of one's face). Later research showed that such stark externalization occurs in a minority of synesthetes. Refining this concept, one can differentiate between "localizers" and "non-localizers" to distinguish those synesthetes whose perceptions have a definite sense of spatial quality.

It was once assumed that synesthetic experiences were entirely different from synesthete to synesthete, but recent research has shown that there are underlying similarities that can be observed when large numbers of synesthetes are examined together. Nonetheless, there are a great number of types of synesthesia, and within each type, individuals can report differing triggers for their sensations, and differing intensities of experiences. This variety means that defining synesthesia in an individual is difficult, and the majority of synesthetes are completely unaware that their experiences have a name. However, despite the differences between individuals, there are a few common elements that define a true synesthetic experience.

... More tomorrow on the various types of synesthesia ... I'm sure some of you will fit into this category. If only 1 in 23 people are synesthetics, just think of how extraordinary those people are ... hopefully now, if you didn't realize it before, you now know that you are in an elite class of interesting people.

Self proclaimed Synesthetics have been:

Tori Amos
Leonard Bernstein
Sir Robert Cailliau
Duke Ellington
David Hockney
Billy Joel
Marilyn Monroe
Vladimir Nabokov
Eddie Van Halen
Stevie Wonder


Do You Hear Music In Color?

It's amazing how sharing a simple conversation about one person opens up a whole new realization about life and how we experience it.

So, I ask if you hear music in color. I know, you think it's a typo. It's not. In fact, if you ever had a conversation with Peter about what it was like for him to write and hear music, he'd say it was a colorful experience. And for him, when he heard music notes or visualized them, he actually saw different colors that coordinated with different notes. In fact, the way Peter's mind worked is a bit unusual. It's a condition called Synesthesia or referred to as Disambiguation.

Peter's sister, Pat mentioned her conversations with Peter about music and colors the other night when we were at dinner. She told me how Peter explained that when he hears music, each of the notes have their own color. So,  he'd see a colorful burst with each note played right before his eyes. And then he thought about those notes, he thought about the colors that were represented. Pat also explained that for her, when she envisions the days of the week or months in a year, those words are floating around her  ... That's when a spark went off in my head ... because it was exactly how I see words. I just assumed it was the "normal" way of visualizing. Apparently, not everyone does. As it turns out, Synesthesia takes on various forms ... these are just two of them.

Synesthesia, from the ancient Greek (syn) "together," and (aisthēsis) "sensation," is a neurologically based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.  Synesthesia has been revealed to be a mis-firing or an abnormal joining of neural connectivity whereby the occasion of one sense is accompanied by a perception within another sense. People who report such experiences are known as synesthetes.

Psychological research has demonstrated that synesthetic experiences can have measurable behavioral consequences, while functional neuroimaging studies have identified differences in patterns of brain activation. Many people with synesthesia use their experiences to aid in their creative process (and many non-synesthetes have attempted to create works of art that may capture what it is like to experience synesthesia). Psychologists and neuroscientists study synesthesia not only for its inherent interest, but also for the insights it may give into cognitive and perceptual processes that occur in synesthetes and non-synesthetes alike, and research can help with other neural connectivity problems, such as autism & ADD.

In addition to being involuntary, this additional perception is regarded by the synesthete as real, often outside the body, instead of imagined in the mind's eye, It also has some other interesting features that clearly separate it from artistic fancy; its reality and vividness are what make synesthesia so interesting in its violation of conventional perception. Synesthesia is also fascinating because logically it should not be a product of the human brain, where the evolutionary trend has been for increasing separation of function anatomically.

Thank you Karla Collins for allowing me to share this beauty with our community !

I wonder if this is why Peter was so artistic visually as he was creative musically?

Want to find out if you have Synesthesia? Think there is a connection between how you think and your creativity? Check this out:

Take the test: The Synesthesia Battery … ://synesthete.org
Check out books … //www.mixsig.net
PBS NOVA Series, Secret Life of Scientiests,
Steffie Tomson, Researcher; //pbs.com
... More Tomorrow on this interesting subject of how Peter envisioned music. I invite you to share your own experiences with Synesthesia.


Being Sober Is Like Being Addicted to Life

Alas, here is what Nikolas Kolenich turned in for his "newswriting" class on December 9, 2009. Thank you Nikolas for sharing your article and allowing us to peek into your Flickr account for show photos:
Thanks Brenda for the Photo

Front man Peter Steele has quit drinking and put down drugs as the 20-year-old Brooklyn doom-metal band Type O Negative takes a new approach.
            Standing at 6 foot 8 inches, with fangs and long jet-black hair, Steele is definitely the man people notice on stage.  After 10 straight years of playing intoxicated during shows, Steele admits it’s been his own faults that have held the band back from achieving great success.  Running into trouble with the law 5 months ago, Steele is now sobering up and kicking the use of drugs in order to make amends with the group.
            “I’ve made it a point to come sober and hopefully stay sober,” says Steele,47, who’s had troubles in the past coping with addiction. “I’ve done a lot of stupid things when I was drunk and high and I regret that.”
            Having formed the group in 1989, Steele is the bassist, vocalist and songwriter of the heavy-metal quartet.  Creating the group from a previous project known as Carnivore, a thrash-metal band from the mid to late ‘80s, Steele and his childhood friend Josh Silver formed Type O with previous experience in the industry. Silver, having past experience as a keyboardist for a metal group known as Fallout, went on to create Silver Records where he learned how to engineer recordings.  Producing records in his private studio for other groups, he began a name for himself as he helped get Type O into the national spotlight in 1992 with a faux live album titled The Origin of the Feces.
            Now, with 20 years of experience playing together, Type O has 7 full length studio albums including one platinum record (Bloody Kisses, 1993) and one gold album (October Rust, 1996).  Coming out amidst a new wave of gothic influence in pop culture, Bloody Kisses put Type O over the top in terms of success.
            “Bloody Kisses was a landmark album,” said Steele.  “I consider it to be our first album because Slow, Deep and Hard was actually left over Carnivore songs.”
            Leaving Roadrunner Records in 2005 and signing with the German metal label SPV, Type O released a live DVD titled Sympathy for the Devil in 2006. They followed the DVD with their latest album, Dead Again, in 2007.  Reaching the highest rating of all their albums, the new release hit number 27 on the U.S. billboard top 200 for the year. With the optimistic look towards another album, SPV hit a hang up as it filed for insolvency this past summer (similar to America’s chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S.).  No longer under contract with the record label, the company is still talking to Type O claiming they’d like to work with them.
            “We’re going to sign a deal with somebody,” said drummer and vocalist Johnny Kelly. “If it’s [SPV] we just hope they put their best foot forward.”
             Currently looking for a new label to sign with, there’s still uncertainty as to where it will come from. “We met with some people last night,” said drummer Johnny Kelly, 41, of Staten Island. “Right now we’ve got to find what the right home for Type O [is] and then we’ll go from there.”
            Still hopeful about the future of Type O, the members of the group have taken on other jobs as they await their front man’s next move.  With Steele moving from Brooklyn to Pennsylvania to escape his unwanted fame of being a rock star, the other three members have grown to accept that they need to occupy themselves with something to do in the mean time.  Throughout the past 20 years, Type O has been known to take upwards of four year breaks in between records.  Josh Silver, 47, currently lives on the same street where he grew up with Steele and lead guitarist for Type O Kenny Hickey.  With a wife and 2 children, Silver has decided to take a different approach to the hiatus of the band.
            In a press release from mid October this year, Josh announced he currently has been attending school for certification as a paramedic. Being in the heart of the program, he was unable to tour with the band during their October Tour for the first time in the 20 year history.  The press release stated that “Josh remains a member of Type O Negative and will continue working with the band going forward.”
            “Josh has kids and a family,” said Steele.  “If I was him, I wouldn’t wait around for me either.”
            Also needing to support their families, members Kelly and Hickey have put together a heavy metal group known as Seventh Void.  Being produced by Big Vin Records, the group’s first album was released in April, 2009. Keeping busy over the past 5 years is nothing new for Kelly and Hickey who have toured either together or individually for groups such as Danzig and a Led Zeppelin tribute band called Earl’s Court.
            Having over 15 years experience touring Europe and the states, Type O has touched the lives of many people around the world.  For the past 9 years, countless followers have dedicated their time to an online forum at Typeonegative.net to discuss everything and anything in relation to the band.  Many people discuss what they would like to see change and also stay the same with the future of the group.  The key concern on most people’s mind is Steele’s health.
            “They’re stellar musicians with enough life experience to inspire another album,” said Michael Effertz, 22, Minneapolis, MN. “Provided Peter can stay clean and win back the trust of his fellow band members.”
            Playing hockey in the street together as children, all the members of Type O have known one another since they were kids.  It’s that perseverance that has allowed the members to overcome their troubles and continue to record new material, said 7-year fan Matthew Politi, 24, Howell, NJ.
            Switching over to a more “jam session” like album, Type O’s latest album has brought something new to dedicated fans.  According to sputnikmusic.com, Dead Again is comprised of elusive guitar riffs, solos, haunting lyrics, psychedelic sounds and a dark dirty bass foundation.  Allowing other band member’s talents to stand-out a bit more, Steele has taken a step back from the spotlight bringing Hickey’s guitar into more solos and free rhythm. 
            “I’d like to see them divert back to their past style – not that I don’t like their newest album,” said Jeffrey Gray, 29 of Roan Mountain, TN. “I would welcome change from Type O.”
            Like Gray, other fans suggest a change for Type O.  Few suggest they move to more of a moody goth-driven sound such as what was found on October Rust.  Others want to hear a more ‘80s like punk sound with the new material.
            Some members of Type O frequent the online forum, reading and responding to fans’ posts.
            “I think they shouldn’t really complain so much,” said Kelly.  “There’s a bunch of whiners on there and they’ll always complain about something.”
            Referring to a topic posted only a couple months ago, Kelley says he wishes he has the five minutes of his life back after reading a bunch of fans accusing peter of drinking on stage during the October Tour.
            “Right now Peter’s sober,” said Kelly.  “He’s giving 110 percent every night and they’re still complaining ‘what’s he drinking?’ If they had it all figured out, why aren’t they all in bands [and] touring the world?”
            For Steele, being sober is like being addicted to life.  He sees the world completely different and for the past few months he says he hasn’t felt numb.  As for his past, “if I could change one thing, personally, I [wish] I had gotten closer to my faith sooner," said Steele.


Darcie's Note: There are a few incorrect items in this piece, but they are too minor to point out. Hope you enjoyed.


Ask & You Shall Receive ...

So I guess someone  is reading this blog ... ha ha ... We have big thanks to Megan Tones, Josianne Vassallo & Paul Lockwood who pulled out their Decibel magazine copies and sent me jpgs.... You Guys Rock !

I'm loading these pages & hoping like heck that you can make them larger on your page to read the article.  Thanks to Decibel for running this piece with some interesting pics of Peter.


Student Has Best Halloween Ever

I Want to Thank Kent State University Photojournalism Student Nikolas Kolenich for Sharing This Story & Photo From the Concert With the Love Of Pete Community:

I love this shot !  Gorgeous !

I may not have been the last person to speak to Peter Steele, but I was his last interview at a show.  I was attending Kent State University in the fall of '09 as a photojournalism student when I contacted Johnny for a media pass.  As a huge fan of the band for over 6 years at the time, I was stoked to be in a position to finally meet the group... or so I thought.  I emailed their record label and was issued two passes, one for the Cleveland show and one more for the Detroit show.  I was using the group for my final news writing story
as well as my visual storytelling final.  Both classes were requirements to graduate, so this was much more than capitalizing on meeting the group, this was also a grade.

The Cleveland show went off without a hitch.  The venue, House of Blues, is rather small and not easy to photograph in.  I wasn’t allowed backstage, but luckily my friend Karen McBride got me a VIP pass at the end of the show.  I was trying to stay calm, compose myself and stay out of the way while I was in the dressing rooms. Kenny passed me and gave me a guitar pick, I was given a set list from a lighting guy and then I finally walked into Type Os room.  Having followed the group for a few years with tours, I already had signatures – just not Peter’s.  That night was the first time I met the man.  He was upbeat, witty and very pleasant.  I barely had enough room in my camera bag before leaving home to stuff anything extra in it, but I managed to get my Life is Killing Me t-shirt in there.  All the faces were signed, but Pete’s and that night he autographed it for me.  I left the room in a hurry, as it was late and I had class in the morning.  Peter was walking out of the dressing room on his way to sign merchandise when  he realized he didn’t have a marker.  I overheard him and threw him mine.  He said “thank you, brother” and walked into a sea of fans.

A couple weeks later I’m in Detroit, MI, for the final show.  At the time no one knew it, but I was seeing it just as important.  Again, my news writing grade was riding on an interview and so I came prepared
with a small slip of paper in my bagged packed with questions and my cell phone for audio.  I managed to work up the courage to follow Peter into the dressing room in Detroit.  Harpo’s is a mess and with security being lax, it wasn’t too tough.  I was polite, confident and professional, but once we sat down – I was giddy and uncontrollably goofy.  The man gave me a solid 10 minutes plus of his time.  He was nothing as I suspected.  Loving the group since high school and having been denied his autograph in 2007, I wasn’t sure I’d like him.  Low and behold, he turned out to be one of the most humble individuals I have ever met. He asked me more questions about my life than I got to ask him. We chewed the fat for quite some time after the recorder was off and I left feeling amazing.  I interviewed Johnny directly after Peter and was officially in for the night.  I watched my favorite musicians [but no Josh] through the lens for an hour and a half, all while remembering I had a golden nugget of Peter and I talking on my phone for when I got home.

The story I wrote for my final was the best grade I’d gotten for the class all year.  I poured countless hours and lots of emotion into the 1,500 word article.  It covered the bands rich history as well as the hopeful future.  I can say with all sincerity, the paper was positive and focused on Peter trying his hardest on rebuilding his promise to the fans.  He was dedicated to getting back on track.  He loved what he did [making music] and wanted nothing more than play on forever. Type O Negative’s music will live on in my heart forever.  I listen to them weekly and constantly use the songs and lyrics to get through bad times.  I cannot begin to type the proper thank you that I feel.  All I can say is that I am absolutely amazed at how much one person can do with his songs to shape another person’s life. 

I’m grateful to have met Peter and will never forget Halloween 2009.


New Yawkers Think They Are Multi-lingual ...


Every once in a while someone tags me in FB or
sends pictures to the blog email that SAY IT ALL
This beauty is from Mary Wolfe
who is graciously allowing me to post on the blog.


Good Short Video from 1994
Love the way Peter fakes his way through speaking Russian
Thanks to Jayne Keegan for posting on FB

Peter always loved the phrase,
"New Yawkers think they are multi-lingual
because they can curse you out  in every language."


In my line of work, I sometimes have the pleasure of working with celebrity artists, actors and musicians. While traveling with them on local tours, I get an opportunity to ask them questions and many times we talk about their home lives. I'm always surprised when a musician will say that he or she never plays for their own family. In fact, I'm saddened when I hear that. The excuse usually is something like this: " I spend so much time playing on the road and working on new songs in my studio, that when I get home, I don't want to touch the instruments." How awful for those people's families that their musician/artist doesn't share that side of themselves.

That's not how it was with Peter Steele. While he did want to decompress after a tour and NOT talk about the stage, he DID share songs, melodies, ideas with his family and friends. In fact, when he was younger it was common to be asked by Pete if we wanted to go to Norm's Music (on the highway) or stop in to Sam Ash music store. It was a great couple of hours of time, with Peter checking out the latest equipment, while catching up with the shop people, many of whom were musicians themselves.

And, we were never bored when we went to these music stores with him. He would pick up instruments, give a little instruction on how to use them, and before you knew it, we had an impromptu jam session going with a couple of the shop guys and Peter trying out different instruments.  I remember being shown how to play the "cow bell" and shown how to tap on it at precisely the right time. (yes, anyone can play it)

Or, back at home, where my family was musically-inclined, there was always an opportunity to play music, sing along or just listen as Peter played the piano or hooted on the Tuba for his mom and the rest of the clan.

If you play an instrument or sing, please remember that playing in front of your family creates memories. So, down the road when one of your kids or cousins is writing a blog (or whatever it will be called years from now), they can conjure up memories of how fantastic it was to be submerged in music all the time. The creative process is a wonderous thing ... include your family and friends in it ... you'd be amazed at the impact it has on their lives.

If I could send a message to the artists I've worked with ... it would be this one thing. I know you are tired from the road. I know you just want to get your normal life back ... but please ... play your guitar for your kids ... they will thank you for it ... if only on their blog.


I remember one time I was meeting with Carlos Santana at the Four Seasons in Manhattan. It was just after TON covered a few Santana songs: Evil Ways, Oye Como Va, and Black Magic Woman. I had just a few minutes to talk over breakfast with him and I asked him what he thought of Type O Negative covering his songs. Surprisingly, he said he remembered the TON version because it had a haunting sound and it was one of the better more interesting covers he had heard. I told Peter about that meeting with Santana. I remember how he smiled, showing his vampire teeth in a boyish way (if it's possible to be a boyish vampire) and he hummed Oye Como Va as he asked me more about my meeting with Santana. (By The Way, Carlos plays for his family when he is home. )



Decibel Hall Of Fame

I came across this photo when a friend of the blog sent it to me. After much search for the article that related to the photo, this is the only thing I could find (without paying for the entire back issue).

Check out Decibel's "Hall of Fame"  with Type O Negative “Bloody Kisses”

The latest inductee: [No. 65]

The making of Type O Negative’s “Bloody Kisses”

After burying Brooklyn under the dense power-dirge cacophony of 1991’s Slow, Deep and Hard and then recording most of the album over again as a fake live set for 1992’s The Origin of the Feces—complete with Jimi Hendrix cover and a close-up of bassist/vocalist/mastermind Pete Steele’s rotten sphincter—Type O Negative decided to get almost serious. Or at least as almost-serious as Type O could ever be expected to get.

As such, Steele (who was still working for the NYC Parks Department), guitarist Kenny Hickey, drummer Sal Abruscato and producer/keyboardist Josh Silver descended upon Systems Two in Brooklyn to record the album that would propel them into the bright lights and big titties of international rock stardom. Originally released on August 17, 1993, at the tail end of New York City Mayor David Dinkins’ “gorgeous mosaic” of race riots and unemployment, Bloody Kisses offered both a response to the controversy that had enveloped Type O’s debut and an enhanced pop sensibility.

Born in Alphabet City’s long-gone goth clubs, the 73-minute opus featured infectious doom-pop epics (“Black No. 1,” “Christian Woman”), sarcastic hardcore screeds (“Kill All the White People,” “We Hate Everyone”), bizarre noise interludes (“Fay Wray Come Out and Play,” “Dark Side of the Womb,” “3.0.I.F”) and a cover of Seals & Crofts’ “Summer Breeze” that somehow managed to be both lush and beefy. As the band spent two years touring with the likes of Mötley Crüe, the Exploited, Queensrÿche and Danzig, the album went gold on the strength of “Black No. 1” and “Christian Woman”—not to mention Steele’s fully erect appearance in (and on) the August 1995 issue of Playgirl magazine.

By the time his well-publicized boner presumably receded, Type O had a certified platinum record on their hands. Sandwiched between a photo of two green lesbians in the throes of simulated passion and that unforgettable slogan/warning “Don’t mistake lack of talent for genius,” Bloody Kisses remains the diamond in Type O’s extensive back catalogue, and one of the most elaborate revenge records of all time. —J. Bennett

Full site article: http://www.decibelmagazine.com/hall-of-fame/typeonegative/


Cut Off From The World

Originally Posted on Peter Steele's 13 Casketcrew FB page

I think you can tell from Peter's Carnivore days that he was a fierce proud American. His father fought in WW2, his uncles in Korea. When American soldiers or National Guardsmen came to see him off stage, he would always salute them, thank them for the amazing service they provide and give them his phone number to call him if they ever needed anything.

In fact, when Peter talked to his sister Patricia about being at ground zero on 9-11, he was horrified for her. Upset that Americans could be attacked on our own soil. Horrified that his brother-in-law was missing for hours and grateful to know that his sister wasn't one of the victims on that sorrowful day.

He was worried too. Worried that WW 3 had started. As the words from his song echoed in his head, he wondered what people of the world could be thinking that they'd allow so much hate for others to dictate their lives and lead them into killing so many innocent people.

Peter's neice Marie remembers the day she thought she lost her mother:

I got a phone call at 8:47am ... It was my mom, Pat. She worked across the street from the World Trade Center. She was standing outside her office building on her cellphone. She asked me, "Is there a ticker tape parade today?" I said, I don't think so, why? "Well," she said, "there are little bit's of paper flying  through the air. It's so strange." I told her I'd turn on the tv and see what's up. Then I'd call her back.

I switched on the news station and I couldn't believe my eyes. The live camera showed a plane hitting the Towers. My heart fell out of my chest. My mom was walking right into disaster and she didn't know it. I tried to call her back, but the call didn't go through. Again, and again I called. Busy. Busy. Busy. I couldn't get through to her. I felt like she was cut off from the world.

Then, it all started. My phone rang. My aunts were calling to see if I heard from my mom. If anyone had heard from my Uncle Robert who worked next to the Towers. Peter called to ask if I heard from my mom or Robert. "I can't get in touch with her, Pete," I told him sobbing. " I don't know where she is." Peter choked back tears and told me to call him as soon as I got word. As I'm writing this, I don't even remember where he was at the time. If he was in town, he would have ran to the towers to find my mother and his brother in law. I felt so alone ... I just sat there and cried.

Thankfully, we found our mother and my uncle Robert eventually got home. But, we know countless people who never made it home. Peter was friendly with numerous cops and firefighters so he has always been thankful for the courage it took to run into the falling towers to try to save people.

It was a horrible, horrendous day. One I never want to relive. One that we can never forget.


The Didgeridoo In The Corner

Photo from Stubble Magazine

I have to thank one of our blog friends, Alexandra whose keen eye reminded us of an instrument that Peter's sister Patricia gave him a few years ago for Christmas.


Pat says that she bought the instrument for Peter because he loved to learn new things. No matter what instrument Peter picked up, he could teach himself how to play it.  He practiced with it and said he loved the way it made these super-bass sounds. Unfortunately, the instrument didn't come with a a manual or instructions, but Peter loved to pick it up and play with it from time to time. He kept it in his livingroom and enjoyed showing people what this interesting instrument could do. Sometime between the time LTAN was filmed and Peter's death, the instrument disappeared from the apt.

We don't believe he used the instrument for any of the albums. But it would have been really cool to see him use it onstage.

Wikipedia notes:
The didgeridoo (also known as a didjeridu or didge) is a wind instrument developed by Indigenous Australians of northern Australia around 1,500 years ago and still in widespread usage today both in Australia and around the world. It is sometimes described as a natural wooden trumpet or drone pipe. 
There are no reliable sources stating the didgeridoo's exact age.

Sound Clips: http://www.didgeridoostore.com/soundsrhythms.html


Take Me With You

Today's Artwork is by Elizabeth Steele

I hope you can read the inscription on the artwork


TY Alexandra for sharing this intimate poem with us.

I heard your voice, I heard your words, you kept me safe.
I was young, felt out of place.
You were there in my headphones helping me find my path.
I loved you as you were, from a far distance, how else?
You were a million miles away, you never knew I existed.
I grew up, became a woman. Got married and gave birth to three beautiful children.
You were there but so far away. I loved you, wanted to tell you about it all.
My husband abused me infront of the children, I wanted to die.
Thought to myself, I´ll see you on the other side. 
 I heard your voice, heard your words and came back.
You wouldn´t let me leave, you were a million miles away.
I thought, another time and another life.
Left the husband, brought the children with me.
Listened to your words, your voice, alone but safe.
Thought to myself; someday I will.
One day my heart broke in to a million pieces.
They said you had died, refused to believe you are gone.
Went back to the husband, he got nice, treated the family with respect.
Authorities came, took the children away, brought me to a shelter.
Family turned away, friends turned away.
I´m alone, can hear your voice, can hear your words.
Where are you? Why didn’t you wait?
I have nothing else.  Let me go with you.
Please come back for me, take me with you.
Please don´t go, I need to tell you something; it´ll take a lifetime.
Stay. I love you, even when everything dies.
You were never alone, I was there.
All the time. 

A big Thanks to Gayle for picking out her favorite video from headbangers ball: