The Call of the Pig

I've said it here before that you guys have a huge responsibility to your younger family members and your friend's kids. We are the influencers ... the ones that introduce the younger generation to new music, take them out to see their first band in a club, show them that being a music geek is a great thing. It all comes down to you to be the cool aunt, uncle, mother, father in your family. The one who seems to know everything. The one with an ipod filled with undiscovered new sounds.

Who will Danny, Siobhan, Victoria, Sammi, Toria, Antonio, Kara and Tristan get their musical influences from in our family ... the next generation of cousins don't have a "Peter" to depend on. Maybe James (whose is a successful musician in his own right) or Sara (a band photographer) will influence these teens ... or maybe cousins Brian, Michelle, Kerry or Marie will plan out the concerts and get them interested in new music.

Ever since I was young, Pete would supply the new music to listen to. I remember the first time Peter took us to the midnight movie in Greenwich Village to see The Wall. I was out with his friends and my cousin Nancy. Peter  bought buckets of popcorn with soda and Hershey bars. It was so much fun being out with the big kids and then having an opportunity to talk about the film and listen to the music with people much older than me.

When I wasn't being introduced to mainstream music, Peter would come back from seeing bands or touring the country with music for us to listen to. He'd call out his favorite pig noise, saying, "here kiddy piggies" and we'd race over to him to see what he had. I remember being given White Zombie to listen to, as well as Twisted Sister, Biohazard, Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, Crumbsuckers, Urban Waste, Sheer Terror.

The last time I saw him at his sister's house, Peter told me he had a box of cds for me to look through and share with the cousins. He said he met lots of talented artists and got reacquainted with musicians from the past that he thought he'd like to tour with again. That box of cds is sitting at my aunt's apt waiting for us to pick through. But it's not the same. The sound of Pete's pig call and his comments about the individuals who handed him the cds were always priceless.

Finally, a little recognition from press to compare TON's "Unsuccessfully Coping With the Natural Beauty of Infidelity" with other bands songs about similar subjects:



  1. I have friends like that, as far as "You should listen to this," and "if you like this, this is what there came from," Robert Johnson, for instance. That same friend has been in the music scene for decades and he told me to stop listening to brand-new "shit" and learn about the classics, because "You have to know where you came from, to know where you're going." It's been advice I've taken to heart. Coupled with Pete's advice "If you're gonna rip off a band, rip off the best. Rip off Black Sabbath." lol. It's been a great journey, learning about these bands that were famous and put out some excellent tunes before I gained self-awareness as a young adult. I recommend it in turn. And then you listen to the "new shit." Then you will hear the echoes of bands gone past. :)

  2. This made me laugh out loud. I can just see him squealing like a pig yelling for all of you to come and get all the treats. I also love how he wasnt afraid to give little kids bands like White Zombie and Biohazard. Totally cool.
    I had a cousin like that. Introduced me to Metallica and Cannibal Corpse around 8 or so LOL. I am a metal head to this day and he has his own band that tours.
    Great story, thank you for sharing. Think about the good times when he was there to give you the stuff, and not when it was silent. xoxo

  3. Oh my,have been thinking bout this of late...I'm close to Pete's age (we had a laugh about that when I spoke with him during the last tour)and my loving "domestic partner" (what they call old people shackin up these days)has twin 18 year old sons. I'm dad's cool girlfriend cause I know music..I stay current enuff to be familiar with their favorites and saw all those cool shows back in the day. I can always answer 'who sings this?' and we drove the boys to their 1st big areana show last winter. It's a great way to bond with the younger people at work too. Always pass it along,it's a wonderful gift...Sue

  4. Great story & I can imagine very well Pete's pig voice and introducing you to several music ;-) Great gift - guess you have experienced a lot in music thru him. I was lucky enough to get introduced to several music genres like classic & jazz thru my father - he'd never get along with the kind of music I am listening to ;-) but I am grateful that thru him I also discovered other genres and then developed my own taste - so to say. It's important to discover and understand classics but to me it's also important to hear 'new shit' - really some interesting artists out there. When I read your lines about influencers I had to smile - remembering last year when I went to the NovaRock festival with my goddaughter (being then 15 yo)and her mum & and a friend of my goddaughter ;-) They both found it very exciting and are really into music - it was great.
    The sad part within your great story is the box of CD's from Pete waiting to be picked thru without Pete's comments. I hope that in some time you will be able to do this - maybe with one eye laughing (imagening how Pete would comment)& and a warm feeling in your heart. Sometimes I feel so helpless for what to say - something that would soothe all your pain - but I hope it helps at least a little bit to feel our support & to know that you are not alone with your grief.
    Much love & respect to you
    P.S. Love the pic ;-)

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this aspect of your uncle Pete's very own private Music Appreciation 101 class. Whether one actually plays or writes music or merely loves to listen, it's a vital component of modern life and has had a very far-reaching impact on human evolution. I have yet to read 'This is Your Brain on Music',
    but it's next in line behind Larry Flynt's recent publication.
    For what it's worth, I was first introduced to TON's music in the '90's by a friend with impeccable musical taste who said, "You just have to hear this. It's amazing!" She was obviously not just kidding.
    Seems like most of Pete's fans would give a lot to know what's in that box. Hope those CD's will be listened to in due time, when you're comfortable enough to delve in. Perhaps gathering a few family members to try to imitate Pete's pig-squeal together and blindly picking just one CD apiece to start would help. It could become a tradition to make that sound whenever one of you passes a CD on to another family member, a way to celebrate hearing something new while remembering your uncle's antics. Including younger family members should be advantageous, as they not only need loads of new information for their young minds but are likely the most reliable for proper catalogging/storage/distribution amongst family.

    Can't begin to imagine your trepidation with this, but I'll chip in a tidbit of new music that's probably not in Uncle Pete's last CD-bin in hopes of easing you into the concept of visiting the bin. I ran across it in a public-speaking class at design school. A culinary department student who was engaged to one of the band members used 'band-life' as the topic of her speech. It's a soft ballad by a sort of metal-ish band.
    I won't begin to presume to imitate Pete's 'kiddy-piggies' antics, but it's easy to imagine him doing that, knowing he adored you all so much he wanted to entertain you and share.
    Thank you so, so, so, so much!

  6. ...and thank you for posting that photograph. Pete...
    To you he was that funny, brilliant, warm, loving uncle with the unusual life and phenomenal talent. To me he was the funny, brilliant, intriguing, handsome man with an unusual life that any woman of reasonable logic would find incredibly daunting.

  7. I introduced my whole extended family to Peter Steele but the problem is..too much Peter Steele! All I hear from everyone is "Peter again, can we listen to something else". I have brainwashed them with his music, they walk around sub consciously singing Peters songs and yell at me for it. Like Kristen I am a metalhead. I listen to Black, Doom, Grind, Death Metal.. all the extreme music, so Peters music is not my usual taste. He is the best though..no one writes songs like him.I love his music. Its good he kept the cd's given to him. I am sure alot of people would not even bother taking them back home.

  8. Peter is just..AWESOME!!! Thank you for sharing :)

  9. Could you tell me if Pete had a demo (cassette tape) of a band called Lilitu? I'm just curious b/c that is my ex-band. I remember that we gave it to him at a show in Atlanta, Ga. If you come across it please drop me a line. Cathy has my email, or you can find me on Facebook. I miss him terribly! Your blog posts are awesome. They are a candle in the darkness. Take care guys. Love & respect, Holly W.

  10. Wow..This post brought back my own memory of going to see The Wall with Peter!! I remember after viewing the movie I went home to Nana and Grandpa's house and Shaved off my Eyebrows!! Peter was hysterically Laughing at me!!! Nana freaked out...LOL..Then I had to go home to my Mom! Mommy was trying to find an Eyebrow pencil to match my color hair!! She was screaming..You can't go to Catholic School with No Eyebrows GOD DAMMIT!!! LOL:) Thank You Peter for opening up our eyes and ears to All Kind's of Music. I love you and Miss you every minute of everyday.