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.