4.12.2012

In Shared Grief I Write This About Peter Steele





To the Ratajczyk Family and all those who deeply loved Pete

I am simply a fan on the other side of the world who was deeply moved by all that Pete and Type O Negative created. Musically and I guess emotionally, TON’s music was there when I needed it most – recovering from lost love, grieving over loss of parents and times when I just needed to blast the ear drums big time! No music has ever moved me so much. I have never come across music so raw, passionate and powerful – like modern day Viking Sagas.

We all know what a genius Pete was to have assembled such talent as TON. The music that was created goes beyond genius. The world is a much darker place with his passing and I can’t imagine the hurt this loss means to you all. I know his loss must be like a open wound and I apologise if my email upsets you all in any way. I lost my parents to cancer, so have some idea of the grief you feel. As Pete wrote – “you love someone, there will be grief...”. This is the incredible cost we all pay to love someone.

If this email can bring you any solace at all, it’s in the fact that Pete and TON moved millions of people around the world – even in upside down “Lostralia”! I can only imagine how incredible it must have been to see TON live and I deeply regret I wasn’t able to do this. Your brother is alive in the memories of millions of people and he made a major difference to this world. Because of his genius, Pete has achieved a kind of immortality and like the Viking Sagas, his music will ring out around the world for a very long time to come.

Yours in sincerity a shared grief -- Adam Dormer


I am a nature person, and I understand the cycles of life, so I have never really cried for anyone that passed. I spent many years living on top of a mountain in Swaziland, and always my connection with Nature has been like a mother to child bond. So I moved to the big city eventually, and felt the cruelty of humanity for the first time. The real sting of human nature. No more trees, no more forests, no rivers. Just roadside bushes and small trees to make people feel better about their concrete world. I fell so far into manic (&suicidal) depression, and I was in a desperate search for escape, even if it was death. And then I heard Type O Negative. I heard Peters voice, and for the first time there was someone who understood and felt exactly how I felt. Someone who felt what I felt. I remember the exact moment and the feelings that rushed through my being. I can never explain how deeply moved I still am by everything he did and wrote, or how connected I still feel to him. I was driving to work shorlty after his passing and it felt like he was sitting next to me, talking to me. I wept the entire way to work and sat in the car in the parking lot until I could go inside, still welling up. For the first time I feel like I have lost someone, even though I never met him in person. My family and myself have been well known for our gift of second sight, shall we call it. I remember wondering in that moment what made me important enough for him to spare me a moment and say goodbye.

I have never really liked people, although one must love everyone, I still don't have to like them. Some people are just born beautiful, and completely misunderstood. They have a very strong connection with nature, and an emotional tick that most don't fully understand. I just wanted to meet him once, because he would know that I know. For some reason not everyone shares or even has those feelings, or the connection. Its like people have disconnected from who they really are in an attempt to survive. Nearly every single song he wrote connected with some part of my life, some love lost, romance, darkness, despair, pain, and pleasure. It was almost like living a reflection, which I must admit was weird at times.

All I'm saying is that I feel the loss of a kindred spirit, and a mentor that needed not even know me. My struggle was made easier, and my load of sorrow lightened because of him.
Though I sometimes weep for my own loss, I smile, for his rewards are greater than we could know.

Thank you for keeping his memories alive. My heart goes out to your family. -- Chris Wolfe

                                                            (artwork by Jimm Colorusso )

On January 19, 1997, my friend Anne took me to see Type O Negative at the Abyss in Norfolk, VA (It may have been VA Beach, but it was at the Abyss). I had heard of Type O Negative before, but I don't know that I'd heard them and I'd definitely never seen them. At the time, I was 26 years old, a year and a half sober, and not doing all that well. Constantly fighting with my girlfriend and struggling with sobriety. The show was phenomenal. When Peter sang, I was truly moved. I knew that he knew how I felt without ever speaking to him. Needless to say, that converted me to a fan right there. I got October Rust and it became one of my favorite albums for awhile; especially several months later when I got dumped. In any case, after the show, Anne knew Josh (she used to work in the music business and had met him that way), so after the show we walked up to them. I thought it was odd that the guys seemed to be taking care of their own instruments after the show. We talked to Josh for awhile, but I distinctly remember Peter coming out to do something with his bass and introducing himself. I shook his hand, and he asked me how I enjoyed the show. I said something along the lines of "Good. Different, but that's definitely good." He replied "Glad you enjoyed it!" and then he went on about his business. That was my entire interaction with him. I remember thinking not only that he was the largest man I had ever seen, but that he seemed genuine, if that makes any sense. Fast forward to 15 years later. Going through another rough time in my life; now I'm 16 1/2 years sober. All along the way, when I hit hard times, Type O has been there, helping me through. It's like my sadness merges with the music and the music takes it away. I know that someone understands. I was saddened to hear of Peter's death, and I was saddened more by the way that people tend to focus on his failings. Having had some of those failings myself, I can tell you with great confidence that at times, I would not be sober if it were not for Peter. I wish I had more of an opportunity to talk with him. I wish I had the chance to tell him how much he's meant to me and my sobriety. How none of my three kids would have a father if it weren't for him. I just wanted to put this up there and to say Pete, if you're listening, thank you!

Peace -- Bill Griggs

                                                       @@@@@@@

A good friend of the blog: Jeanne B has done this ice tribute. Enjoy:





14 comments:

  1. thank you for EVERYTHING ladies. everything you share is so much appreciated. lots and lots of love to you all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for this post! Pete touched so many lives and its wonderful of the family to highlight some of these awesome fan stories! Bill congrats to you on 16 years sober; I'm over 5 years clean now, and yes, at times Pete and his music helped me from relapsing! Amazing . .

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for your stories everyone. That was Peters gift..he had the ability to touch us all in some way. Most of us have never even met him but he still managed to help us get through the bad times in our lives! He was an Angel (a very gorgeous angel) sent here to give us something very special...himself.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great fan stories and art!---Jessica D.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such amazing accounts of Peter’s influence & inspiration on so many people’s lives. Adam, Chris & Bill: Thank you for sharing these personal accounts here with us. It’s astonishing how many people Peter really has reached, has helped in one or the other way and still does thru his music & with his exceptional personality. Sonic therapy & a good portion of humor – always good companions for getting thru days – especially on bad days but these two elements also make a good day even better.
    -Much love & respect-
    -Sabine-

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for creating this blog. Peter's music changed my life. I am lost for words.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Rose from NY now in CA10:57 PM, July 24, 2012

    Well I'm getting teary eyed again. So moving to read how the fans feel...we all so appreciate sharing like we all do. Thank you fans for the words of sympathy for family and for the bandmates. TON is still one of the best musical groups ever created. I'm listening to Dead Again again today, blasting it to feel the power. September Sun every song is a classic. Love to the family, to the bandmates. You are all in our prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was very late into finding TON, Peter made me a huge fan as soon as I.heard Black No. 1. His voice is very hauntingly beautiful. I miss him without knowing him. RIP Peter Steele.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Peter Steele made me a fan as soon as heard Black No. 1. His voice is so hauntingly beautiful! I did not get into the music type until about a year ago but feel very connected. I would have loved to know him, but somehow listening to TON, I feel I do. RIP Peter, hope to meet you on the other side.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Petes true love of nature and his music is therapeutic for me. Yes, a very handsome and intelligent man. Is there a twin?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Type O Negative has helped me throughout the past 20yr+, I have loved this band. Peter's was so very gifted with his deep evocative voice & to be matched with his lyrics. Which were so full true feeling,beauty and emotion.
    It just shows us all, how much we will miss such a talented person such as Peter Steele was and forever will be .....one of my favourite bands,vocalists, singers and bass players.
    I will continue to enjoy listening to and watching him sing Christian Woman,Black no.1 , September Sun, Everything dies and so many more ....
    Peter was so gorgeous,all 6'8" . He truly was unique in a world of conformity and that what I loved most about Peter and TON.
    I really regret not seeing them live but I am gifted with thier beutiful videos,concert shows and interviews on Utube etc.
    Peter Steele was a very humble, gentle soul,cat lover, who I pray has found peace after many years of addiction,not finding his true love etc
    He had so much adversity in his life that he came through becoming a better person. I wish as the years progressed,as Peter continued his sobriety that he would of continued to make better Music had he not passed in 2010. It is such a shame to have him taken at his peak.
    But I think somehow Peter would have preferred going out on high note and he did.

    I miss his music, he sarcasm in interviews.....his spirit will and continues to carry on...I hope that is a comfort to his family, friends and band members.
    R.I.P.
    Peter Thomas Steele.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I very much wondered if pete had a sixth sense. Or if he seen ghosts.

    ReplyDelete