Thursday, April 15, 2010

Peter Steele RIP



By Dan Wilder (indrid13)

When I heard the news late last night that the great Peter Steele was gone, my mind simply refused to believe it. Pete’s demise was announced before in 2005, and like Rasputin he returned to terrorize the land once more. But this time the outcome was vastly different. It strikes me as bitterly ironic that a man who poured so much heart in to his music would be struck down by that very organ. Peter, and Type O Negative have been a constant in my life since 1993. I vividly remember seeing the video for Black No.1 on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball in spring of 1993, and absolutely losing my mind. The early 90’s were a turning point in my life. From my all black wardrobe, to my long, pitch black hair, I felt totally removed from society (as many people do at one time or another), and I decided to present myself as a walking representation of that feeling. I have always been into the darker aspects of artistic expression. The writings of Lovecraft and Barker, horror movies, metal music, all fueled my imagination and inspired me to be an artist and to express my feelings in imaginative mediums that hopefully would let people see the beauty in the outré. As I grew more confident in my expression, I still felt like something was lacking. That’s when Type O Negative entered my life like a green and black whirlwind of down-tuned fury. Never had I heard something so amazingly gloomy. Peter and the boys hit me with a blast of pure Sabbath inspired insanity. I have always been fascinated by musicians, and their power to stir intense emotion from the listener, and here was music that was pure emotion. I was immediately a devoted fan. I drove to the mall the next day (the closest one being over forty minutes away) to pick up whatever I could find from Type O. I grabbed Slow Deep and Hard and Bloody Kisses and started the journey home to lose myself in my new musical obsession. Those albums were played and replayed as the soundtrack of my life. I soon added Origin of the Feces and the digi-pack Bloody Kisses to my collection. 1996 brought October Rust, my personal favorite Type O Negative album. This collection of songs was my constant companion through the beginnings of my first long term relationship (which crashed and burned in spectacular fashion years later), and through my decision to return (albeit briefly) to college. Those songs wove for me a world of eternal autumn that inspired me immensely. As time wore on, I entered one of the blackest periods of my life, and one I seldom mention except to my closest friends, but what the hell, I’ll share. Depression (the demon that even Peter himself wasn’t immune to), brought on by my lack of direction or artistic success, coupled with an amazingly dysfunctional relationship lead to my second period of battling anorexia. But through it all, Type O Negative was there, a calming comfort in my turbulent life. Up to this time I had seen Type O live at least four times, the highlight being a concert in Utica, NY that I shared with the biggest Type O fan I know, my friend Bob. To see him experience his favorite band live was a memory I cherish to this day. In 1999, I moved into an apartment with my girlfriend, where we continued our downward spiral. Once again, Peter to the rescue, care of World Coming Down. In 2000 we moved back to an apartment in my hometown. An incredibly shitty retail job, that I kept for seven long years, forty minutes away, plus my continuing poor relationship drained me every day, but I was too stupid or immature to do anything about it. 2003’s Life Is Killing Me seemed to sum up my feeling at this time perfectly. Finally in 2005, my girlfriend and I parted ways. And in October, I met the love of my life. In 2006 I moved back to Albany, this time under happier conditions, and eventually landed a dream job within the video game industry. As I started to (finally) get a hold of myself and start to take control of my decisions, I revisited Type O Negative with new eyes. I discovered that although the music was dark and somber, it also contained hope and a biting, satirical wit. As I grew and developed as a person, the music of Type O Negative seemed to change with me. Where other music I had once enjoyed became one note and shallow over time, Type O remained as fresh and relevant to me as the first time I heard it back in 93. 2007 brought Dead Again, my second favorite Type O Negative album. The band seemed renewed and refreshed, as did I. Since the time that album has been released, I have achieved more personally and professionally then I ever dreamed possible. From time to time, those old, moody feelings and dark days creep up, and today is the king of those days, because today a person who has shared my lowest ebbs and highest triumphs is gone. I saw my last Type O Negative concert in 2007, with my wife. We got into an argument that night (over something stupid I’m sure), but I missed part of the performance, and today this pains me greatly. It was my twelfth Type O concert, and if I had known it was going to be my last, I would have savored every note like a fine wine. And now there will never be a newly announced release date for the next Type O album to fill me with that feeling of anticipation for a new adventure into that eternal autumn, or another evening to spend with good friends as my hero rips into an amazing live set. So , I’m going to head home on this beautifully sunny April day (I’m sure Pete would appreciate the irony in this) , throw on my headphones, and let Peter Steele and Type O Negative do what they’ve always done for me, get me through the bad times so life can go on.

“I had no pulse last time I checked
I’d trade my life for self respect
So I say with my ass whipped
There are some things worse than death

I can’t believe I died last night - oh God I’m dead again
I can’t believe I died last night – I’m fucking dead again” – Peter Steele (January 4, 1962 – April 14, 2010)

7 comments:

Drunketh said...

Beautifully written my friend. Some of your experiences seem very close to mine as well. October Rust is his masterpiece. RIP.

Dan said...

Thank you for the kind words.

RALPH FRIGGEN RENNA said...

Well Said Brother!

Dan said...

Thanks Ralph!

Andrew said...

Life, love, death and happiness.Type O Negative has been there for me as well. So many of us can understand your words too well. I began my journey with TON in 93. I will continue to cherish what Peter has left us for the rest of my days. Very well written my friend.

Dan said...

Thank you Andrew.

emeixeira said...

thanks for sharing

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