"Life is killing me", indeed
April 15, 2010 8:04 AM   Subscribe

It's been verified by the band - Peter Steele, frontman of reknowned gothic/doom metal band Type O Negative, is dead of heart failure at age 48.
posted by FatherDagon (59 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Holy shit.
posted by khaibit at 8:06 AM on April 15, 2010

posted by kenotron at 8:08 AM on April 15, 2010

posted by NoMich at 8:09 AM on April 15, 2010

The stockings are hung, but who cares.

posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:10 AM on April 15, 2010


posted by zarq at 8:12 AM on April 15, 2010

Black, Black, Black, Black, number one ....


posted by tiger yang at 8:12 AM on April 15, 2010

AWW! Fuck. Was just listening to them this morning.

Everything dies. :(

posted by cavalier at 8:20 AM on April 15, 2010

posted by The Michael The at 8:24 AM on April 15, 2010


posted by fire&wings at 8:31 AM on April 15, 2010

The record store I managed in college did an instore signing with these guys while they were on tour with Danzig--we did a Danzig instore earlier in the day, then Type O later in the afternoon.

I met a lot of musicians in those years, and the nice-to-jerk ratio really wasn't much different than in the general population. But I think I can say without exaggeration (and not just in contrast to what a little weasel Glenn ("There Will Be No Misfits Or Samhain Merchandise Signed") Danzig was earlier that day) that Peter Steele was one of the nicest artists I ever met.

I think they'd just released their second record, their stuff sold like crazy at our store, and there was almost as big a crowd to see them as there had been for Danzig, and he showed not a trace of entitlement to any of it, no boredom or tiredness, just open joy and enthusiasm. He was flattered by the big poster display we'd made for them to sit in front of to sign things. He was surprised by and grateful for by the giant sub sandwich we'd brought in for the band to eat. He was impressed that we had a variety of drinks available to them--he commented on all this stuff, and said really nice things about our store in general. When people introduced themselves he repeated their names as he shook hands. The band stayed quite a while past their scheduled end time.

He was just really engaged, and polite, and maybe a little surprised by this weird social side of his job, the part that wasn't making songs and performing them, but totally game for it.

I wasn't really a fan of his music and I didn't follow his career once my job no longer involved restocking his CDs and reading the odd article about him in one of the trades during my lunch break. But he stands out all these years later as a role model for how to treat people, and I like to think that's how he always was, and that he touched a lot of lives with that, not just mine.
posted by padraigin at 8:33 AM on April 15, 2010 [32 favorites]

Holy fuck. :(
Was just listening to Summer Breeze yesterday. Damn, damn, damn. Type O Negative helped me through some rough years.

posted by prufrock at 8:34 AM on April 15, 2010

I went down into my basement confused and depressed, put Black Sabbath on
Razor blade in hand, a Wilkinson I think, ten slashes on each arm
My only wrongdoing was being born human and following my instincts
I never was happy, I never was sane, so I shall be extinct
The growing pool of crimson; at last I am pure, witness my sanguineous penance
I don't need anyone, my soul's been set free
Death is total independence.
posted by The Straightener at 8:35 AM on April 15, 2010

Was listening to 'can't lose you' yesterday!
not a happy day.
posted by gonzo_ID at 8:43 AM on April 15, 2010


Black#1 is the first thing I thought of, and I thought I heard something about a playgirl shoot.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:44 AM on April 15, 2010

I spent one long semester at the end of university as an intern for Attic Records in Toronto, the Canadian distributors for Roadrunner and Metal Blade, among many other U.S. labels. This was in the spring of '95.

One of my early jobs was -- for reasons I'm still a bit unclear on -- dubbing the video for "Black No. 1" onto 200 different video cassettes. This was done using two retail-grade VCRs wired together, which meant it had to be done in real time, again and again and again and again.

I thought this was the apex of my Type 'O' Negative experience -- having that video permanently etched in my brain cells -- but then, one afternoon, I show up and my supervisor, Kevin, walks in wearing a kind of daffy grin.

"How would you feel about getting out of the office?" he asks me.

Then he gives me $200.

"I feel pretty good about getting out of the office," says I, looking at the handful of cash.

"What I need you to do is," Kevin says, "is go to every porn shop in Toronto and buy every copy of Playgirl that they have."

"Ha ha ha," I say, "what fine japery we do engage in here at Attic Records."

Long story short: I went to a lot of porn shops that day, and not a single one of them had the Peter Steele issue of Playgirl. As a repressed, homophobic kid from small-town Ontario (the kind that would swear up and down that he isn't repressed and homophobic, but can look back years later and realize that he was just in denial about being very repressed and homopobic), I was too balled-up to ask the clerks why.

So I trudged from sex shop to sex shop, scanning the racks for Playgirl, getting increasingly paranoid that I'd have to talk to somebody. In the end, after a comprehensive tour of the finer adult entertainment shops of Yonge and Queen streets, I had to go back and admit defeat, smelling faintly of flopsweat and latex. I kept a list of all the stores I'd been to as proof that I'd actually been to them. Kevin was disappointed in me.

I can't remember why Playgirl wasn't on-shelf; I have a dim memory that it came out a few weeks later, or shipped delayed, or something. At any point, my internship ended before the issue actually hit the stands, so I never had to repeat my sex shop tour.

But -- as a repressed and homophobic kid from small-town Ontario -- I think a forced march through the sex shops of the city actually did me a lot of good. More with the repression than the homophobia, but even then, scouring the racks and looking through back issues of Playgirl probably put some chinks in that ignorant armour.

So thank you, Peter Steele.

Thank you for your penis.

While I never actually saw it, it made me a better man.
posted by Shepherd at 8:51 AM on April 15, 2010 [42 favorites]


His dark humour always struck me as having an "only kidding... kind of" edge to it, so the best that can be said of this is, at least he isn't miserable any more.
posted by vanar sena at 8:52 AM on April 15, 2010

Oh no!
posted by brundlefly at 8:56 AM on April 15, 2010

I just learned the word japery. What a lovely story!
posted by cavalier at 8:56 AM on April 15, 2010


posted by Sailormom at 9:01 AM on April 15, 2010

posted by giraffe at 9:06 AM on April 15, 2010

Type O was one of the best gigs I've been to. Enthusiastic and affable with a great stage presence. I was not expecting them to be so much fun even though their material is rife with humour.

posted by slimepuppy at 9:14 AM on April 15, 2010

posted by dbscissors at 9:21 AM on April 15, 2010

I am really bummed that I will never see them in concert. Sad sad sad.
posted by DWRoelands at 9:23 AM on April 15, 2010

posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:30 AM on April 15, 2010

Peter Steele on Jerry Springer

tried to find the interview he gave with Al Goldstein on MIDNIGHT BLUE but couldn't find it.
posted by Hammond Rye at 9:32 AM on April 15, 2010

posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 9:50 AM on April 15, 2010


Honestly, that could be any Type O Negative song.
posted by prufrock at 9:54 AM on April 15, 2010

Someone I knew on AOL actually sent me the Playgirl pics-- and back then, that was a Big Deal, because sending tons of porn over AOL cost cash money.

Shepherd, you might not have seen it, but I can attest that Mr. Steele's penis would have been a revelation unto you all the same. He certainly had other options open to him if that music thing hadn't worked out.

posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:59 AM on April 15, 2010

Ah man, I saw them my first day of college. I dropped my friends off at the Marquee Theater, in Tempe, and drove over the bridge to find free parking. Then, in my ill-fitting army boots, I jogged back over the "lake" by myself. I was so tired; I was excited about school and hadn't slept well. I was hot, sweaty and foot-sore when I made it in the theater, but it was so much fun. They were a great band live and the audience very spirited. One of the best shows I've seen.

posted by lizjohn at 10:00 AM on April 15, 2010

How is he dead and Keith Richards still alive?
posted by clarknova at 10:08 AM on April 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

With the 2005 fake death prank in mind, today the lyrics of "Dead Again" sound rather eerie.

This time, for real.

I'm just glad I managed to catch Type O live, even if just once, back in 2003. Steele has been an inspiration, and his particular flavor of pitch-black humor has managed not only to entertain, but influence my worldview over the decade and a half I've been a fan.

Thanks for everything, Pete. I sincerely hope you've now been reunited with all the loved ones that you lost over the years.

"Please don't dress in black
When you're at his wake
Don't go there to mourn
But to celebrate"

posted by lifeless at 10:22 AM on April 15, 2010

Funny, I've always been a Metal Hater, but had a secret love for these guys. Probably because of the goth influence.

But hell that's too young to kick it.

posted by lumpenprole at 10:32 AM on April 15, 2010

Not much of a Type O fan, myself, but Carnivore is fuckin' legend. RIP Thermonuclear Warrior... crush! Kill! Destroy!
posted by vorfeed at 10:36 AM on April 15, 2010

All of the staff here at Roadrunner is saddened by Pete's death, especially those that worked with him. We just put up an official remembering him-type post with some of that staff.
posted by Captaintripps at 10:44 AM on April 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

I bought Bloody Kisses at the height of my goth / metal pretension, on the basis of a couple singles. Every time I listened to it, though, I had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind: isn't this all just a little...well...silly? So I didn't listen to them as much, because it kind of bothered me.

It took a few years and some necessary moments of self-reflection before I was able to come back and say, actually, it is silly, I was / am silly, this isn't serious business. So thanks for that, Peter.

Man, this sucks.
posted by Errant at 10:54 AM on April 15, 2010

While I was grilling Late Sunday afternoon, I was listening to:
Cinnamon Girl
Summer Breeze
Love you to death
It's a sad day indeed.
posted by winks007 at 11:11 AM on April 15, 2010

My ex-girlfriend loved Type O and we went and saw them once.

Thanks, taking everything in me at this point to not contact her.

But i won't.
posted by djduckie at 11:11 AM on April 15, 2010

Not much of a Type O fan, myself, but Carnivore is fuckin' legend. RIP Thermonuclear Warrior... crush! Kill! Destroy!





I picked up the first Type O album when it first came out hoping for another Carnivore album, and while that album wasn't horrible my interest in the band waned pretty fast.
posted by The Straightener at 11:12 AM on April 15, 2010

This is so not cool.

SO not cool.


Rest in Peace, Peter.

Thank you, Type O, for some truly magnificent tunes. You guys did not get even half of the recognition you deserved.
posted by spirit72 at 11:38 AM on April 15, 2010

Damnit! RIP. Time to go throw on "Retaliation".
posted by medeine at 11:55 AM on April 15, 2010

My main connection to this band is that my sister has been close friends with these guys since she was in high school back when they were Carnivore.

I recall my parents went nuts for her sweet sixteen and rented out the basement of our church for the party and invited the whole family. She had all her friends who were in bands perform but she was to terrified to let Carnivore play though they were willing. I later listened to some of their lyrics and think my sister made the right choice.

I don't think grandma and grandpa would be happy with lyrics like "Lick me she said/I bowed down my head/I love/TO EAT PUSSY!"
posted by Nyarlathotep at 12:37 PM on April 15, 2010

posted by Samizdata at 12:57 PM on April 15, 2010

Honestly, that could be any Type O Negative song.

Fair enough. This instance happens to be associated with Everything Dies.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 1:27 PM on April 15, 2010

posted by malocchio at 1:52 PM on April 15, 2010

Peter: You and your crew were a big part of the soundtrack of my misspent youth. Thanks for the music.

posted by ChrisR at 2:13 PM on April 15, 2010

posted by miskatonic at 2:25 PM on April 15, 2010

Some of the best times of my life were had driving around aimlessly in the middle of the night with my friend who had the world's biggest crush on Peter Steele, chain-smoking and listening to Bloody Kisses on repeat.

I wonder what ever happened to Becky. I sort of wish I could call her now.

posted by palomar at 2:49 PM on April 15, 2010

My old roommate was a huge fan of Type O Negative. The couple of years we lived together were a good time, and so I'm bummed on a personal level, I guess, in that whole wow-that-good-stuff-was-a-long-time-ago-and-here's-a-reminder-of-how-over-it-is way. I know that's kind of a lame, self-centered reaction to a real live person's death, but there you have it. My heart goes out to his family and the band -- never really as popular as they probably deserved to get, but definitely loved by some. Which is nice, but damn: 48 is a bitch.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:28 PM on April 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Peter Steele was sui generis, and a difficult person to copy, or even imitate, musically, since he embodied his sound like few other musicians: A nine foot tall figure out of Norse Mythology, and sounding every bit of it.

He had enough personality for 10 people as well, and infused Type O with so many rich contradictions, that it couldn't narrowly be pigeon-holed as The Goth Band (even though it captured all the stereotypical aesthetics of Goth better than any other band ever has): Romantic vampires and Brooklyn yobbos, melodramatic and sincere, morbid and goofy, chiseled sexgods with low self-esteem.

The ironic, and endearing, thing about Steele is that he outwardly represents what every scrawny, outcast metalhead teen feels like on the inside, and at the same time, every scrawny, outcast metalhead teen outwardly represents what Peter Steele felt like on the inside.
posted by dgaicun at 3:37 PM on April 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

How is he dead and Keith Richards still alive?

Dude, people will still be saying this whenever beloved people die in the year 2190, when Keith Richards is chugging along and coking it up in one of those Futurama head vats.
posted by dgaicun at 3:42 PM on April 15, 2010

posted by shmegegge at 5:21 PM on April 15, 2010

I just wanna say, while I'm here, that said roommate engendered a great and enduring love of at least one Type O Negative song in me: this (NSFW) "Bat Out of Hell"-esque epic that cycles through at least fourteen separate emotions and ends up being winningly, self-deprecatingly hilarious, even as it's awesome, which is about all I can ask of anything. For better or worse, I can't think of any song that so embodies the experience of being cheated on -- and, at eleven minutes, I'm not sure it's an embodiment so much as it is a virtual environment in which the listener experiences what it's like to get cheated on. It's pretty astonishing. It's my conviction that Peter Steele was the Earth 2 Nathan Explosion (goth version), which is a compliment indeed.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:37 PM on April 15, 2010

The surviving members of Type O and Peter's family had the following to say at the band's official site this evening:

"It is with great sadness that we inform you that Type O Negative front man, bassist, and our band mate, Peter Steele passed away last night of what appears to be heart failure.

Ironically Peter had been enjoying a long period of sobriety and improved health and was imminently due to begin writing and recording new music for our follow up to "Dead Again" released in 2007.

The official cause of death has yet to be determined pending autopsy results. The funeral services will be private and memorial services will be announced at a future date. We’d like to share our thoughts and those of Peter’s family below.
We are truly saddened to lose our friend and appreciate the tremendous outpouring today from around the world.


Josh, Kenny and Johnny

Josh Silver: “Peter, My endless source of frustration, (as I'm yours) you have really done it this time. You have changed and touched countless lives through music, comedy and often brutal honesty. You've made life both interesting and irritating and I could not imagine not having known you for 37 years. It still isn't true in my mind but in time I will miss you and the creating that we all endured together. We certainly disagreed constantly and I believe (and hope) we all learned from each other. Should I call you my brother, friend or neighbor? I can only call you Peter (and usually after 2 PM). We laughed at ourselves more times then I can count. Knowing humans are preposterous creatures and I know we reveled in that fact. I will miss you in time, but at this moment your premature departure seems surreal and has pissed me off to no end. Though I never told you that I harbor a deep respect for you, I do. Goodbye my friend.”

Kenny Hickey: “Peter Steele was one of the most brilliant and funny personalities in music and it was all for real. Half the time people thought he was joking, but he was actually telling the truth. Part of me died with him.”

Johnny Kelly: “It’s impossible for me to put into a few sentences what I am feeling at the moment Peter. I’m not sure if I should eulogize or roast you. Both good and bad, we went on one hell of a ride together and sadly, the ride has come to an end. You truly were a unique person. Your music touched many people. Myself included. Whether it was talking about The Beatles, power tools, how Pluto was no longer considered a planet or calling me at 3am asking me to drive to your house to have a fistfight with you, you always kept it interesting. It was a privilege to have been your bandmate. It’s something that I will always cherish.”

In a statement issued today by Steele`s family: “Legendary Goth/Heavy Metal musician Peter Steele died suddenly Wednesday, April 14, 2010, after a short illness at the age of 48. He wrote and orchestrated the music for the Brooklyn-based band Type O Negative, a groundbreaking group known for its dramatic lyrical emphasis on the themes of romance, depression, and death. Steele, renowned as much for his striking physical appearance as his musical talent, was the creative force behind the bands 20-year success writing most of the material for the their albums. Type O Negative and Steele have been lauded as a major influence by numerous alternative and metal bands. The band gained a worldwide following through touring and recording seven studio albums, two best-of compilations, concert DVDs and music videos. Their 1993 album “Bloody Kisses” went platinum, and the 1996 follow-up “October Rust” went gold.

The music world has lost a great talent, and music fans worldwide are mourning, but for our family we are mourning a beloved brother, uncle, cousin, friend and funny man. Peter Steele was a complex man, known for his brooding looks, his self-deprecating sense of humor, unique view of the world, and most of all his loyalty to his fans, friends and family. Survived by five sisters, the eldest living sister notes that he was more than our brother, he was our son. His untimely death is tragic – a great loss to us and to music. The official cause of death has yet to be determined pending autopsy results, and funeral plans at present remain unknown. The family thanks fans for their loyalty to Peter and band members, but request that fans and media respect their wishes for privacy.

In addition to his success in music, Peter Steele also tried his hand at acting, appearing in HBO`s Oz and the cult classic film Bad Acid. He also composed music for the film soundtracks “Freddy vs. Jason” and “Mortal Combat”, the television movie “Nosferatu: The First Vampire”, and the soon-to-be released “Living the American Nightmare.”
posted by spirit72 at 6:49 PM on April 15, 2010

posted by FormlessOne at 8:14 PM on April 15, 2010

I was bummed to have this news as the first thing I heard upon waking up. Cheesy as it sounds, the boys in Type O practically made me the woman I am today. I spent many an angst-ridden adolescent hour listening to their music and watching After Dark.

I was able to see them live in 1999 on the World Coming Down tour with my then-boyfriend our here in Hollywood. I don't remember too many particulars of that show, but I do remember after they'd finished their set. I was up in the balcony and screaming along with the other fans for an encore. Pete went up to the mic and said, "You guys want an encore? Okay. What would you like us to play?" Of course, everyone wanted something different. I was shouting for my favourite, which was Black No 1. Right after I'd shouted out the title, he looked up into the balcony (where I happened to be) and said, "Black No 1? My pleasure..." and started the song. I'm under no illusion that he heard me or that I was the reason he chose that song. But sometimes, I'd like to think that was so.

RIP Peter. You will be missed...
posted by arishaun at 8:17 PM on April 15, 2010

I can't believe this! .

How is he dead and Keith Richards still alive?

One day, there will only be three surviving people on earth: Keith Richards, Courtney Love, and Andy Dick. Makes you wonder what the point is.
posted by Mael Oui at 8:33 PM on April 15, 2010

posted by halonine at 11:21 PM on April 15, 2010

posted by spinifex23 at 11:07 PM on April 16, 2010

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