I woke up Thursday morning in Tucson, Arizona, to a text message that I hoped I would never read. One of my musical heroes was dead. His name was Peter Steele. His band was Type O Negative.
I remember being 14 years old and my older brother coming home one night and asking me if I'd ever heard of Type O Negative. I told him that I had not, and he proceeded to show me a song titled "Black No. 1." After that I was hooked.
I don't know why I related to the music that Peter Steele was making. It was the slowest, darkest, and strangest music I'd ever heard up to that point in my life. It was also hilarious, heavy, and full of hooks that I couldn't get out of my head for days.
I cut an ad out of "Guitar World Magazine" for the band's 2nd full-length album "Bloody Kisses" and inserted it into the cover of my 8th-grade notebook to show everyone in my small corner of the world that I was into them. Yes, I was going through a phase of listening to goth and metal bands, and, yes, everyone thought I was the weirdest kid in school, but I didn't care one bit. I was in love with this new sound.
I used to blast the album "October Rust" from my bedroom stereo every morning before school. My parents must've thought I was insane for listening to songs like "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" and "Unsuccessfully Coping With The Natural Beauty Of Infidelity," but I couldn't get enough.
I only got to experience the band live one time at Ozzfest '97. It was an amazing experience seeing Type O play outside at 5:00 pm. Pete Steele was taking swigs from a bottle of red wine the entire time even though the temperature was above 100 degrees. What a hoss!
For the past month or so I've been pretty open about my love affair with the music of Type O Negative. I will always love and be inspired by the music that they made over the past 15 years.
Thank you, Peter Steele. Rest In Peace.