Pete Steele is Dead Again – but sadly it’s for good, this time

Pete Steele

In 2005 Type O Negative kinda faked Peter Steele’s death – as it turns out, he had been in jail, in rehab and in a psychiatric hospital prior to release of the Dead Again album. So when I started to see rumours on Twitter last week that he had died of heart failure, I refused to believe it was true until solid news came through.

Sadly, a few hours later it was confirmed: Peter Steele, dead at 48, from causes as yet unknown, apparently after a short illness. As outpourings of grief and sympathy swept across Twitter and the online metal networks, I couldn’t help thinking what the frontman would have thought of all the fuss. I’ve read that people who knew him said his famously dark and self-deprecating sense of humour hid a lot of insecurity. It seems sad to me that he would never see the impact he had on so many fans and so many of his fellow musicians. I wonder if he’d ever had any idea how massive his legacy is.

I was late to the Type O Negative party – Dave introduced me to them in about 2001, when we first started going out. He played me Love You To Death and it’s still one of my favourite Type O songs. “Her hips move, and I can hear what they’re saying, swaying… they say the beast inside of me is gonna get ya, get ya, get…”


And then of course there was the infamous Playgirl centrefold, where Pete changed the game by only agreeing to pose if he could do so erect. He talks a bit about it in this Ink interview from 2003:

‘I said to myself, "How come these guys are flaccid? Who wants to look at this?" So I said to them, "I’d like to be hard, do you have any problem with that?"’

Now that’s metal.

Check out this segment on the Ricki Lake show in 1996, where he reveals he did it for $2000:


And then there’s this bit on the Jerry Springer show.

Jerry; Are you happy to be here Peter?
Peter: I’m less miserable.


I never got to see Type O Negative live, and that really sucks.

I love the video for Black No 1 – not only for the delicious pronunciation of words like “trick or treat”, or for Pete’s awesome stand up bass (that he slings over his shoulder like a regular guitar – man that guy was huge), but because it’s a song written about hair dye. Cos that’s serious shit:


After his prison sentence and stint in rehab, Pete found God and got religion. He wasn’t preachy about it though, which makes it ok by me. And of course, I’m sure that Pete’s idea of God was one that was ok with him having two girlfriends:


RIP, Pete. We miss you already.

~ by goat_admin on April 20, 2010.

8 Responses to “Pete Steele is Dead Again – but sadly it’s for good, this time”

  1. I love how he wore the same clothes on ricki and jerry.

    • heh, in one of the interviews I read he said something like “I’ve been wearing black and green for a long time”. I bet he had a lot of those shirts 🙂

  2. sad that he is gone. To many musicians are dying lately. I wish I would have seen this band. 6′ 8″ and still goes to prove we all our insecurities . But again he didn’t deserve to die.

  3. […] has been just awful so far for the metal world, losing so many of its heroes in the past months. Peter Steele, Ronnie James Dio, and now Slipknot bassist Paul Gray, dead of unknown causes at the age of […]

  4. […] far the saddest post I’d written all year was about the death of Type O Negative’s Peter Steele. We still miss you […]

  5. Somehow the loss of Peter Steele never gets any easier. I remember my friend at the time Lena Hackney introduced me to their music in late 1994. Man did I rock that out in my car everywhere I went for years. I still listen to Bloody Kisses, October Rust, and World Coming Down. Peter was such an amazing person, and he didn’t even act like he knew it really. They came to Little Rock, AR with Queensryche during Empire tour I do believe. I still remember somebody pretty much swyping Josh’s Keyboards before they were even done with the song. I didn’t like that at all because I wasn’t there for Queensryche at all, but my husband was lol. I was very clearly a TON fan. Sure wish I could have met those guys just to tell them some of the funny stories that their music provided me and to thank them for being so open to the fans as fans enjoy hearing their funny stories as well. I am forever saddened by Pete’s loss.

  6. Haha! You’re so right. I didn’t pick up on it, but usually Playgirl models ARE flaccid. Making them photo him erect would be a VERY metal thing for Peter to do!

  7. There was noone like Peter Steele and there never will be. His insecurities made him some how like most of us. I will always listen to his music and look at his portrait every night as I go to sleep. In my eyes he was as close to perfect as a human can be. I sometimes think maybe he just wanted out of the biz once he got sober. I hope to he’ll that’s the case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *