Rocks Off remembers a Houston Type O Negative concert from years ago. We were particularly excited because Type O had added a cover of "The Angry Inch" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch
to their set list, and we had a T-shirt form the original off-Broadway run we were hoping to get signed. The notorious Numbers sound system was so bad that fuses kept blowing during the set, and the band didn't finish until 3 a.m.
Peter Steele, the hulking metal god of a lead vocalist, declared that the band would never return to Houston. When we heard about the club finally getting an update
to its live sound system, the first thought through our minds was, "Yes! Now Type O Negative can come back and do this thing good and proper!" Sadly, this is not to be, as Peter Steele has died at age 48 from apparent heart failure.
Steele has been killed lots of times. He was known for disappearing for extended periods of time without explanation, and it was never long before gossip made him a victim of the heavy-metal lifestyle and his well-documented battle with depression. Until now, he has always risen from the rumors to rock again, but his death was confirmed to be real this time by longtime friend and Fuse VJ Mistress Juliya, who posted the following via Twitter.
"Peter Steele passed today. I loved my friend...our idol...my heart is with his band and family..."
Type O Negative was formed in the late '80s from the remains of Steele's former band Fallout. They released seven studio albums, including 1993's Bloody Kisses
, which went platinum. Known as "The Drab Four," they have been one of the most successful and influential Gothic metal acts
in the world, known for both their thrash-metal style and deadpan humor.
The band recently defected form longtime label Roadrunner Records after the label released an unauthorized best of compilation, and signed with SPV, releasing their last album Dead Again
, which reached No. 27 in the U.S., the highest of any of their albums to date.
The band, and Steele in particular, have always been controversial. Steele himself posed nude as a Playgirl
centerfold in 1996. He was somewhat chagrined to find that a mere 23% of the magazine's subscriptions were to females, and released a song called "I Like Goils" just to clear up any doubts to his sexuality. Another stunt involved the band spending their money from Roadrunner to record a live album on cheap vodka and recording a set in keyboard player Josh Sillver's basement with live sounds later added and a fake fight between the band and the audience.
Rest in peace, Mr. Steele.