Thursday, April 15, 2010

None More Negative.

Because much will be said elsewhere, and by people with more reason to observe the occasion, I won't make this post a particularly deep one. But I have to note this, if nothing further.

Peter Steele of Type O Negative died yesterday, apparently of heart failure. The guy was forty-eight.

I met Peter one time - it was, in fact, my very first experience of the band. I had friends who were enormous fans of this band I had no idea what to make of (few do even to this day - I think "goth metal" is an interesting, but limited label), so I'd agreed to meet them for a show. It was, in fact, right at this time of year, I remember it as having been in April. It would have been twelve years ago.

I was standing in the sunshine waiting for my friends when this gargantuan slab of a man got off the tour bus, and I knew JUST enough about TON to recognize him as Peter Steele, their lead singer. He came right up to me and, seeing me sort of biting my lip on a giggle, said, "Does it bodda you dat I'm talkin' to you?"

Now, an opener like that with a woman on a streetcorner might well have led to tales of groupie grossness, but I never experienced even a whiff of temptation to learn about Peter Steele's widely publicized skills as a womanizer. BUT he is in fact, hilariously funny - and, in his way, a generous host, too. Plus: didn't I have a total blast, when my friends finally arrived, popping my head out of the bus to show them where I was. Excellent. And so: I spent several hours in the context of a typical groupie (*with*, let it be explained, another one of my friends - also not skanking after the rockstar - who arrived not long after I got on the bus), but omitting outright all the usual promiscuous folderol.

To be sure, he'd have happily indulged me and said so. But even when I suggested I was a dead end, and there were plenty of others willing to help him out, he decided to stick with my company. Huh.

I learned that Peter Steele is no moron, and he is, as soon thereafter I realized, an extremely funny guy. Intentionally and otherwise, I can admit.

I enjoyed the devil out of the show. He ranks, as a front man, with that paragon of great performers: my own ex husband. He's a great musician, for those of us who can smile, but not laugh dismissively, at the label "goth metal" (okay - hee; but just a little hee). His own interests, he was often at pains to point out, were much more diverse than perhaps some of his fans' were. And his band does a cover of "Summer Breeze" that is genuinely awesome in both execution AND sense of humor. Good lord. Their covers are legendary (among their fan base, which, admittedly, ain't exactly as big as The Beatles') for excellent reason.

So I am sorry, truly, to realize I will never see them live again.

I'm sorry for Steele's family.

I'm sorry for the guys in the band.

And I'm sorry there won't be any more TON in the future. They make for an entertaining, fun show every time, these guys.

RIP, Peedah. It sure didn't bother me. But you were a relative gent for asking.

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