Yesterday I discovered that Peter Steele, the vocalist and bassist for Type O Negative, had been confirmed as dead from Heart Failure. Normally when famous people die I'm not that affected by the whole thing but this case is an exception. I have linked Type O Negative to so many things in my life...
First getting into them at secondary school. Unable to sleep as per usual so I would be listening to October Rust all the way through to Haunted at night. Each day wandering down to school mumbling along to 'We Hate Everyone' and meaning it most of the time.
'My Girlfriend's Girlfriend' makes me think of my second year of Uni as Secretary of the Rocksoc. I'd got in touch with Corp and managed to book the main room for our own club night on Halloween. We the committee did fucking well that night, bringing in 500 people. I played MGG in the middle of my DJ set and although it was clear a number of people didn't know it, it was completely worth it for each face in the audience which immediately went 'HELL YES!' as soon as the intro drum beat kicked in.
Those little touches about Type O which made them all the more awesome, like releasing a 'least worst of' rather than a 'best of'. Reminding me you can still get far despite disliking yourself.
Twice I saw them play at the London Astoria, one of my favourite venues and a key part of my adolescence which has now been torn down.
The moments they kick into pure heavy metal with a wicked sense of humour, the 'Slow, Deep and Hard' album is worth it just for the song 'Unsuccessfully Coping With the Natural Beauty of Infidelity'. Steve and I heard it for the first time at the first Type O show I went to and for weeks afterwards we were bellowing, "SLUT, WHORE" in Steele's accent.
My excitement about the first new album they released since I got into them, 'Life is Killing Me'. When they released 'The Dream is Dead' as a promo I had that on repeat for hours.
'Die With Me' was mine and Krysia's song and always will be. The number of couples that must have their own Type O song. The number of people who must have used Steele's beautiful voice and at times erotic bass lines to romance their love interest. Seriously we all owe a massive debt.
'Wolf Moon' recently developed a new link in my mind...
Then there is 'Black No.1'. I have yet to meet anyone that did not find this song truly epic and the only song I properly learnt in my brief period trying to be a bassist.
The fact that he's gone doesn't inspire a fear of mortality but feels like some sort of attack on my life. Something that has clearly been a key part of it and helped shaped what I've become, as base and ineffectual as it is, is now gone. 'Attack' is definitely the right word.
So let's return to this blogs normal transmission
Love You to Death and the song if you haven't heard it
Made me laugh that as I found that youtube video the top comment said 'The Ultimate love song', now I'm sure that's a massive argument waiting to happen but this is a definite contender for the title.
The music itself is incredibly seductive, definitely the sort of song you would want to fill the background of a date or other romantic encounter.
The way he sings the lines like Her hips move and I can hear what they're saying, swaying always leaves me thinking of those moments where you are with your lover, so close that you can feel their breath, sense the minute movements of their body, that shiver of anticipation for what is to come running through you both... the beast inside of me is gonna get ya, get ya, yeah...
Then there is the line I am your servant, may I light your cigarette which I find such an incredibly romantic and evocative image. The thought of a gentleman leaning toward the girl, sinking into her personal space and yet the only thing connecting them being the flame from the lighter, a flame that perhaps burns in both of them. Strange that the only person I've been out with who smoked was Anne-Marie and yet this line never came to mind at the time.
The lyrics finish with that trademark Type O self-loathing, am I good enough, for you? A feeling that I have shared with them for a long time. I imagine I'm not as bad these days but that sense of contempt will always be there. I'm often frustrated that there isn't a better word for it, something distinct and ugly.
R.I.P. Peter Steele, hope you really are 'Free at Last'.