RAD BASTARD ALERT: PETER STEELE.
Peter Steele. Lord Petrus Steele. Green Man. Gothic Gaston, Big Pete. The Girthy Godfather. Uncle Pete. The Jolly Green Giant. At least two of these names are correct.
Type O Negative’s towering lead singer and brooding bass player was a musical force that we all miss dearly. His deep baritone was a perfect and unique delivery for the band’s songs about love, death and nature. Dark, heavy music had never been done in a style that combined feelings of power, romance and violence, all the while never losing a sense of humor. The band’s 1996 release ‘October Rust’ is one of my listening rituals during the Halloween season. I can’t go through the month without going on a few “October Rust rides” in the car.
Guys wanted to be him. Ladies him inside of them. Need proof of that? Go jump on social media and start looking at Peter Steele content. 11 years after his passing and they still lust for The Green Man.
Let’s ponder at some of the reasons why we love Pete…
#5 HIS OBSESSION WITH AUTUMN
Begin by watching this video of Pete standing in the woods and opening up about his love for the season of change. Many of us can completely relate to his words. I don’t know what Mr. Steele’s living situation was up until his death at the early age of 49, but I really hope he got to live in the woods with his woman to worship her the rest of his life.
#4 HE USED TO DRIVE A GARBAGE TRUCK
Anyone who knows TNUC knows about my love for garbage trucks and admiration especially for guys who ride on the back of garbage trucks. I’ll never forget being a kid and seeing the guys hanging on the back and thinking it was the coolest thing ever. When I discovered that right up until touring with Type O Negative in 1994, Pete used to drive a trash truck for the New York City Parks and Recreation, this catapulted him to the raddest bastard on the planet.
“Green Man” is what the kids in the park used to call him because he would wear a green uniform. Imagine this 6 ft 8 inch vampire tossing bags in the truck with one arm dangling and winking at your mom as he drives by? Coolest man alive and dead.
#3 HIS ANTI-WEAKLING GOTH PERSONA
When I think of gothy types these days (meaning males), the only thing that comes to mind is Twilight movies, Damien from Bride of Chucky and pasty kids with huge black sweatshirts staring at their shoes. The ladies pull it off with excellence but something about the male goth species just doesn’t click.
Big Pete on the other hand was a different story. Pete got the job done. First of all, he looked like a wrestler or a guy who should be galloping through the mountains on a horse wielding a sword and decapitating people. This is definitely not the guy ANYONE fucked with in high school. He beat up the jocks and could steal their girls if he wanted to.
However at the same time his lyrics were often deeply personal and vulnerable. Pete had a tender side that he balanced exceedingly well.
#2 OFF-STAGE APPEARANCES
For having such a dark and brooding presence, Pete showed his humorous side when making appearances on talk shows including The Jerry Springer Show and Ricky Lake. But the most legendary appearance was when he posed nude for Playgirl in 1995 to show the world his jolly green giant.
Steele later found out from his guitarist Kenny Hickey that only 23% of Playgirl magazine subscribers were female. After being asked by men to sign copies of the magazine, Steele somewhat regretted the decision: “After I did it, I thought, ‘Oh my God, what did I do?’ It was more than upsetting that so many guys had it. Girls, OK, but there just seemed to be at least as many guys. Not that I’m homophobic, but it was certainly irritating.”
#1 THE SONGS
It all comes down to the songs. All these reasons why we love Uncle Pete couldn’t exist without the music he left us with. Whether it’s Type O Negative or his previous band Carnivore, this man was a powerhouse of a vocalist. He brought such a unique style and insane vocal range that is honestly incomparable to any artist.
A dreamy heavy metal masterpiece right here. I can listen to this music any time of year but during the Autumn season it just hits different. Drink some wine and crank these up by a bonfire.
Autumn in her flaming dress
Of orange, brown, gold fallen leaves
My mistress of the frigid night
I worship, pray to on my knees
There will never be another Peter Steele. REST IN POWER.