For a birthday Goat who should have been here, but alas, is not!
It’s always a bit startling when your contemporaries suddenly die. When it happens at a time when you know it’s not the drugs, the booze or whatever else kills them these days and it happens to someone who has loomed so large in your own imagination and in your musical Multiverse, it’s, welll…devastating.
This was my state of mind when my daily fix of snark – also known as Blabbermouth – delivered the news that Peter Steele of Type O Negative had passed away aged 48 on April 14th, 2010. That was also the only day in my entire life where I cried on a bus over the death of a near-stranger…except…he wasn’t.
No band was more important in my world, no voice mattered more (except the usual dead suspects), and no one was more of an inspiration – not so much in his person (I met him twice), but in the music he created with his bands. Without Type O Negative, I would never have begun to write.
And without Peter, I would never have created one character in Quantum Demonology, Saint Peter the former Polish alchemist, whose introduction was this immortal line, said to the Devil at the Chelsea Hotel one early December morning:
“Pay up, asshole. You lost the bet.”
I was in a quandary that day. Because in the chapter I was writing that day, it was April 29th and he was very much alive, and also…immortal.
I decided to plow on regardless. So Saint Peter went on as a friend and a gatekeeper for my female Faust, and lived, so far as I know, happily ever after in Flatbush with a redheaded Norse Goddess…
Long before I ever met/created Saint Peter, who sprang fully fledged off the page and then refused to leave, I wrote about the real deal in several places. Below are the best…
and the one it broke my heart to write:
Today would have been/should have been his fiftieth birthday. Alas, it was not to be. But so long as one person remembers you, you are…immortal.
Today, millions of us will make sure he truly is!
He even had the grace to leave his music behind.
Happy (late) birthday, Peter. I do hope you’re showing all those other long-gone Primeval Forces how it’s done…in whatever Heaven you happen to be in!