Friday, April 16, 2010

Type O Negative's Pete Steele Dies

Yes, I know my last post was about Richard Marx and Matt Scannell. But my musical tastes run far and wide. One of the very few things I can thank my ex-husband for is introducing me to the goth metal band Type O Negative.

I first listened to Type O Negative back in 1997/98. Frontman Pete Steele's deep voice and the heavy, rhythmic sound the produced was hypnotic. Standing at 6'7," Steele himself created a vampiric-like image of himself, adding to the mysterious/shocking air that surrounded the band. Of course, his stoic appearance on Jerry Springer and centerfold photo shoot for Playgirl in 1995 helped with that greatly.

You can imagine my (and everyone else's) shock and surprise to hear that Peter Steele, frontman and bassist for  Type O Negative, was found dead of apparent heart failure on April 14. He was 48.

According to the band's website, Steel had been fighting a sudden illness before his passing and had been enjoying much better health as a result of a "long period of sobriety." An autopsy will be erformed to determine the exact cause of death.

Like Steele himself, the band is best known for its heavily gothic music and lyrics that focus on rage, sex, fantasy, romance, death, and self-loathing. They also experimented with the boundaries of what made music music. On their 1998 album, October Rust, one track consisted of the buzzing sound that can be heard through an amplifier when you plug in a guitar. Another was a compilation of guitar, drums, and voice that depicted a war or battle.

“Peter Steele was one of the most brilliant and funny personalities in music and it was all for real," said Kenny Hickey, Type O Negative guitarist and Steele's friend since childhood. "Half the time people thought he was joking, but he was actually telling the truth. Part of me died with him.”

Services for Steele will be private, but memorial services will be announced at the band's website.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Richard Marx and Matt Scannell -- Awesome Show

Sense might not make the man, but a touch of humor is always a good idea when you’re playing an intimate concert with a friend.

The “ancient and formerly mulleted” Richard Marx (his words, not mine) with longtime friend and musical collaborator Matt Scannell (lead signer of Vertical Horizon) took the stage at The Community Theater Mayo Center for the Performing Arts in Morristown, NJ, this past Friday night as part of an ongoing tour featuring the unlikely duo. Not only was the music awesome, but the rapport these guys had with each other and the audience made the night a really great end to the otherwise hectic week.

I’ve been a fan of both artists’ music for many, many years. My older sister, who went to the show with me, loved Richard Marx when his first few albums came out. Through the CD’s I pilfered from her room and a broadcast concert on MTV – yeah, back when they were all about the music – that she taped and we both watched ad-nauseum, Marx’s music became an integral part of the soundtracks of our youth.