Pete Steele RIP: 1962 – 2010
In an email to Blabbermouth, Type O Negative keyboard player Josh Silver has confirmed that Pete Steele has been found dead. No official cause of death has yet been confirmed, but rumours allege that Steele died of heart failure.
Mass internet speculation surfaced overnight, that Type O Negative frontman Pete Steele had died of a heart failure.
The rumours came from American VJ, Mistress Juliya, posting on her Twitter that Type O guitarist, Kenny Hickey, had confirmed the death, just before midnight on Wednesday, April 14th. These rumours have since been confirmed.
Peter Steele was born Petrus T Ratajczyk on January 4, 1962 in Brooklyn, New York, USA.
Of Polish, Icelandic, English, and Russian heritage the 6′ 7″ frontman of Type O Negative has become known as much for his iconic look as his dark, deadpan humour.
Before joining Type O Negative, Peter played for the metal group Fallout and the thrash band Carnivore and has at various times been treated for depression and even been incarcerated for violent behaviour. Rumours of Peter’s death spread after the band’s website posted an image of a tombstone bearing his name and the dates 1962-2005. It was revealed as a joke but Steele has been known to disappear for extended periods with no explanation from the band or management.
Rumors of his death, terminal illness, and other speculations increased until the mystery was dispelled on the 2006 DVD, Symphony for the Devil. Included in this DVD is an interview in which Steele briefly mentions his incarceration in Riker’s Island and “the psych ward at Kings County Hospital”, both stints apparently caused by his heavy substance abuse, for which he also served time on probation.
Metal Hammer’s thoughts are with Peter’s family, band mates and friends at this time. He will be sorely missed.