When most people think of Peter Steele photos, a specific, well, centerfold photoshoot might come to mind. And while we can’t publish those pictures (well, not exactly but we do have one little taste) here, we did collect a sampling of images of the beloved Type O Negative frontman through the years for your viewing pleasure.
He may no longer be with us — he sadly died April 14, 2010, at the age 48 — but he will always be remembered for his haunting music, his dark and self-deprecating sense of humor and his rock hard…uh, attitude.
Steele — Petrus Thomas Ratajczyk to his parents — was born Jan. 4, 1962, in Brooklyn, Ny., where he was also raised. He grew up with five older sisters and attended Catholic school.
Prior to forming Type O Negative in the late ’80s, the hulking frontman was a part of two musical projects — first, the metal outfit Fallout and then the thrash band Carnivore, which he returned to in later years.
At the start of Type O, he famously was a maintenance worker for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreations. He drove garbage trucks and snow ploughs and eventually became a supervisor before he had to quit his job in 1994 when Motley Crue asked Type O to join them on their summer tour.
He even wrote the Bloody Kisses single “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)” while driving a garbage truck. “I was waiting in line for three hours to dump 40 cubic yards of human waste at the Hamilton Avenue Marine Transfer Station, and I wrote the song in my head,” he told Revolver. “I’m not kidding you.”
After Type O Negative broke out with 1993’s Bloody Kisses, Steele’s personal star also rose and he made notable appearances on some daytime talk shows and in Playgirl magazine that have gone down in metal history. (See more about those below.)
Beyond these moments of mainstream recognition, however, Steele was a respected and beloved member of the metal community who will forever be remembered for his candor about mental health, quick wit (he once said in an interview about Dead Again, “I went from playing in bars to behind bars — now I have gold, platinum and criminal records.”) and providing an essential soundtrack for sarcastic weirdos that has stood the test of time.
Now, enjoy these photos of Type O Negative’s Peter Steele through the years.