Peter Thomas Ratajczyk (January 4, 1962 – April 14, 2010) better known by his stage name Peter Steele, was the lead singer, bassist, and composer for the gothic metal band Type O Negative. Before forming Type O Negative, he had created the metal group Fallout and the thrash band Carnivore.
As the frontman for Type O Negative, Steele was known for his vampiric effect,towering stature, rich bass-baritone vocals, and a dark, often self-deprecating sense of humor.”His lyrics were often intensely personal, dealing with subjects including love, loss, and addiction.”Steele credited Black Sabbath and The Beatles as his key musical inspirations.
Steele was born in Red Hook, Brooklyn into a Roman Catholic family. His father was of Russian and Polish descent, and his mother of Irish, Scottish, Norwegian and Icelandic heritage. He was raised in the Bensonhurst and Brighton Beach neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Steele was the youngest of six children, with five older sisters. His father fought in World War II and later worked at a shipyard. Steele started taking guitar lessons at age 12, moving on to bass six months later.
Steele worked for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation up until he began touring with Type O Negative in the summer of 1994. He was based at Brooklyn Heights Promenade,where his job involved park maintenance, driving vehicles including garbage trucks and steamrollers, and eventual promotion to the role of Park Supervisor. Steele considered his days working for the Parks Department to be among his happiest.
REST IN PEACE, PETE. Θ