I am sure I am not the only metal head that swooned with dizziness when the news that Peter Steele of Type O’ Negative had passed away many moons ago.
Type O’ Negative was not a band without Peter Steele. He was the creative catalyst behind all of their music. It is no surprise that out of respect and grief that the band ultimately disbanded after the tragic and unexpected loss.
So, this isn’t a fan girl article to a beloved perhaps real life vampire that appealed to the gothic female demographic, and boy, did Peter Steele appeal.
No, this is about how his music could appeal to everyone, even if they didn’t like the type of music. Even if you were a catholic that was raised to not listen to such vulgar words being sung behind a morbid sounding organ and 70’s themed synthesizer tunes, Pete’s music could be relatable to you.
Everyone has dealt with heartbreak. Everyone has dealt with death or the fear of it. Everyone has been betrayed by people they love.
And this is what makes Type O’ Negative so unique in many aspects of this genre of metal.
The Focal Point of this is…
There is a song called “How could she?” off their Life Is Killing Me album. This album is exceptional, by the way. It is probably one of my personal favorites.
This song features the names of popular female characters seen on television such as Popeye’s Olive Oyl, The Munsters’ Lily Munster, The Addam’s Family’s Morticia Addams, Laverne and Shirley, Jeannie, Wonder Woman and some more you can think of if you decide to listen to the song and read along with the lyrics in front of you.
Pete then questions “How could she?”
How could she what?
Well, how could She leave him? Or betray him? How could she ultimately not love him anymore?
It is a familiar and unfortunate place we have all been before: questioning “How could they do this to me?” Whether you were a victim of infedility, abuse, fraudulent love scams, or what have you.
He asks “Why don’t you love me anymore?” Again, a question we have all wondered before but probably never asked due to pride and the fear of more rejection. The fear of hearing the truth that you already know to be the truth but are not ready to accept yet.
So, you’re probably wondering why he names all of these characters. All of these female characters have traits that are amiable to their viewers. If you listen to more of Peter Steele’s music, there is the theme that perhaps Lily Munster is the ideal woman (and, well, she kind of is in my opinion, that hair though.).
And then the connection is made
Sometimes we have to live in a fantasy land of fictional characters that make us happy to escape the reality of human nature and how badly we really tend to treat each other. I know when things don’t work out between a significant other and myself, I often day dream of someone that I wished was real, but ultimately will never be real. So, I turn to movies, books, music, and television to find characters I can at least admire and relate to.
This is exactly why Pete lists these women. They are a source of hope for him.
But it is disconcerting that we have to resort to these fairy tales and imaginative characters, is it not?
Of course real life is not like television life. Real life doesn’t feature Wonder Woman, or an undead hottie like Lily Munster. Lily Munster is devoted to Herman Munster and Wonder Woman probably wouldn’t put her guy through some class A BS. ( Well, disregarding the comics.)
But Peter Steele’s silly connection might unveil a really insightful and realistic point.
We can learn a lot from these characters. After all, why do we create characters? Why do some writers give certain characters specific attributes? It is probably because we cannot come across characters like these in real life.
Are you behaving and living life the way you’d want your character to be molded? If you were a character in your favorite story, would you even like your character?
So with that, Peter teaches us something about building our character. We are our own song writers, authors, and screen writes. We have control over our behavior and how we treat the people we come across and love.
I highly recommend giving Type O’ Negative a listen. Maybe you will learn as much as I have.