Pure Testosterone #6: Peter Steele
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The remembrances are rolling in slow, deep, and hard for Type O Negative frontman Peter Steele, who died on April 14 of heart failure.
My favorite one is from Destrophy, a band that toured with Type O Negative. Frontman Ari recalls discussing fitness with Steele:
The next show, in Cleveland at the House Of Blues, afforded me my fondest memory: working out with Peter Steele. After soundcheck, Peter popped his head in our dressing room bearing a gift of some red wine. In fact the wine had been given to him, but he was to be completely sober and drug free during this tour and offered it to us. He then offered the use of his free weights if we wanted to use them and motioned to come next door. He had a couple 50 lb dumbbells that they were using to exercise with, and I was overjoyed at the opportunity to talk fitness with one of the people who inspired me to be a frontman with an intimidating physique. We picked up the dumbbell for a bit and spoke about his physical ailments- his knees and back, and how he always wanted to develop his shoulders more. I brought up my infamous kettlebells, which like Pete had a Russian heritage. He was very interested in them and I could tell he had a great respect for traditional strongmen and the proven techniques of old. In the meantime, my guitarist Bruce and Damon had gotten one of the kettlebells from the van, and started shooting some video while I showed Pete how to properly swing and press it. He picked it up and exclaimed just how heavy and "dead" the weight was and lifted it a few times, very reverential toward it as a true strongman's tool. I never had a chance to really train him and he was timid to go all out with any of the weights but afterward we all sat down and he told stories about working out in the back of his bus on the Danzig tour. As he was doing bench presses and the Type O bus was clipped and tipped slightly by the Danzig bus. Mid rep, he watched helplessly as the room tilted, causing the weight to shift to one side and fall off the bar. This caused the heavy side to fall through the floor of his room, nearly destroying the engine.
You can read Ari's full remembrance here.
Steele's physique got much scrutiny back in the day, thanks to a photo shoot he did for Playgirl in 1995. He admitted in this interview that this was probably not the smartest career move. (The interview also answers some, um, technical questions about the shoot.) You can see some photos from the shoot here (NSFW).
Hopefully Steele is enjoying The Great Gym in the Sky.