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Noted metal journalist Jeff Wagner to author biography of the late leader of Type O Negative, Peter Steele. Jeff Wagner is currently assembling his next book, „Soul On Fire – The Life and Music of Peter Steele“. The book will be, in Wagner’s words, “a thorough telling of Peter’s life, from his ‘diaper days’ to his death. It will not only include analysis of the music he cr Noted metal journalist Jeff Wagner to author biography of the late leader of Type O Negative, Peter Steele. Jeff Wagner is currently assembling his next book, „Soul On Fire – The Life and Music of Peter Steele“. The book will be, in Wagner’s words, “a thorough telling of Peter’s life, from his ‘diaper days’ to his death. It will not only include analysis of the music he created in Type O Negative and Carnivore - and the many triumphs and personal tribulations that came along with it - but also let fans in on the details of his early days. The book will also feature numerous images from throughout his life, on stage and off. Peter’s fans miss him, and as a follower of his music since 1986, I’m proud to put together this tribute for them. While warring factions within the story have already been heard, my mission is simple: cut through the crap and tell one of the most extraordinary stories in modern music, withgreat respect to the subject himself.” Culled from a variety of sources, including recollections from band mates, family, close friends and record label reps, „Soul On Fire“ is an accurate account of Steele’s creative genius and incredibly complex personality. Steele was a visionary and a provocateur; a generous friend and a self-deprecating hedonist; a band mate and a brother. His struggles with addiction and his acceptance of the Catholic faith he grew up with and then grew out of…all of this is surveyed and detailed within „Soul On Fire“.


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Noted metal journalist Jeff Wagner to author biography of the late leader of Type O Negative, Peter Steele. Jeff Wagner is currently assembling his next book, „Soul On Fire – The Life and Music of Peter Steele“. The book will be, in Wagner’s words, “a thorough telling of Peter’s life, from his ‘diaper days’ to his death. It will not only include analysis of the music he cr Noted metal journalist Jeff Wagner to author biography of the late leader of Type O Negative, Peter Steele. Jeff Wagner is currently assembling his next book, „Soul On Fire – The Life and Music of Peter Steele“. The book will be, in Wagner’s words, “a thorough telling of Peter’s life, from his ‘diaper days’ to his death. It will not only include analysis of the music he created in Type O Negative and Carnivore - and the many triumphs and personal tribulations that came along with it - but also let fans in on the details of his early days. The book will also feature numerous images from throughout his life, on stage and off. Peter’s fans miss him, and as a follower of his music since 1986, I’m proud to put together this tribute for them. While warring factions within the story have already been heard, my mission is simple: cut through the crap and tell one of the most extraordinary stories in modern music, withgreat respect to the subject himself.” Culled from a variety of sources, including recollections from band mates, family, close friends and record label reps, „Soul On Fire“ is an accurate account of Steele’s creative genius and incredibly complex personality. Steele was a visionary and a provocateur; a generous friend and a self-deprecating hedonist; a band mate and a brother. His struggles with addiction and his acceptance of the Catholic faith he grew up with and then grew out of…all of this is surveyed and detailed within „Soul On Fire“.

30 review for Soul On Fire - The Life And Music Of Peter Steele

  1. 5 out of 5

    Arya

    Hoping this book will be amazing! Okay guys. Let's finally talk about this book as everyone has something to say about it. First, there was the little “controversy” over whether or not fans should support the book. The Type O Negative members weren’t involved in the process from the beginning, and though Peter’s family worked with the author for the majority of the book, they withdrew their support about two months before the release of the book. The author explained in the prologue that the Typ Hoping this book will be amazing! Okay guys. Let's finally talk about this book as everyone has something to say about it. First, there was the little “controversy” over whether or not fans should support the book. The Type O Negative members weren’t involved in the process from the beginning, and though Peter’s family worked with the author for the majority of the book, they withdrew their support about two months before the release of the book. The author explained in the prologue that the Type O members didn’t have anything personal against the author or the project, but they had their reasons for not getting involved. The prologue is available for free on the facebook page. Now can people please un-bunch their panties about the book. Read it or don’t read it. No one gives a fuck. Calm titties. On to the review: The book is actually pretty much exactly what the author said it was going to be. Pleasantly surprised by that. It was a thorough (well, as thorough as possible under the circumstances) telling of Peter Steele’s life and music. It gives background info about Peter’s childhood, family, and his musical career. If you are expecting something to be in the book it’s probably there. BUT: you have to critically think about everything written and said in the book. Don’t expect any of it to be the absolute truth because who knows why anyone said what they did? Seriously. Question all motives. The author said something like: people, usually female fans, were possessive of Peter and everyone felt like they understood Peter uniquely. I personally felt like pretty much everyone in the book including the author acted the same way. It’s like a let’s-psychoanalyze-Peter party. Annoying and completely unnecessary. The disappointing part for me: the photos. Honestly, I bought the book mainly for the pictures. The pictures were in black and white. No joke. Some of those pictures had to be in black and white because of when they were taken, but there were many others that should have been colored. And they weren’t the best size or quality either. I’ve seen several of those pictures in better quality elsewhere. I got the ebook which had bonus pictures and they were great but I wanted about a hundred pictures. Realistically, the pictures were the same quality as those found in most other biography book. Example: (I don't own the picture.) There were a few writing flaws that were irksome such as repeated information and in one part, weirdly presented order of events. There’s a lot more that can be said about the book, but who the hell is going to actually read it? No one. So, I’m going to move on, saying that there are many things in the book that can piss people off. Josh is quoted in the prologue to have said that the only way this book could be done right is if it pissed everyone off. It seems to have really done its job. So that’s great. This book isn’t your perfect factual book, but you shouldn’t have been expecting one anyways. Don’t take it seriously. Read it with one eyebrow raised. Stay skeptic and it’ll be a great read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chrissy

    Fact or fiction I believe it captures the personality of Peter. I wish someone would say why the band and family have issues. Everything aside this is what I thought: An amazing testament to the gentle giant, Peter Steele...well mainly Peter Thomas Ratajczyk! Jeff Wagner vividly describes the world Peter would enter and captures the personality of the musical genius right at the prologue. Immediately the reader is possessed feeling the presence of a truly amazing guy. You won't be able to sleep Fact or fiction I believe it captures the personality of Peter. I wish someone would say why the band and family have issues. Everything aside this is what I thought: An amazing testament to the gentle giant, Peter Steele...well mainly Peter Thomas Ratajczyk! Jeff Wagner vividly describes the world Peter would enter and captures the personality of the musical genius right at the prologue. Immediately the reader is possessed feeling the presence of a truly amazing guy. You won't be able to sleep until the book is finished. The next page to read will beacon you to continue. Like the author, it only took me meeting Peter on three random occasions to see the sweet soul that he was despite the vampire image he admitted was only five percent of Peter's character. My second and third brush with the rock god started with Peter acknowledging who I was. He never forgot people and that is why people will never forget him. I loved reading about how Peter exposed himself to the world in so many ways. Yet my heart would ache knowing how fragile he was. I was wrapped into the emotion of the book. The pages were just a passionate as the prophet of doom was. One line sums up the character of Peter depicted in this novel; "With all the pitfalls and unappealing aspects of his profession, variables amplified by his own personal challenges, Peter forged ahead. And in his precarious world, where low self-esteem and depression reigned, this was truly courageous." (Page 203). My second run in with the green man was a wonderful night of Type O accepting me as a special guest and it such a dream to dance on stage. But now I have a refined appreciation outside myself for the beautiful soul that left his comfort zone of a Brooklyn basement and gave me and every other fan that opportunity. I was just young and stationed away from my Brooklyn home at the time but I knew something was special about this memory. This book confirmed what I only processed in my mind had to be the character of Peter. Now I don't need that straight jacket for thinking I knew someone I only ran into three times. Peter was just that genuine and so is this book. It goes to show we really don't see it all except in hindsight, maybe that's what makes death so haunting. Rest in Peace Peter! I know there's good music in Heaven now. Can't wait to see how he re-mastered gospel hymns. Thankful the book also includes the testimony of Peter's faith too, its ups and downs, doubts and fears-that's how it is until you are sold out. Thank you family and close friends of Peter for trusting your memoirs with the author and thank you Mr. Wagner for treating them with the most respect.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katrin

    i finished this book on the trip to patra. fittingly, it was raining almost all the day. i was so fortunate to see type o negative live once, in finland at tuska festival 2003. i remember that peter was very approachable, he was joking with the crowd, i believe the band asked the fans with the flag of vinnland to come on stage and i remember the show as one of the most memorable and enjoyable shows ever. i did not know much about peter, this is what i realised with reading the book. it left me f i finished this book on the trip to patra. fittingly, it was raining almost all the day. i was so fortunate to see type o negative live once, in finland at tuska festival 2003. i remember that peter was very approachable, he was joking with the crowd, i believe the band asked the fans with the flag of vinnland to come on stage and i remember the show as one of the most memorable and enjoyable shows ever. i did not know much about peter, this is what i realised with reading the book. it left me feeling very very gloomy. he was a genius, he was this seductive man, this huge frost giant who was so much more than everyone saw from the outside. i cannot judge how much of the book is the truth, since people afterwards want to show a different side and maybe edit information on their own. but many things seem to totally fit with what i saw in peter. i loved the book and it left me feeling hollow and empty, for all the great moments we still could have had with peter, and which were taken from us. i don´t care if some people are not happy with this book. i loved it from start to finish, i did not mind the repeated information that sometimes came up. i just plunged into this book and did not know how to get out of it. once it was finished, it left me with a stale feeling. rest in peace peter and thank you for the music and art you left us with.

  4. 4 out of 5

    William O'neill

    This book is a poorly written compilation of articles and interviews previously published. The hack who wrote this seems to have little grasp of consistency and sequencing of events as the book skips ahead years, reverts to previously mentioned times,and repeats itself again and again. Example s of this hack's laziness in his writing and research are too numerous to list. If you are a Type O fan, or an admirer of Steele, do yourself a favor and stay away from this one. This is a steaming pile of d This book is a poorly written compilation of articles and interviews previously published. The hack who wrote this seems to have little grasp of consistency and sequencing of events as the book skips ahead years, reverts to previously mentioned times,and repeats itself again and again. Example s of this hack's laziness in his writing and research are too numerous to list. If you are a Type O fan, or an admirer of Steele, do yourself a favor and stay away from this one. This is a steaming pile of dogshit that will only disappoint the literate fans of the band who paid attention and don't have short memories. No wonder why the estate and the band members didn't support this piece of literary garbage.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hypia Sanches

    Before commenting about this book, I'd like to say a huge thank you to my friend Erleen for recommending me to hear Mr. Peter Ratajczyk's band (last name copied and pasted from elsewhere, because writing this string of consonants is asking me to misplace the letters), a.k.a. Peter Steele. When I read the announcement about a book on this artist, I immediately began to imagine a trillion things that could be told in these pages, and... reading it was a great surprise. For starters, according to th Before commenting about this book, I'd like to say a huge thank you to my friend Erleen for recommending me to hear Mr. Peter Ratajczyk's band (last name copied and pasted from elsewhere, because writing this string of consonants is asking me to misplace the letters), a.k.a. Peter Steele. When I read the announcement about a book on this artist, I immediately began to imagine a trillion things that could be told in these pages, and... reading it was a great surprise. For starters, according to this biography he was insanely introverted - because of a lot of things he said/wrote/sang/did, I wouldn't have believed it if anyone had told me without mentioning many situations the book describes. It's amazing how a ultra awkward boy became a songwriter with many lyrics more than controversial, and other things. Descriptions of the production process for songs, creation and development of Peter's projects, just like everything related to his work, shows a giant inventiveness and creativity to run a band with completely different recordings from every other rock/heavy metal work so far. According to the testimonies, Pete had incredibly sharp reasoning, was madly quick-witted and Always had loved to make jokes and puns - we can also observe that interviews and songs, despite the unbelievable shyness. The impression is that he carried that side of his personality to the way he behaved before the public since the beginning of his career, and his mechanisms to deal with the conflicts that he was experiencing included to take advantage of this ability to make self-deprecating humor about himself. Since nobody is perfect, according to this biography, he had a side that was... too politically conservative for my taste - that "start working instead of asking for social programs" thought (see the lyrics he wrote to a song called Public Assistance for a band called Agnostic Front), but discussing it is not the focus here. And then we remember the "We hate everyone" song - which has lyrics that unfortunately seems difficult to disagree with, and still seems to represent current political reality, and that he loved to help other people without expecting anything in return, and everything is fine again (kind of). Another thing about Peter that, at least for me, stands out is that he Always enjoyed reading and studying - not only to learn about music, but about chemistry and physics, among other subjects, were also of his interest according to this biography. And I swear that as I read these excerpts I tried not to think of a friend of mine who also enjoys studying these fields. Him being interested enough in vampires to modify the shape of his teeth to fangs (I could swear that all the photos of him with the famous pointy canines were altered) was something that I found quite curious, because I've heard about the band from fans of a series of books with vampires in it (Black Dagger Brotherhood, if anyone is interested. And, the fact he looked like the description of the vampire king of that books and dated someone of the same name as the vampire queen is also a fun coincidence). The parts about religion and other controversies because of things he said or music themes were some of my favorites, because, one, I love me some controversy, and despite having returned to Catholicism in the last few years of his life, I think the way he treated religion, politics and relationships in music is phenomenal. "Christian Woman" is one of the songs that sparked my interest to the rest of the material of band/his (ok, it's more like a compulsion), and not just because of that wonderful baritone voice that man had. 4.815.162.342 things I bet I'd read about from the beginning are actually there, but mostly at the few last chapters of the book. Not that he was a saint, but as I finished the book I could think he's more likely go to some sort of heaven or paradise that exists than some religious leaders out there, despite a plethora of questionable things he did - for example, some stuff that are not exactly advisable on a few tours. Although I'm a fan of Pete's work, kudos to a girlfriend of his that simply didn't forgive some of his attitudes and married another man without even telling him first. Telling about this episode and a few pages later about the death of his mother was cruel. I thought the end of the book would be a little bit different. The way he died was not how I imagined it had happened. According to the biography, was a health condition that could have been corrected, but unfortunately wasn't. I had posted a version of this comment to my facebook profile - in Portuguese - and there is something I didn't comment there and I want to write about here: his Playgirl photoshoot. As usual, almost everything about the pictures were his idea, and I couldn't help but laugh about it when the book told he didn't know that many people who bought the magazine were actually men. The book says a few words about some of the reasons why he agreed to make those pictures. And it's a little bit different than I expected too.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Teri Drake-Floyd

    I thought this book was well-written, fascinating and introspective for a biography. It's a shame that it's such a limited printing (I'm pretty sure they had to order it from the author's website after I placed it on hold at the library) and so expensive because I feel like Peter Steele fans would really benefit from reading this. It provides great insight into who this enigmatic yet ultra-mysterious man really was at his heart. The author's deep appreciation and love for Peter's work really shon I thought this book was well-written, fascinating and introspective for a biography. It's a shame that it's such a limited printing (I'm pretty sure they had to order it from the author's website after I placed it on hold at the library) and so expensive because I feel like Peter Steele fans would really benefit from reading this. It provides great insight into who this enigmatic yet ultra-mysterious man really was at his heart. The author's deep appreciation and love for Peter's work really shone through in the way he lovingly described every song on every album (and sent me off to listen to Carnivore which I probably never would have done otherwise). Type O kind of gets written off by folks of my generation who thought they were "campy" and "alt-goth" and riding on the coattails of artists like Nine inch Nails. I did the same when I was a dumb teenager, though I always had an affinity for Peter's "Am I Good Enough?" wail in "Love you to Death" - it sounded like he meant it. Like he was really asking. It was nice to read a biography written by someone who really loved the guy. It showed through. And it gave the music the respect it deserved. My one gripe with the book was the glossing over of Peter's various, shall we say, prejudices. Not gonna lie, it's an interesting line to stand on, being a huge Peter Steele fan and also a leftist feminist. Peter Steele, in his early 20s, probably would have hated the sight of me. I think it's easy enough to realize that Peter was a product of his time - a young white man raised in NYC during a time when attitudes about various things - race relations, LGBT issues and second-wave feminism - were all starting to turn. So many people are quoted in the book adamantly insisting that Peter wasn't this or that - wasn't racist, wasn't sexist, didn't have a judgmental bone in his body - and I think it does Peter a disservice to gloss over these issues in such a way. The man himself is on record as having changed his mind about a lot of subjects - he admitted that he'd been "ignorant". He was a young, dumb kid writing lyrics that were meant to poke the bear. Many of his lyrics were tongue in cheek; not all were. I think it's okay to say it. He was a bit of an asshole. He held some beliefs that were decidedly shitty and bigoted. He changed a lot. Life changed him. Life forced him to confront his own prejudices. I would have loved the book even more had the author just said, simply: "Peter had some prejudices." As your basic liberal nightmare, I still love the guy and his work. He was a deeply flawed individual who hated himself more than any one group. Therein lies his humanity. And who among us doesn't have a problematic fave? Whitewashing of his attitudes aside, I really loved this book. I loved the tiny little details of things he loved, like renovation, cycling, nature, his cats. While the latter half of the book is unbearably sad, you really emerge from reading it with a clear picture of what kind of man he was, and a vision of the life he might've led had depression and a reckless view of his own wellbeing not taken over. If you're into biographies of musicians, especially enigmatic dead rock stars, give this one a read for sure. -- I understand that the Peter Steele estate did not sign off on this work, so it's up to the individual person as to whether or not they choose to read. I enjoyed it, but took everything within the book with a boulder of salt. Maybe one day one of his bandmates or sisters will write a memoir.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Renk

    I purchased this book because, to my knowledge, it is the only existing Peter Steele biography or non-fiction piece relating to Type O Negative. I really enjoy reading non-fiction and biographical books about some of my favorite musicians and artists, and this is not the first time I have sought out such a book. I enjoyed this book from a fan girl perspective. From a critical reader perspective, the writing could have been better...it wasn't -bad-, but it was perhaps a bit cliche and repetitive. I purchased this book because, to my knowledge, it is the only existing Peter Steele biography or non-fiction piece relating to Type O Negative. I really enjoy reading non-fiction and biographical books about some of my favorite musicians and artists, and this is not the first time I have sought out such a book. I enjoyed this book from a fan girl perspective. From a critical reader perspective, the writing could have been better...it wasn't -bad-, but it was perhaps a bit cliche and repetitive. Additionally, the author seemed very biased about Peter Steele, constantly showering the man with compliments. While I will certainly be the first person to admit that I love the idea of Peter Steele (indeed, I just called myself a fan girl), I would have appreciated a more real, human narrative that came from a less objective place. Overall, not a bad read, but there is certainly room for more biographical books about Peter Steele and Type O Negative.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia

    Though it is a controversial book written by not the most appropriate person and hence it has its flaws, the book is informative and entertaining if you can think critically and question the statements made by Peter’s acquaintances and the author. On September 8, 2014, Peter's family withdrew their support for Wagner’s project. Having read the book, I totally get their backing off. The “biography” is, indeed, sensationalist and biased, drawing conclusions from random people’s subjective opinions Though it is a controversial book written by not the most appropriate person and hence it has its flaws, the book is informative and entertaining if you can think critically and question the statements made by Peter’s acquaintances and the author. On September 8, 2014, Peter's family withdrew their support for Wagner’s project. Having read the book, I totally get their backing off. The “biography” is, indeed, sensationalist and biased, drawing conclusions from random people’s subjective opinions and questionable memories. This book is obviously NOT endorsed either by the Ratajczyk family or by Peter’s best friends, the members of TYPE O NEGATIVE. That means that Peter Steele wouldn't have approved of this biography, either. For a detailed book review, go to my website, http://www.hypertextuality.net/peter-...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Janne Paananen

    "En tee juhlista hauskoja. Minä lopetan ne." Peter Steele on pirullisen mielenkiintoinen muusikko. Paino sanalla "pirullisen". Uran alkuvaiheessa mikään ei ollut hänelle pyhää ja sanoitusten pääasiallinen funktio tuntui olevan pahennuksen herättäminen. Steelen ensimmäisen tunnetumman yhtyeen, Carnivoren, oli vaikea saada Euroopassa jalansijaa biiseillä Jesus Hitler tai Race War. Ensimmäisellä Euroopanturneella suurin osa keikoista peruttiinkin. Yhtyeen ei yksinkertaisesti annettu soittaa. Steele t "En tee juhlista hauskoja. Minä lopetan ne." Peter Steele on pirullisen mielenkiintoinen muusikko. Paino sanalla "pirullisen". Uran alkuvaiheessa mikään ei ollut hänelle pyhää ja sanoitusten pääasiallinen funktio tuntui olevan pahennuksen herättäminen. Steelen ensimmäisen tunnetumman yhtyeen, Carnivoren, oli vaikea saada Euroopassa jalansijaa biiseillä Jesus Hitler tai Race War. Ensimmäisellä Euroopanturneella suurin osa keikoista peruttiinkin. Yhtyeen ei yksinkertaisesti annettu soittaa. Steele tunnetaan kuitenkin ennen kaikkea Type O Negativen järkälemäisenä ja matalaäänisenä basisti-laulajana. Sanoitusten sävy muuttui pikku hiljaa shokeeraavista synkkiin ja sitten vielä synkempiin. Steelen mielenterveys- ja päihdeongelmat näkyivät ja kuuluivat kaikessa mitä hän teki. Steele oli monin tavoin hyvin ristiriitainen rocktähti. Hän rakasti luontoa ja toivoi musiikkiuran jälkeen palaavansa vielä takaisin töihin puistoon. Hän ei ollut järin sosiaalinen ja vihoviimeinen asia mitä hän halusi, oli soittaa musiikkia yleisön edessä. Mutta hänellä oli hyvin vahva luomisen tarve ja taiteensa suhteen hän oli äärimmäisen kontrolloiva cd-levyjen kansitaiteita ja tekstejä myöten. Lopulta Steele teki täyskäännöksen. Hän ryhtyi katolilaiseksi ja kamppaili viimeisinä vuosinaan vahvasti sisäisiä demonejaan vastaan pyrkien lopettamaan huumeiden käytön. Ja juuri kun kaikki näytti valoisammalta hänen terveytensä petti lopullisesti. Steelen tarina on vähintäänkin mielenkiintoinen ja sisältää kaikki vaadittavat draaman elementit. Jeff Wagnerilla ei siis ole ollut vaikea työ kirjoittaa hyvää elämäkertaa. Teksti etenee kronologisesti, kirja on pikkutarkasti taitettu ja värikuvaliite on toimiva. Myös sinne tänne ripotellut yksittäiset sivun-parin pituiset anekdootit sopivat hyvin kokonaisuuteen. Eipä tästä paljon musiikkielämäkerta parane. Ei rakenteellisesti mitään poikkeavaa tai uutta, mutta miksipä kikkailla kikkailun vuoksi.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica King

    A couple of things really bothered me about this book. Wagner writes like I do - he gets an idea he wants to portray and then repeats it over and over. The repetition makes it feel like it was written to be a series rather than a book. The word "insecure" in it's many forms is very likely on every other page. It really could use a good edit from someone removed from the subject matter. Honestly, I believe it should be picked up by a big publisher because it's subject matter affects anyone who is A couple of things really bothered me about this book. Wagner writes like I do - he gets an idea he wants to portray and then repeats it over and over. The repetition makes it feel like it was written to be a series rather than a book. The word "insecure" in it's many forms is very likely on every other page. It really could use a good edit from someone removed from the subject matter. Honestly, I believe it should be picked up by a big publisher because it's subject matter affects anyone who is creative - not just we die-hard fans. The other thing that bothered me was the "poor Peter" spiel. From our 20s on, we start losing people. Personally, I didn't get to celebrate my 40th birthday because I was at 2 funerals in that one week. It happens to everyone. So do breakups. Wagner does make a fine point that Peter had to live inside those losses for the music. I wish this had been stressed more than the pity. I think it's a better idea to NOT pity Steele, but to admire the sheer bravery it took to give us what he did. He was very likely far more sensitive than most people, so those losses hit him harder, but he was brave enough to share them - EVERY stage of them - and that is so hard, so brave - and I'm eternally grateful. He (and the band) helped me through what felt like the darkest time in my life. It took me 38 years to realize that that's what we do for our friends - we open up in that same honest way and share and correct when necessary for each other. We help to balance each other. I have slimmed down my friends to those too-few true ones - it's too bad Peter didn't get that chance until it was too late. That entire band did that for each other and I admire that - especially Josh. Doing in front of millions of people - just WOW! And that is a very scary reality for any creatively famous person - this is why so many fall, like Peter did, for a while or forever. It's the kindest gift but the hardest to give. But fuck pity, we should remember him in awe. Also, the author describes several "locked eye" moments with several of Peter's x's. I know EXACTLY what that meant and was amazed to find it in the book. I saw Type O in 2009. When they started to play, I couldn't make it out. It was hazy and I was left thinking "What the heck? Oh no, Peter's not well." And at that very moment we locked eyes. In all honestly, he very likely didn't see me at all. But the world was suspended in that moment (probably 3 seconds). Then it was over and I was back into the music - my heart actually beating along with the music. This wasn't a love thing like with the x's, and it may not have happened at all though I believe it did - but I can attest to the power behind those big broken eyes. It felt like he heard me and pulled me back in. In 2010 I wrote my last paper in college trying to prove that what Peter and the band were writing were actually classical compositions. It was 10 pages of garbage - not having a musical background and the fact that I had SOOOOO much material to go through left me short. 10 pages of text, 30 in reference. But I threw myself into it and did the best I could. It was an impossible paper. When Wagner makes the same point in the middle of the book, simply, I about died. I should send a copy to my old professor. But I knew then how incredibly complex writing anything on this man or his bands would be and I'd personally like to thank Jeff Wagner for doing it - especially being steadfast towards the end when his support was pulled. He goes into each album, each song wonderfully. It's an amazing story, incredibly hard to put to words, and yet the dedication of the author shines through and gives us a fine view of a tough subject, and an awe inspiringly strong but soft man. Thanks, Jeff Wagner and long live the memory of Peter Steele.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    I have to admit that I wasn’t a Type O Negative fan when I bought the book, although I did like Carnivore. I bought it because I am a fan of Mr Wagner’s writing, plus I was curious to find out why Peter Steele was always considered such a controversial figure. The book takes you on a very emotional ride through Peter’s life including happiness and sadness, humor and depression. By the end, I felt like Peter was one of the only legends in the hard rock world I would like to have met. I have starte I have to admit that I wasn’t a Type O Negative fan when I bought the book, although I did like Carnivore. I bought it because I am a fan of Mr Wagner’s writing, plus I was curious to find out why Peter Steele was always considered such a controversial figure. The book takes you on a very emotional ride through Peter’s life including happiness and sadness, humor and depression. By the end, I felt like Peter was one of the only legends in the hard rock world I would like to have met. I have started listening to Type O’s music with different ears. I have a new appreciation for the heart and soul behind the music and even started buying their catalog on CD. (Maybe Roadrunner and Amazon should be paying royalties to Mr Wagner?) This is one of the most well written books that I have read in the rock / hard rock / metal genre (I went to the Merriam Webster more times than I care to admit). I strongly suggest reading this a) if you are fan of Carnivore and / or Type O Negative or b) if you enjoy reading musical themed books, particularly on one of the more unique characters in the rock world.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I had a mix of feelings while reading this book. It is a compilation of interviews and reviews of all TON albums with tons of useless sentimental aided comments. The coolest were the pictures albeit not spectacular. Despite the fact none of the band mates and family contributed to this book it was a good read. I'm a die hard fan of Type O Negative and it was an interesting experience to dig into some details of Pete's career and life. The question is: is it true? Yeah, guess I'll figure that out I had a mix of feelings while reading this book. It is a compilation of interviews and reviews of all TON albums with tons of useless sentimental aided comments. The coolest were the pictures albeit not spectacular. Despite the fact none of the band mates and family contributed to this book it was a good read. I'm a die hard fan of Type O Negative and it was an interesting experience to dig into some details of Pete's career and life. The question is: is it true? Yeah, guess I'll figure that out in the afterlife.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pauline von Dahl

    I must admit, I was a little bit disappointed. Of course, the theme of the book was interesting, but I didn't like the way it was written. It repeated things, explained and the author made too many own interpretations. However, I'm happy that I read this book and that it exists. Peter, we still miss you.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Casey Kiser

    I was lucky enough to find a print copy of this. An absolute gem.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emily Newton

    It may be necessary to give some personal context to why I gave this book 4 stars, and perhaps if you believe yourself to be in a similar situation it will make you want to read this book too. I'm 30 years younger than Peter Steele, and from regional Australia so by the time I finally discovered Type O Negative my opportunities to see them live was basically zero. I am a huge fan of Type O Negative but for whatever reason I don't meet people who know about them. I found the book incredibly helpful It may be necessary to give some personal context to why I gave this book 4 stars, and perhaps if you believe yourself to be in a similar situation it will make you want to read this book too. I'm 30 years younger than Peter Steele, and from regional Australia so by the time I finally discovered Type O Negative my opportunities to see them live was basically zero. I am a huge fan of Type O Negative but for whatever reason I don't meet people who know about them. I found the book incredibly helpful to piece together Peter's story as someone who didn't know where to begin. I would read ad hoc interviews, Wikipedia, and their Facebook page as my sources of info. I'm immensely appreciative to Jeff Wagner for curating a story out of all the interviews because for whatever reason I never seemed to be able to get the full picture. Yes, there are parts where Jeff is a little too praising. Yes, there are parts that need to be edited for being too long with too many quotes saying much the same thing. And yes, you do need to read critically (as you do with any non fiction book!). But all the same, if you're a huge fan you would enjoy reading about Peter's life and perhaps like me, not too eager for it to end. I fall hard into the demographic that can see Peter as a god-like figure and it was great to get a holistic picture of the man. Despite learning about some of the bad stuff he's done, I still remain a huge fan after finishing Soul and Fire. Anyways, if you are a fan but for whatever reason feel like you don't know as much about the band and Peter as you want to, give this book a go. I recommend ignoring the contraversy around it (which is addressed in the very first chapter) because you can understand for a multitude of reasons as you read in why his loved ones wouldn't want the biography published. But not every biography is endorsed by the person it's about, or their loved ones, and this can give a different perspective otherwise unavailable. With this being the only Peter Steele biography available, what is there to lose?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sempra

    I bought this book fully knowing about the controversy surrounding it, but I wanted to form my own idea. First the writing is really not that great, I think there's words missing in some parts because some sentences do not make sense. The pictures are crap, it's only available on ebook now so idk about the printed version, but don't expect to be blown away by never-seen-before photos. I didn't have tremendous expectations but I was still disappointed. The beginning was really interesting and the p I bought this book fully knowing about the controversy surrounding it, but I wanted to form my own idea. First the writing is really not that great, I think there's words missing in some parts because some sentences do not make sense. The pictures are crap, it's only available on ebook now so idk about the printed version, but don't expect to be blown away by never-seen-before photos. I didn't have tremendous expectations but I was still disappointed. The beginning was really interesting and the part I had less trouble believing without question. I had no idea about what came before Type O and learned many things. (And Fallout's Rock Hard in now on my list of favourite songs) I was really annoyed by the not at all factual tone of the rest though. There was too much input from the author, he over analyzed everything (and had no legitimity to do so) and it made me question the truthfulness of the whole thing. The last third was especially iffy. I'm still glad I read it, but I wish someone compiled a biography with actual input from the band members and his family, and not transcripts from interviews I had already seen on YouTube...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I became a fan of Type O Negative after Peter’s passing. I immediately fell in love with his gorgeous baritone/bass voice and his larger than life persona that I witnessed while watching concert and interview videos. I wanted to learn more about him; thus the reason for purchasing the book. I feel that I did learn quite a few things about Peter but know, as I work as a psychologist, to take any of the author’s interpretations about Peter as a person with a grain of salt. Really knowing nothing a I became a fan of Type O Negative after Peter’s passing. I immediately fell in love with his gorgeous baritone/bass voice and his larger than life persona that I witnessed while watching concert and interview videos. I wanted to learn more about him; thus the reason for purchasing the book. I feel that I did learn quite a few things about Peter but know, as I work as a psychologist, to take any of the author’s interpretations about Peter as a person with a grain of salt. Really knowing nothing about Peter prior to reading the book, I feel more knowledgeable about his major life events. Because of that, I am pleased with the book. However, I would love to read a book written in collaboration with his family and band mates. That, I believe, would be a true glimpse into the man that was Peter Steele. Maybe one day....

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karmakosmik

    Libro controverso ma senza dubbio affascinante sulla vita e, purtroppo, morte del leader dei Type O Negative, Peter Steele. Jeff Wagner ripercorre in maniera strettamente cronologica gli esordi, il contesto familiare di Peter, cercandone di tracciare un quadro più ampio possibile al fine di comprenderne la sua persona. Dagli esordi con i Fallout, passando per la radicale esperienza con i Carnivore, arrivando poi ai clamorosi successi di Christian Woman e Black N.1, fino al declino fisico e menta Libro controverso ma senza dubbio affascinante sulla vita e, purtroppo, morte del leader dei Type O Negative, Peter Steele. Jeff Wagner ripercorre in maniera strettamente cronologica gli esordi, il contesto familiare di Peter, cercandone di tracciare un quadro più ampio possibile al fine di comprenderne la sua persona. Dagli esordi con i Fallout, passando per la radicale esperienza con i Carnivore, arrivando poi ai clamorosi successi di Christian Woman e Black N.1, fino al declino fisico e mentale del periodo post-October Rust, è un continuo susseguirsi di provocazioni, intuizioni geniali e poi tanto ed ottima musica, generata dal suo enorme leader. Forse si potrà rimproverare all'autore, un visione forse troppo da fan, ma è un libro appassiona e trasporta.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mark Hennion

    Don't listen to all the complaints; Wagner's thoroughly researched, nuanced, and unbiased biography provides fans with the chance to meet the Pete they suspected existed but couldn't confirm. An amazing biography of an amazing man. Highly recommended.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anton Reiter

    Super good book. Peter Steele was a crazy guy, and this book illustrates his sad and insane life wonderfully.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jerry (Libri in pantofole)

    https://librinpantofole.blogspot.it/2... Il semidio dalla criniera color notte appare invincibile lassù. In posa da battaglia con la sua arma a 4 corde a tracolla sulla spalla sinistra e migliaia di fedeli estasiati che obbediscono al suo urlo... Quando si pensa a Peter Steele è inevitabile immaginarlo su quel palco a Roskilde nel lontano 1996. Imponente con i suoi 2 metri di altezza, la T-shirt verde militare e una bottiglia di vino rosso in mano. E poi quei lunghi capelli neri e quella voce https://librinpantofole.blogspot.it/2... Il semidio dalla criniera color notte appare invincibile lassù. In posa da battaglia con la sua arma a 4 corde a tracolla sulla spalla sinistra e migliaia di fedeli estasiati che obbediscono al suo urlo... Quando si pensa a Peter Steele è inevitabile immaginarlo su quel palco a Roskilde nel lontano 1996. Imponente con i suoi 2 metri di altezza, la T-shirt verde militare e una bottiglia di vino rosso in mano. E poi quei lunghi capelli neri e quella voce che sembrava giungere dai recessi più oscuri per farti ribollire il sangue nelle vene. Il dio del rock ironico e provocatore che faceva impazzire le donne (e non solo), che si arrotava le unghie sul basso come un gatto sul tronco di un albero... ma Peter Steele non era questo o almeno non solo questo e tra le pagine di Jeff Wagner emerge l'anima di un uomo complesso e tormentato. E così lo vediamo vomitare anche l'anima prima di calcare quelle scene che lo terrorizzavano a morte, tanto da mettere più di una volta in crisi le band in cui militò proprio per la sua riottosità a porsi sulla strada e partire in tour. Perché Peter preferiva la sicurezza della casa paterna, quella casa che non abbandonò mai, dove da figlio devoto si prese cura della madre fino alla sua morte. Una famiglia unita quella dei Ratajczyk e tutta al femminile (Peter aveva sei sorelle maggiori) e che tra alti e bassi tenne il musicista avvinto a sé fino alla fine. Dal padre, Peter ereditò l'etica per il lavoro, la dedizione e la costanza e per un lungo periodo fu impiegato presso il New York City Parks and Recreation Department. Del resto l'amore per la natura e gli animali (soprattutto i felini a quattro zampe ^^) lo contraddistinse sempre, tanto da meritarsi il soprannome di Green Man. E ancora l'intransigenza delle opinioni, che gli valsero l'accusa di essere un reazionario, fascista e misogino, per quanto chi lo abbia conosciuto più da vicino ne ricordi solo la gentilezza profonda, la lealtà e il rispetto. E ancora lo spettro della depressione che lo accompagnò sempre e che sfociò negli eccessi della bottiglia e della droga, una fragilità acuita dai lutti che funestarono la famiglia Ratajczyk e i suoi affetti più cari. Da fan tardiva (ho iniziato a seguire i Type O all'epoca di Life Is Killing Me del 2003) ho apprezzato moltissimo la ricostruzione della carriera artistica di Peter Steele. Wagner affonda la penna nell'infanzia del bassista facendone emergere l'amore per i Beatles e i Black Sabbath che furono ispirazione e benzina per quel genio creativo e poliedrico che fondò i Fallout prima, i Carnivore poi e che esplose alla guida dei Type O Negative. Visionario, autoironico, Peter Steele si metteva alla prova continuamente, facendo della sua musica l'espressione dei suoi spettri, delle sue paure ma anche delle sue convinzioni profonde. Ed è difficile ingabbiare quella musica, cercare di inquadrarla in un genere preciso e definito, dagli eccessi rabbiosi dei Carnivore, ai toni più cupi e seducenti dei Type O. Ogni nuovo album era in grado di spiazzare completamente il pubblico: se con i Carnivore aveva dominato la scena Hardcore anni '80, divenendo quasi una leggenda metropolitana (bellissima l'immagine di un adorante e giovanissimo Phil Anselmo in attesa davanti alla sua casa di Brooklyn), con Bloody Kisses ed October Rust conquistò il pubblico internazionale con sonorità che spaziavano dal doom metal all'hard rock passando addirittura per il pop. Giocava Peter, e con il suo humour nero si faceva beffe della musica, del pubblico e soprattutto di se stesso. Soul on Fire è una biografia controversa, che ha fatto tanto discutere, con la famiglia Ratajczyk che ha prima appoggiato il progetto e poi ne ha preso le distanze. Sinceramente ho sempre guardato con un po' di sospetto alle "biografie ufficiali" perché mi fanno pensare a qualcosa di costruito, aggiustato, per porlo sotto i riflettori migliori e offrirlo in pasto ai fan mentre il lavoro di Wagner è accurato, magari sì filtrato dall'occhio dell'ammiratore per cui certi immaginari personali vengono inevitabilmente a galla, così come certe storture (avrei evitato alcuni "per sentito dire" e altre congetture) ma profondamente rispettoso nei riguardi dell'uomo e del musicista. Il finale, ahimè noto, lascia con l'amaro in bocca e commuove profondamente perché il destino beffardo (o bastardo) ci ha portato via Peter Steele troppo presto, ha portato via un musicista che dopo tanta sofferenza e dolore sembrava aver trovato un equilibrio, sembrava pronto a donarci nuova musica e nuove parole... ma non ha fatto in tempo. Un libro "difficile" ma un omaggio di tutto rispetto per conoscere e riconoscere il genio e il talento del Green Man di Brooklyn.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    a nice trip down memory lane, but the buzz and drama surrounding the book affected (and infected) my ability to fully absorb the ending. (spoiler alert: Peter dies, though the exact cause and immediate circumstances are murky.) on a less dramatic note, I was surprised that Pist•On was not mentioned at all, despite their frequent overlaps.

  23. 5 out of 5

    alexandre Richer

    Les géants ne vivent jamais vieux, une des figure phare du NYC goth rock des années 90.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    This was a very respectful and well-written biography (although I will admit -- some passages did indeed seem a bit repetitive but they served a purpose in reiterating certain points about Peter's personality). Not sure about any drama or controversy surrounding the book. As is noted, there's a long tradition of obsessive and weirdly entitled people on the peripheral of this band's history. I have no interest in that whatsoever. As a long-time Type O fan, I found the book to be absorbing and inf This was a very respectful and well-written biography (although I will admit -- some passages did indeed seem a bit repetitive but they served a purpose in reiterating certain points about Peter's personality). Not sure about any drama or controversy surrounding the book. As is noted, there's a long tradition of obsessive and weirdly entitled people on the peripheral of this band's history. I have no interest in that whatsoever. As a long-time Type O fan, I found the book to be absorbing and informative. It wasn't focused on 'dirt' and 'drama' but instead provided a very fair and balanced portrait of a flawed yet exceptional musician. I really enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed some of the background and tidbits regarding the first three Type O studio albums, and the sections detailing Carnivore's history were also very interesting. All in all, I can't think of any reason not to recommend it to fans of the band.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mary Wolfe

    I thought this book was positively wonderful. I had been excited about reading this book since the very first time I heard that it was being written. I learned more about Peter while reading this book; about his love for music, how he liked to help people, what trials he went through trying to make his own music & band(s). Excellently written!!! Highly recommended!!! It's also great to see that the truth as to how Peter died is in this book since nobody could come out and tell it without the boo I thought this book was positively wonderful. I had been excited about reading this book since the very first time I heard that it was being written. I learned more about Peter while reading this book; about his love for music, how he liked to help people, what trials he went through trying to make his own music & band(s). Excellently written!!! Highly recommended!!! It's also great to see that the truth as to how Peter died is in this book since nobody could come out and tell it without the book! Thank you Jeff Wagner for the hours spent writing, interviewing, and putting this book together for the dedicated fans to read. As always, much respect!! ETERNALLY NEGATIVE FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Adriene Lea

    Just clearing the air here. The author, Jeff Wagner worked closely with Peter's surviving sisters on each and every chapter of Soul On Fire. They each offered feedback, corrections and valuable input to every chapter. Every chapter of this book was reviewed and approved by each sister to our understanding (communication with the Estate directly), and we are confused by their actions and words.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Rhey

    I loved this book and so happy it was written. Peter Steele and TON were my life growing up, and I'm so happy I got to read about his life growing up in Brooklyn. I also learned the REAL reason Peter died, which was not what his family told the media. Mostly, I just enjoyed all the stories and how Peter lived his amazing life till the end. Will read it again and again. Discovered a lot of new music too.

  28. 5 out of 5

    sergeist

    Si eres MUY fan del grupo (como el que suscribe), ****. Si no lo eres, posiblemente ***; el autor se deja llevar, a veces demasiado, por su condición de fan. Aún así, la lectura se hace muy amena e interesante y el trasfondo de muchas (si no todas) las canciones se ve enormemente enriquecido con la información que aporta y los detalles de la vida del que un gran hombre, literal y musicalmente hablando pero humano, demasiado humano.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amber Marian

    Love it

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rubi

    I've been told by people that it's okay to cry but, you know what, it's been used against me. So I don't cry anymore, I just beat people up. It's a lot more fun.

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