Monday, April 26, 2010

Sometimes I Wish to God I Didn't Know Now...

I won't pretend that I ever loved Poison, and I won't pretend that I hated them.

They may have been a cartoon band, but they also had a knack for writing songs that stick to your memory like flies on a windshield. (Forget what a songwriter's song "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" is....try and get "Unskinny Bop" outta your head now that I've put it back in there.. I respect that kind of talent.)

I also won't pretend that Brett Michaels didn't totally annoy me as he made his transition into reality TV star. But he created a brand for himself long after the likes of Stephen Pearcy are still trying to cling to relevance, so God bless him.

Anyway, to get to the point, the news of Brett Michaels' brain hemorrhage has got me pretty sad. Not because I particularly liked Brett or Poison, but because its been two years since I lost someone from the same episode.

I hate even thinking back to that time, but I'm forced to now.

I didn't know her well.....she was the sister of a friend, and we'd only met a few times. She was always friendly, and a little bit shy. I was happy to learn that she was just about to move into the building I lived in, and I was looking forward to seeing her around and getting to know her better.

Then one day as she was getting ready for her big move, she was hospitalized. A few days later she was dead.

Just like that.

The memories of the following week were the saddest I can ever remember.

I remember running into her brother as I was on my way to work on the morning that she died -- the two of us hugging on the sidewalk, time stopping as we tried our best to keep it together and commuters hustled their way past us and down into the Metro.

I remember helping the family move her belongings into a condo in which she would never live.

I remember the horrible, horrible sound of her parents wailing as they put her coffin in the hearse after the funeral.

That entire week was heartbreaking in every single way, and I walked around in a complete daze for about three weeks afterwords, emotionally raw from the experience.

So, I guess you'll have to excuse me for having a pessimistic view of Brett Michaels' chances for a full recovery. I want him to beat the odds, because I would hate for his children to suffer the way that my friend and his family and the rest of us did.

But I guess I lost a little faith two years ago.

So, give me something to believe in.

Friday, April 16, 2010

R.I.P. Peter Steele: 1962 - 2010

Timing is a bitch.

I've done so frigging many posts about Type O Negative concerts lately, that to tell you the truth I was dreading the fact that I still had one more ticket stub for them, which would require yet another entry that would at once apologize for loving them so much back in the day, while trying to justify it all.

But then I got home after being out of the country for two weeks and learned that Pete Steele had passed away.

So let's try and do this right....

You can read my former posts about Type O Negative here, here, here and here. If you follow this blog at all ( I know there aren't many of you), you know that at a certain point in the mid-to-late 90's, I really loved that band. In fact, I was probably a little too vocal back then about how fond I was for them, but whatever; it spoke to me at the time, and I still go back to them once in a while.

To be sure, Type O did some goofy shit, and they didn't exactly pull off the second half of their career on a note befitting of their potential (Steele's last several years, in particular, were often hard to watch). But they also did some truly groundbreaking things in metal that deserve to be recognized.

I sure hope that my fan-boy adulation for them back then didn't dissuade too many folks from seeking them out and giving them a listen. At his best, Peter Steele really was one hell of a songwriter, a vocalist and a performer.

Here's a quick clip of one of my favorite performances of Steele's. I hope you enjoy: