Type O Negative’s Dead Again Album Cover is a Dick Joke
When it comes to Type O Negative and their album covers from back in the day, they all typically follow a design choice. Band name and album title in the corners, evocative image in the middle — most people remember the two sultry women on Bloody Kisses. But what about Dead Again, which is getting a reissue and features the “Mad Monk” himself, Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin? What’s the story there?
Well, in a recent interview with the Behind the Vinyl podcast, Type O Negative guitarist Kenny Hickey revealed that it’s got a double meaning: one plays on the legend of Rasputin’s multiple assassination attempts and the other has to deal with the late Peter Steele’s massive dong — a trait he reportedly shared with Rasputin.
“For a long time, I was the one most likely to die, and then it switched over to [Steele]. So we were always waiting for somebody to die. After a while, it starts feeding into this mythology of ‘Maybe he’s indestructible.’ That’s what gave birth to the cover of Dead Again, of Rasputin.
“I used to call him ‘Rasputin.’ Because he’d get drunk and you [couldn’t] kill him. He had a foot-long penis and he was dancing on the table. That was Peter. So I just called him Rasputin. That’s how it ended up becoming the cover. And then that starts feeding into this mythology, and then suddenly, reality check, then you realize we’re all mortal and everyone can die, and everyone will. So it’s a shock.”
For those who don’t know the story of Rasputin, he was a family friend of last imperial family in Russia. Though he rose to prominence, many people within the imperial court didn’t like him much and attempted to assassinate him. Though they were ultimately successful, the legend goes that he survived poison, a gunshot, and being thrown into a freezing river. None of that was actually true, but it makes for a metal story. He was also allegedly castrated during the assassination attempt, where people apparently reported that he had an absolutely massive ding a ling.
If you’ve ever seen Peter Steele’s Playgirl spread, you know where the comparison lines up there.
To his credit, Hickey says he’s recently gotten sober, which is awesome news given the whole mortality thing.
“I just got sober. I have two years and nine months now. I was more… I can’t say I was more controlled. I was off the rocker a lot, but there was times when I had to be more controlled ’cause I had kids and a wife. Peter didn’t. So I would come back home and I’d on like a beer-only diet, something like that. And when I was away, I’d lose my mind. I’m lucky to be here too. And I’m grateful — grateful to be here. And I love being sober. I should have [done] this 20 years ago.
“I think you get used to being a certain way. You build a reward system in your life, whatever it is — sex, food, whatever, beautiful women, rock and roll. For most of my life, since I was 12, one of my main reward systems was booze. So to change that is a very, very, very hard thing. It’s a very big thing. Look at me. It took me 54 years. But you can — you can switch your reward system to other things.”
You can check out the rest of the interview in the clip below.