We are devastated to announce the passing of Peter J. Ventantonio, better known to fans of his music, writing, and art as Jack Terricloth. He was 50 years old, but ageless at heart.
Pete was born in Clifton NJ, but his family moved to Bridgewater in the 1980s where, as a teenager, he and friends co-founded the band Neurotic Impulse, members of which would later disperse to form the seeds of the nascent New Jersey punk rock music scene.
In 1987, Pete formed the legendary NJ punk band Sticks and Stones, releasing numerous records, and embarking on several tours of the U.S. and Europe over the band’s almost 10-year career. Around 1995, Pete adopted the stage name Jack Terricloth and began laying the foundation for the musical project for which he is best known: The World/Inferno Friendship Society, a collective-style ensemble that merged punk, soul, klezmer, jazz, and other influences into a fusion that was impossible to pigeonhole. Their kaleidoscopic live performances, and Jack’s on- (and off-) stage antics, are the stuff of legends.
For his thousands of fans across the world, and for his friends and the band members themselves, Jack was a guiding spirit, instigator, inciter, and navigator into places and situations one could scarcely have imagined. While the band took its music to places you could find on a map, through it Jack challenged his listeners to examine places within themselves, and to rethink and reinvent themselves even as he had done. Above all, the spirit of self-determination was central to all he did, created, and believed. Jack’s art inspired a remarkable community—something more than simply band, family, or scene—which changed the lives of so many people in ways that are hard to articulate, and which is perhaps the most enduring part of his legacy.
Peter is survived by his sister, Lisa Ventantonio Castano; her husband, Dave; his partner, Gina Rodriguez; his nieces, Alexandra and Eva Castano; Peter and Gina's two cats, Attractive Cat and Henry; and finally, by the numerous friends, bandmates, and fans forever impacted by his spirit. He is preceded in death by his parents, James and Anita Ventantonio.
Funeral services are private and are being held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Bridgewater Funeral Home, 707 East Main Street, Bridgewater, NJ 08807.