Marvin Lee Aday, Meat Loaf, the larger-than-life rocker died on Thursday. He was 74. He was a trained Broadway belter and a multiplatinum-selling megastar whose biggest hits, like “Bat Out of Hell” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” were radio staples, and barroom singalongs, for decades. Hard-living and hard-rocking, he sold more than 100 million albums over a career that spanned six decades, including the 1977 smash hit Bat Out Of Hell, which is one of the best-selling of all time, alongside records from the likes of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.
It was his mother that instilled a love of performing in Meat Loaf and upon her death he quit high school football and left Dallas and his father, to take the first steps on the road to eventual superstardom. He formed the band Meat Loaf Soul in Los Angeles, with his trademark voice bringing them a string of offers for recording contracts and seeing them open for the likes of the Who and the Grateful Dead.
It was upon his collaboration with musician and playwright Jim Steinman who provided the wild, theatrical backing music to accompany Meat Loaf’s bellowing voice, he really began to fly. There were broken bones, piles of cocaine and nervous breakdowns – and that was only the first album
“Roadie” with Art Carney, Alice Cooper, Hank Williams Jr., and Debbie Harry was the first movie I ever saw him in. Now I watch “Black Dog”, “Fight Club”, and of course the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”
My late buddy Troll and I used to fix the Shovelheads together listening to Meatloaf. We’d sing and see who knew the most lyrics (he did) who could sing the loudest (a draw) and whose bike would start first (about even). My kids have had to listen to “Bat Out Of Hell” and “Dead Ringer For Love” so many mornings while Julie and I washed the bike for the days ride, they probably can’t listen to him anymore. Naaahhhh.
So, there is a new troubadour at the Table of Hero’s today. His voice, talent, and mere presence will be sorely missed.