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Meat Loaf

 B i o g r a p h y

Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday September 27, 1947), better known as Meat Loaf, is an American rock singer and actor of stage and screen. He is noted for his albums Bat out of Hell, II, and III and several famous songs from movies. The Neverland Express is the name of the band he fronts, as its lead singer. In 2001, he changed his first name to Michael.

Meat Loaf was born in Dallas, Texas in the midst of America’s post-World War II baby boom. In 1967, after spending his childhood in the Lone Star State, he moved to Los Angeles, California and then to Detroit, Michigan. During the last few years of the ‘60s, Meat Loaf fronted a band (in California and in and around Detroit) known alternatively as Meat Loaf Soul, Popcorn Blizzard and the Floating Circus, which opened for such rock and roll superstars as the Kinks, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, MC5, Ted Nugent, and Big Brother and the Holding Company (with Janis Joplin). Meat Loaf remembers, “We opened for every band you can name, with the exception of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Jefferson Airplane.”

As Meat Loaf was paying his rock and roll dues, he also enjoyed his first success as an actor. In 1969, he landed a part in Los Angeles production of the infamous ‘60s stage musical, Hair, then travelled with the show to Detroit, and eventually, to Broadway. While in the Motor City, Meat Loaf met a singer who went by the name of Stoney. In 1971, the two released an album, Stoney And Meatloaf, featuring the single “What You See Is What You Get”, which climbed to number 11 on the national R & B charts. The album was released in 1979 as Meat Loaf (Featuring- Stoney).

In the early 1970’s, with his foot in the doors of both music and theatre worlds, Meat Loaf moved to New York City and broke through both doors. Over the next few years, Meat Loaf starred in several productions for Joe Papp’s Shakespeare In The Park (including productions of Othello and As You Like It). He appeared off-off-Broadway at Cafe La Mama (in Silver Queen and other productions), at the Downtown Playhouse (in the Sam Sheppard play, Billy The Kid And Jean Harlow), at the Manhattan Theatre Club (in Black And White), and in Gold Pizizer, a one-act at Actor’s Studio. Meat Loaf also appeared in the off-Broadway production of the gospel musical, Rainbow In New York, and productions of The Vietnam Project and More Than You Deserve.

On Broadway, Meat Loaf appeared in Hair, starred as Eddie in 1974’s hugely successful production of The Rocky Horror Show (which also played at Los Angeles’ Roxy Theatre during this time), in The National Lampoon Show and had a featured role in Gower Champion’s Rock-a-Bye Hamlet. Meat Loaf also appeared at Lincoln Center and at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Also about this time, Meat Loaf sang lead vocals on Ted Nugent’s double-platinum album, Free For All. Meat Loaf’s television credits include appearances on such diverse shows as Tales From The Crypt, The Equalizer, Monsters , The Odd Couple, Lighting Force, Saturday Night Live and nearly every talk show in the world, with the exception of The Arsenio Hall Show. Despite his extensive experience before the cameras, Meat Loaf never lost his love for the concert stage. Since his landmark Bat Out Of Hell tour (during which Karla DeVito replaced Ellen Foley as back-up singer), Meat Loaf has played countless hundreds of shows all around the world.

“I’m a touring fool,” Meat Loaf enthusiastically agrees. “I did 500 shows before we started recording Bat Out Of Hell II. I signed my MCA contract on a tour bus. They sent it to me by Federal Express, I signed it, I had my road manager snap a Polaroid, and I went from there onto the stage.” Meat Loaf also toured in many out-of-the-way places that aren’t typically visited by the rock and roll elite. “I was the first international artist to extensively tour Ireland,” he says. “U2 won’t tour Ireland the way I toured Ireland. I spent three and a half weeks playing in these barns, in the middle of fields. I’d think, ‘Who’s gonna come here?’ and there’d be 3,000 people in the barn by showtime.” “On tour is where I’m most comfortable,” Meat Loaf says. “I want to have the best show in the world, give real value for the money, and I’m willing to work my ass off for it.” It was inevitable, however, that Meat Loaf would one day return to the recording studio for the sequel to his landmark Bat Out Of Hell album. So in April 1989, after Meat Loaf and Steinman signed with MCA Records, they began preparing the songs that would become Bat Out Of Hell II. After more than three years of hard work, the album, co-produced by Meat Loaf and Steinman, is finally ready.

“I think the record is very deep in songs,” Meat Loaf says. “I never want to say I’m equal to anybody, and I never want to compare myself to anybody, but I think this is a really great record.” Bat Out Of Hell II features the songs “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That),” “Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back,” “Rock ‘n Roll Dreams Come Through,” “It Just Won’t Quit,” “Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere),” “Objects In The Rear View Mirror (May Appear Closer Than They Are),” “Everything Louder Than Everything Else,” “Lost Boys And Golden Girls” and a frantic burst of guitar and vocal screaming called “Love, Death and American Guitar.”  

 A l b u m s

Bat Out of Hell (Epic Records, 1978)
Twelve Inch Mixes (Epic Records, 1993)
Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell (Virgin Recirds, 1993)
Heaven and Hell (Clumbia Records, 1993)
Hang Cool Teddy Bear (Mercury Records, 2010)