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Meat Loaf

Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday; September 27, 1947), better known by his stage name Meat Loaf, is an American rock musician and actor of stage and screen. He is noted for the Bat out of Hell album trilogy that he created consisting of Bat out of Hell, Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and Bat out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose and several famous songs from popular films. The Neverland Express is the name of the band he fronts as its lead singer. In 2001, he changed his first name to Michael. Despite setbacks (including multiple bankruptcies), Meat Loaf has had a successful music career, spawning some of the largest-selling albums, and breaking several records for chart duration. Bat out of Hell, the debut album which had been four years in the making, has sold over 43 million copies. After more than 30 years, it still sells an estimated 200,000 copies annually, and stayed on the charts for over 9 years. Each of the seven tracks on the album eventually charted as a hit single.

Although he enjoyed success with Bat out of Hell and Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell, Meat Loaf experienced some initial difficulty establishing a steady career within his native United States; however, he has retained iconic status and popularity in Europe, especially the UK, where he ranks 23rd for number of weeks overall spent on the charts, and is one of only two artists with an album never to have left the music charts. With the help of his New York collection of musicians — John Golden, Richard Raskin and Paul Jacobs — his European tours enjoyed immense popularity in the 1980s. In Germany, Meat Loaf became notably popular following the release of Bat out of Hell II but has enjoyed most of his success among pop/rock fans. He ranked 96th on VH1's '100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock'.

Meat Loaf has also appeared in over 50 movies or television shows sometimes as himself, or as characters resembling his stage persona. His most notable roles include Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Robert "Bob" Paulson in Fight Club, credited as "Meat Loaf Aday". In 2007 Meat Loaf granted filmmaker Bruce David Klein exclusive access for a backstage documentary, Meat Loaf: In Search of Paradise, shot in February 2007 at the beginning of the singer's tour in support of Bat out of Hell III. The film was an official selection of the Montreal World Film Festival in 2007.

Meat Loaf also performs a lot of charity work, and in June 2008 took part in a soccer penalty shoot-out competition on behalf of two cancer charities in Newcastle, UK. He auctioned shots to the 100 highest bidders and then took his place between the goal posts.

Biography

Early life

Meat Loaf was born Marvin Lee Aday in Dallas, Texas, United States. He was the first child of Wilma Artie (née Hukel), a school teacher and a member of the Vo-di-o-do Girls gospel quartet, and Orvis Wesley Aday, a police officer. His father was an alcoholic who would go on drinking binges for days at a time. Marvin and his mother would drive around to all the bars in Dallas, looking for Orvis to take him home. Because of this, Marvin often stayed with his grandmother, Charlsee Norrod.

Meat Loaf relates a story in his autobiography, To Hell and Back, about how he, a friend, and his friend's father drove out to Love Field to watch John F. Kennedy land. After watching him leave the airport, they went to Market Hall, which was on Kennedy's parade route. On the way they heard that Kennedy had been shot, so they headed to Parkland Hospital, where they saw Jackie Kennedy get out of the car and Governor John Connally get pulled out, although they never saw the president taken out.

In 1965, Meat Loaf graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, having already started his acting career via school productions such as Where's Charley? and The Music Man. After attending college at Lubbock Christian College, Marvin transferred to North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas). While there, he was called in for an Army physical, which he tried to fail by gaining sixty-eight pounds (31 kg) in four and a half weeks. They determined that he was fit despite being color blind, having a trick shoulder, and being very concussion prone.

Move to California

In 1967, when his draft notice arrived, Meat Loaf ignored it. Instead, after seeing his mother hospitalized and her health deteriorating, Marvin stole his dad's credit card and moved to Los Angeles, where he became a bouncer at a teenage nightclub.

In his autobiography, Meat Loaf claims that shortly after his mother died, his father, in a drunken rage, tried to kill him with a knife, and that he barely managed to escape after they had a bad fight. After Marvin got his inheritance from his mother's death, he rented an apartment in Dallas and isolated himself for three and a half months. Eventually a friend found him. Marvin bought a car with his inheritance and drove to California.

Early musical career

In Los Angeles, he formed his first band, Meat Loaf Soul. During the recording of their first song, Meat Loaf hit a big note and blew the board dash; he was immediately offered three recording contracts. However, he turned them all down. Meat Loaf Soul's first gig was in Huntington Beach at the Cave, opening for Them, Van Morrison's band. While performing their cover of the Yardbirds' "Smokestack Lightning," the smoke machine they used made too much smoke and the club had to be cleared out. Later, the band was the opening act at Cal State Northridge for Renaissance, Taj Mahal and Janis Joplin. The band then underwent several changes at lead guitar, changing the name of the band each time - including Popcorn Blizzard, and Floating Circus. As Floating Circus, they opened for The Who, The Fugs, The Stooges, MC5, Grateful Dead and The Grease Band. Their regional success led them to release a single, "Once Upon a Time" backed with "Hello." Meat Loaf joined the Los Angeles production of "Hair."

Early recordings

Stoney & Meatloaf

With the publicity generated from Hair, Meat Loaf was invited to record with Motown. They suggested he do a duet with Stoney Murphy, to which he agreed. The Motown production team in charge of the album wrote and selected the songs while Meat Loaf and Stoney came in only to lay down their vocals. The album, titled Stoney & Meatloaf (Meatloaf being shown as one word), was completed in the summer of 1971 and released in September of that year. A single released in advance of the album, What You See Is What You Get, reached number thirty six on the R&B charts and seventy-one on Billboard Hot 100 chart. To support their album, Meat Loaf and Stoney toured with Jake Wade and the Soul Searchers, opening up for Richie Havens, The Who, The Stooges, Bob Seger, Alice Cooper and Rare Earth. Meat Loaf left soon after Motown replaced his and Stoney's vocals from the one song he liked, "Who Is the Leader of the People?", with new vocals by Edwin Starr. The album has been re-released after Meat Loaf's success, with Stoney's vocals removed from all songs from the original Stoney and Meatloaf album. "Who Is the Leader of the People?" was released with Meat Loaf's vocals intact, only Stoney was missing and the album failed. Stoney, in Meat Loaf's absence, brought out a solo single which flopped and she quit Motown shortly after. Stoney, aka Shaun Murphy, went on to sing backup with many acts, including Bob Seger and Eric Clapton, and became a full time member of Little Feat in 1993. She continues to work with Little Feat and Seger.

More Than You Deserve

After the tour, Meat Loaf rejoined the cast of Hair, this time on Broadway. After he hired an agent, he auditioned for the Public Theater's production of More Than You Deserve. It was during the audition that Meat Loaf first met his future collaborator Jim Steinman. He sang a former Stoney and Meatloaf favorite of his, "(I'd Love to Be) As Heavy as Jesus" (On VH1 Storytellers, Meat Loaf said Steinman said something like "I think you're as heavy as two Jesuses, son!") , and with that, got the part of Rabbit, a maniac that blows up his fellow soldiers so they can "go home." Also in the show were Ron Silver and Fred Gwynne. After it closed he appeared in "As You Like It" with Raúl Juliá and Mary Beth Hurt.

He recorded a single of More Than You Deserve and had a cover of In the Presence of the Lord as its b-side. He was only able to save three copies of it because the record company wouldn't allow its press release. With those three copies he released many rare CDs featuring the two songs, which can occasionally be spotted at CD outlets. He later recorded it again (1981) in a slightly rougher voice.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

During the winter of 1973, after returning from a short production of Rainbow in New York in Washington, D.C., Meat Loaf received a call asking him to be in The Rocky Horror Show where he played the part of Eddie and Dr Scott. The success of the play led to the filming of The Rocky Horror Picture Show where Meat Loaf played only Eddie. About the same time, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman started work on Bat out of Hell. Meat Loaf convinced Epic Records to shoot videos for four songs, "Bat Out Of Hell", "Paradise by the Dashboard Light", "You Took the Words Right out of My Mouth" and "Two out of Three Ain't Bad". He then convinced Lou Adler, the producer of Rocky Horror, to run the "Paradise" video as a trailer to the movie. Meat Loaf's final show in New York was Gower Champion's Rock-a-bye Hamlet, a Hamlet musical. It closed two weeks into its initial run. Meat would later return occasionally to perform Hot Patootie for a special Rocky Horror reunion or convention, one of which was recorded for his Live Around the World CD set in 1996.

During his recording of the soundtrack for Rocky Horror, Meat Loaf recorded two more songs: "Stand By Me" (a Ben E. King cover), and "Clap Your Hands". They remained unreleased until 1984, when they appeared as b-sides to the "Nowhere Fast" single.

In 1976, Meat Loaf recorded lead vocals for Ted Nugent's Free-for-All album when regular Nugent lead vocalist Derek St. Holmes quit the band. Meat Loaf sang lead on 5 of the album's 9 tracks.

Bat out of Hell

Meat Loaf and friend/songwriter Jim Steinman started Bat out of Hell in 1972, but did not get serious about it until the end of 1974. Meat Loaf decided to leave theatre, and concentrate exclusively on music. Then, the National Lampoon Show opened on Broadway, and it needed an understudy for John Belushi, a close friend of Meat Loaf since 1972. It was at the Lampoon Show that Meat Loaf met Ellen Foley, the co-star who sang "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" with him on the album Bat out of Hell.

After the Lampoon show ended, Meat Loaf and Steinman spent time seeking a record deal. Their approaches were rejected by each record company, because their songs did not fit any specific recognized music industry style. Finally, they performed the songs for Todd Rundgren, who decided to produce the album, as well as play lead guitar on it (other members of Todd's band Utopia also lent their musical talents). They then shopped the record around, but still had no takers until Cleveland International Records decided to take a chance. On October 21, 1977, Bat out of Hell was released.

Meat Loaf's first gig in support of the record was opening for Cheap Trick in Chicago; the audience started out hostile, but by the end of the show, they had been won over. Their next stop came a couple of days after the release of the album in New Jersey. The show was a complete sell-out, and people lined up to see it hours before it started. Things really started to take off after Meat Loaf appeared on Saturday Night Live, as the Musical Guest, on March 25, 1978. (That evening's host, Christopher Lee, introduced him saying, "Ladies and gentlemen...meet...Loaf! {pause} Eh?... Oh!... Ladies and gentlemen, MEAT LOAF!") The huge success of the album caused a rift to open up between Meat Loaf and Steinman: the group, named after Meat Loaf for ease of labeling, seemed to Steinman to sideline his work as creator, and Steinman started to resent the attention that his partner was getting.

During a show in Ottawa, Meat Loaf fell off the stage and broke his leg. The injury caused him to cancel the rest of the tour. Unable to handle the pressure, Meat Loaf resorted to cocaine, ultimately culminating in a nervous breakdown where he threatened to commit suicide by jumping off the ledge of a building in New York. Then, in December 1978, he went to Woodstock to work with Steinman. It was at the Bearsville studio that Meat Loaf met his future wife, Leslie G. Edmonds; they were married within a month. Leslie had a daughter from a previous marriage, Pearl, who has since followed in her stepfather's footsteps to become a singer. In the middle of recording his second album, Bad for Good, Meat Loaf lost the ability to sing; it is unclear as to the exact cause - the tour was a punishing one, and the vocals and energy intense. However, his doctors said that physically he was fine and that his problem was psychological. Nevertheless, Steinman decided to keep recording Bad for Good without Meat Loaf.

Just as his singing career seemed to be reaching a dead end, he got the role of Travis Redfish in Roadie. The movie had cameos by Debbie Harry, Roy Orbison and Hank Williams, Jr., but still was a box office flop.

Over time Meat Loaf got his singing voice back and got off drugs. The struggles that Meat Loaf faced making Bat out of Hell paid off. It now has sold more than 37 million copies worldwide, making it one of the biggest-sellers of all time. In the UK alone, its 2.1 million sales put it in 38th place. Despite peaking at #9 and spending only two weeks in the top ten in 1981, it has now clocked up 480 weeks on the UK album chart, a figure bettered by nobody. In Australia, it knocked the Bee Gees off the number #1 spot and went on to become the biggest-selling Australian album of all time. Bat out of Hell is also one of only two albums that has never exited the Top 200 in the UK charts; this makes it the longest stay in any music chart in the world, although the published chart contains just 75 positions.

Life after Bat out of Hell

In 1976, Meat Loaf appeared in the short-lived Broadway production of the rock musical Rockabye Hamlet. In 1980, he started working on Dead Ringer. Steinman wrote all of the songs, but had little else to do with the album. At the time, his manager, David Sonnenberg, stepped out, and Al Dellentash stepped in to manage Meat Loaf's career. The tour they planned, to support the album, was cancelled after one show, because they ran out of the money that the studio advanced them. Sonnenberg and Dellentash also convinced CBS to advance more money for the making of the movie Dead Ringer, which was shown at the Toronto Film Festival and won some favorable reviews, but was poorly considered after Dellentash and Sonenberg re-edited the movie.

In 1981, Leslie gave birth to Amanda Aday, now a television actress. That same year, Meat Loaf changed managers, after finding out that Dellentash and Sonenberg were stealing his money. They had all of Meat Loaf's assets frozen, and sued him for breach of contract. They also started spreading rumors about how Meat Loaf was violent, and had threatened people with guns. Meat Loaf ended up declaring bankruptcy. In 1983, he released the self written Midnight at the Lost and Found. Meat Loaf himself, a poor songwriter by his own admission, did not care for the songs he had written for the album.

On December 5, 1981, Meat Loaf and the Neverland Express were the musical guests for Saturday Night Live where he was reunited with fellow Rocky Horror Picture Show alum Tim Curry. Tim Curry and Meatloaf team up in a hilarious skit to open a One-Stop Rocky Horror Shop. Later, Tim Curry performed "The Zucchini Song" and Meatloaf & The Neverland Express performed "Bat Out of Hell" and "Promised Land".

In 1984, Meat Loaf went to England, to record the album Bad Attitude, which included a duet with Roger Daltrey and two songs written by Jim Steinman; the recording of the album was rushed. During the tour to support the album, Leslie had a nervous breakdown and had to check into Silver Hill rehab facility in Connecticut. Things finally looked like they were going to turn around in 1986, when Meat Loaf found a new writer, John Parr, and started recording a new album, Blind Before I Stop. Unfortunately, the producer put a dance beat underneath every song, which resulted in critical failure, and Meat Loaf going bankrupt, eventually losing everything. His relationships with lifelong friend Jim Steinman and Leslie also deteriorated.

To try to get his career back off the ground, Meat Loaf started touring small venues, anywhere that would have him, such as pubs and clubs. Slowly, he developed a faithful following which grew to the point where they were unable to fit into the venues that Meat Loaf was playing, and then they too began to grow. This carried on until the late '80s, where he began to sell out arenas and stadiums again, including over 10,000 tickets at The Ohio State University. Leslie studied to be a travel agent, so they could save on travel expenses, and they toured all over the United States, Germany, England, Scandinavia, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Greece, Abu Dhabi, Oman and Bahrain. Due to the success of the touring, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman began to work on Bat Out Of Hell II which was finally released in 1993, sixteen years after Bat Out Of Hell. The album was a huge success and is considered one of the greatest comebacks in music history.

Meat Loaf and Leslie divorced in 2001. He is now engaged to be married again. Deborah Gillespie, his fiancée, hails from Edmonton.

1980s

Dead Ringer

Songwriter Jim Steinman started to work on Bad for Good, the album that was supposed to be the follow-up to 1977's Bat out of Hell, in 1979. During that time, a combination of touring, drugs and exhaustion had caused Meat Loaf to lose his voice. Without a singer, and pressured by the record company, Steinman decided that he should sing on Bad for Good himself, and write a new album for Meat Loaf; the result was Dead Ringer, which was later released in 1981, after the release of Steinman's Bad for Good.

After playing the role of Travis Redfish in the movie Roadie, Meat Loaf's singing voice returned, and he started to work on his new album in 1980. Steinman had written five new songs which, in addition to the track "More Than You Deserve" (sung by Meat Loaf in the stage musical of the same name) and a reworked monologue, formed the album Dead Ringer, which was produced by Meat Loaf and Stephan Galfas, with backing tracks produced by Todd Rundgren, Jimmy Iovine, and Jim Steinman. (In 1976, Meat Loaf appeared on the track "Keeper Keep Us", from the Intergalactic Touring Band's self-titled album, produced by Galfas.) The song "Dead Ringer for Love" was the pinnacle of the album, and launched Meat Loaf to even greater success after it reached #5 in the UK and stayed in the charts for a surprising 19 weeks. Cher provided the lead female vocals in the song, which contributed to the success of the single.

The album reached #1 in the UK, and three singles were released from the album: "Dead Ringer for Love" (with Cher), "I'm Gonna Love Her for Both of Us," and "Read 'Em and Weep".

Midnight at the Lost and Found

Following a dispute with his former songwriter Jim Steinman, Meat Loaf was contractually obliged to release a new album. Struggling for time, and with no resolution to his arguments with Steinman seemingly on the horizon (eventually, Steinman would sue Meat Loaf, who subsequently sued Steinman as well), he was forced to find songwriters wherever he could.

Meat Loaf is credited with being involved in the writing of numerous tracks on the album, including the title track, "Midnight at the Lost and Found". However, when the album was released in 1983, it was regarded by many as being poor. Fans were disappointed to see that the iconic pictures on the covers of Bat out of Hell and Dead Ringer were replaced by a black-and-white photograph of Meat Loaf (on some later re-releases, a colour image of a screaming Meat Loaf was used as the cover image).

The title track still regularly forms part of Meat Loaf concerts, and was one of very few 1980s songs to feature on the 1998 hit album The Very Best of Meat Loaf. This was the last album that Meat Loaf did with the record label Epic until the 'best of' album.

Bad Attitude

Bad Attitude, released 1984, features two songs by Jim Steinman, both previously recorded, and was mainly an attempt to keep Meat Loaf from going bankrupt during this period of lawsuits. It concentrated more on the hard rock side of Meat Loaf, was a minor success around the globe and released a few hit singles, the most successful being "Modern Girl." It also holds some of Meat Loaf's favorite songs that include "Jumpin' the Gun" and "Piece of the Action". It was recorded in England.

Blind Before I Stop

Blind Before I Stop was released in 1986. It features production, mixing, and general influence by Frank Farian. Meat Loaf gave songwriting another shot with this album and wrote three of the songs on the album. However, the only song released as a single (in the UK) was "Rock 'n' Roll Mercenaries," which was a duet with rock singer John Parr. Meat Loaf would not be able to sing the song live with John Parr for too long, because of an incident just after the release of the single. During a sold out show in London, Meat Loaf was going to perform the song, and as Meat Loaf did not introduce John onto the stage, he stormed off supposedly after the song was performed. Meat Loaf never saw Parr again, even after leaving dozens of phone messages begging him for forgiveness. But, in Meat's own words, "I never introduce people in the middle of a show — it breaks the continuity. You don't stop in the middle of a play and say 'And now ladies and gentlemen, entering the stage is Robert De Niro'". This song, "Rock 'n' Roll Mercenaries", was included on Live at Wembley, which was released in 1987, with no sign of Parr as his vocal lead-off.

According to Meat Loaf's 1998 autobiography, the album sold poorly due to the production of the album. Meat Loaf would have preferred to cancel the project and wait to work with more Steinman material. The album, however, has gained a cult following over the years, citing the songs "Execution Day" and "Standing on the Outside" as standout tracks on the record. The video for "Getting Away with Murder" (along with "Modern Girl"), another single released from the album before its release, is one of the available videos to be viewed on Meat's artist's page on MTV.com, the artist page at one point citing that Blind Before I Stop should have been a hit.

Later career

Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell

Due to the success of Meat Loaf's touring after his downfall, he and Steinman began work during the Christmas of 1990 on the sequel to Bat out of Hell. After two years, Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell was finished and became a success. It sold over 15 million copies, and the single "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" reached number one in 28 countries. Meat Loaf won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo in 1994 for "I'd Do Anything for Love". This song stayed at #1 in the UK charts for seven consecutive weeks. The single features a female vocalist who was credited only as "Mrs. Loud." Mrs. Loud was later identified as Lorraine Crosby, a performer from North East England. Meat Loaf promoted the song with American vocalist Patti Russo who performed lead female vocals on tour with him.

Also in 1994, he was honored by singing "The Star Spangled Banner" at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, something he says was one of the two biggest highlights of his career. Meat Loaf attempted to follow the success of "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" by releasing "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" as a follow-up; this song reached #13 in the US.

After Bat out of Hell II

In 1995, Meat Loaf released his seventh studio album, Welcome To The Neighborhood. The album went platinum in the United States and the UK. It released three singles which all hit the top 40, including "I'd Lie for You (And That's the Truth)" (which reached #13 in the US and #2 in the UK charts) and "Not a Dry Eye in the House" (which reached #7 in the UK charts). "I'd Lie for You (And That's the Truth)" was a duet with Patti Russo (who had been touring with Meat Loaf and singing on his albums since 1993).

The video, which had a bigger budget than any of his previous videos, helped the single in its success. Two of the twelve songs on the album were written by Jim Steinman, whereas the big hits, namely "I'd Lie for You" and "Not a Dry Eye in the House", were written by Diane Warren (who has since written for Meat Loaf on Couldn't Have Said It Better, and Bat III).

In 1998, Meat Loaf released The Very Best of Meat Loaf. Although not reaching the top ten in the UK, it recently went platinum, and was already platinum around the rest of the world just after its release. The album featured all of Meat Loaf's best-known songs as well as a few from his more unknown albums from the 1980s. The album featured no songs from the album Blind Before I Stop. The album also featured three new songs. The music on the two Steinman songs was written and composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The single from the album was "Is Nothing Sacred", written by Jim Steinman with lyrics by Don Black. The single version of this song is a duet with Patti Russo, whereas the album version is a solo song by Meat Loaf.

In 2003, Meat Loaf released his album Couldn't Have Said It Better. The album was a minor success worldwide and reached #4 in the UK charts, accompanied by a sellout world tour which was used to promote the album and some of Meat Loaf's biggest hits. One such performance on his world tour was at the Australian NRL Grand Final in the same year. There were many writers for the album including Diane Warren and James Michael. Meat Loaf liked James Michael so much that he asked him to write a few songs on his 2006 album Bat out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose. The title track was again a duet with Patti Russo who would also duet on Bat III.

Hair of the Dog and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

On February 20 - February 22 , 2004, during Meat Loaf's Australian tour, Meat Loaf did his classics with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, titled Bat out of Hell: Live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He went as far as to bring in the Australian Boy's Choir to do back-up on a Couldn't Have Said It Better track, "Testify". The show went on to spawn a DVD and a CD "Meat Loaf and The Neverland Express featuring Patti Russo Live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra". The CD had few songs from the concert placed on it and were edited.

Meat Loaf sold out over 160 concerts during his 2005 tour, "Hair of the Dog". On November 17, 2003, during a performance at London's Wembley Arena, on his Couldn't Have Said It Better tour, he collapsed of what was later diagnosed as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. The following week, he underwent a surgical procedure intended to correct the problem. As a result, Meat Loaf's insurance agency did not allow him to perform for any longer than one hour and 45 minutes.

As well as singing all the classics, he sang a cover version of the hit single "Black Betty". During this tour Meat Loaf also sang "Only When I Feel", a song meant to appear on his then-upcoming album Bat out of Hell III. The song was subsequently left off the release. During this period Meat Loaf stated that this could be his last 'world' tour and that he would be doing less than a fifth of the concerts he did on his most recent tour.

Bat out of Hell III

Meat Loaf had begun to work on the third installment of Bat out of Hell with Steinman. The composer suffered some health setbacks, including a heart attack. According to Meat Loaf, Steinman was too ill to work on such an intense project, although the composer's health, according to his manager, was not an issue. Steinman had registered the phrase "Bat Out Of Hell" in 1995. Meat Loaf sued Steinman and his manager, in a complaint filed May 28, 2006 in federal District Court in Los Angeles, California, for $50 million and to prevent further use by the writer/producer. Steinman and his representatives attempted to block the album's release. An agreement was reached in Summer 2006. According to Virgin, "the two came to an amicable agreement that ensured that Jim Steinman's music would be a continuing part of the 'Bat Out Of Hell' legacy.

The album was released on October 31, 2006, and was produced by Desmond Child. The first single from the album, "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (featuring Marion Raven) was released on October 16, 2006. It entered the UK singles chart at No. 6, giving Meat Loaf his highest UK chart position since "I'd Lie for You (And That's the Truth)", a duet with Patti Russo that reached No. 2 in November 1995. The album debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 and sold 81,000 copies in its opening week, but after that did not sell well in the US and yielded no hit singles. The album was certified gold. The album also features duets with Patti Russo and Jennifer Hudson.

In the weeks following the release of Bat III, Meat Loaf and the NLE (The Neverland Express) did a brief tour of America and Europe, known as the Bases Loaded Tour. In 2007, a newer, bigger worldwide tour began, the Seize the Night tour, with Marion Raven, serving as a supporting act, throughout the European and US tour. Portions of the tour were captured on film in the Theatrical Documentary Meat Loaf: In Search of Paradise, directed by Bruce David Klein. It's scheduled to be released in 2008.

During a performance at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK on October 31, 2007, at the opening of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" he suggested that the crowd of thousands should enjoy the performance as it was the last of his career. He attempted to sing the first line of the song, but instead said "Ladies and gentlemen, I love you, thank you for coming, but I can no longer continue." Removing the jacket he was wearing, he thanked the audience for 30 years, said "goodbye forever" and left the stage. His tour promoter, Andrew Miller, refuted that this was the end for Meat Loaf and that he would continue touring after suitable rest. The next two gigs in the tour, at the NEC and Manchester Evening News Arena were cancelled due to "acute laryngitis" and were rescheduled for late November. The concert scheduled for November 6, 2007 at London's Wembley Arena was also cancelled. Since then Meat Loaf has cancelled his entire European tour for 2007 after being diagnosed with a cyst on his vocal cords. After releasing a statement he said "It really breaks my heart not to be able to perform these shows" adding "I will be back".

On June 27, 2008, Meat Loaf returned to the stage in Plymouth, England for the first show of his Casa de Carne Tour alongside his longtime duet partner Patti Russo, who debuted one of her own original songs during his show. The tour continued through July and August with twenty dates throughout England, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. Six U.S. dates were also added for October 2008.

Other work

Meat Loaf appeared in the 1997 film Spice World with the Spice Girls Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown, Geri Halliwell, and Melanie Chisholm as their bus driver. During the movie, he drove the tour bus that was decorated with the Union Flag. In that same year, Meat Loaf appeared in the ShoTime series The Dead Man's Gun - The Mail Order Bride. He plays a blacksmith who marries a woman with a young son and rescues her from a vicious ex-lover.

In 1999 he appeared in the film Crazy in Alabama as sheriff John Doggett.

Meat Loaf had a supporting role in the 1999 film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's 1996 book Fight Club. His character was Robert Paulson, a washed up bodybuilder whose use of a combination of performance enhancing substances had increased the estrogen levels of his body resulting in the growth of woman's breasts, and who joins the Narrator's Underground Boxing Ring and is killed while participating in Operation Latte Thunder. Throughout the organization, people remember him by chanting the phrase "His name was Robert Paulson".

In 2000, he appeared as the viral meningitis addled Confederate Colonel Angus Devine in the sixth season episode Gettysburg of The Outer Limits who is accidentally transported forward in time 150 years in a failed attempt to prevent the assassination of the President in 2013.

Meat Loaf appears (uncredited) as Jack Black's father in the 2006 film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. He also provides vocals on the film's opening song Kickapoo. In the special features and commentary of the film's DVD release, it is noted that this is the first time Meat Loaf has sung for a movie soundtrack since The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

He also appeared in the South Park Episode "Chef Aid". In the episode, Chef attempts to sue an artist regarding her new hit song, saying that he created the song years ago. However, he is counter-sued by the artist's record company and needs to raise a large amount of money to pay bail. Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny decide to ask Chef's celebrity friends to create a benefit concert with the proceeds going to Chef. They visit people such as Meat Loaf and Elton John, who agree and provide a flashback reason for their decision. In Meat Loaf's flashback, he claims that he was starting out as an unsuccessful artist named Cous-cous, and after being booed off stage and almost deciding to quit, Chef tells him that his name might be the problem, and then hands him a plate of meatloaf to cheer him up.

Meat Loaf made a cameo appearance in Jimmy Kimmel Live as one of the celebrity singing choir for the musical sketch, "I'm F*cking Ben Affleck", which is a star-studded sketch where host Jimmy Kimmel responds to Sarah Silverman's sketch titled "I'm F*cking Matt Damon", which featured Silverman and Damon as themselves singing an innuendo-filled ballad.

He recently appeared in a AT&T GoPhone commercial and parodied "Let Me Sleep on It", part of the song Paradise by the Dashboard Light with actor Adam Cagley playing his son and 80s pop diva Tiffany Darwish as his wife. Meat Loaf currently has a show airing on DirecTV called Rock and a Hard Place. It takes bands that are fairly well-known and asks them trivia questions to raise money for charity.

Meat Loaf, along with his daughter Pearl Aday and his longtime duet partner Patti Russo, recently taped an episode of the FOX game show Don't Forget the Lyrics!.

Personal life

From August 26 to August 28, 2006, Meat Loaf took part in an annual celebrity golf version of the Ryder Cup called The All*Star Cup in South Wales, UK. August 26, 2006 was a practice day, while August 27 and August 28, 2006 were the two days of actual competition. Europe won the Cup for the second consecutive year. Meat Loaf lost his two games, but was a major hit with the crowds, entertaining them with lots of laughs and fun as he made his way around the course. Alice Cooper was a fellow member of the US team. The event was a big success, with large crowds attending, and the two main days of competition were shown live on UK television.

Meat Loaf is said to have cheated death on numerous occasions, having crashed in a car which rolled over, been hit on the head with a shot put, and being struck by Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. In October 2006, his private jet had to make an emergency landing at London's Stansted Airport after his plane's forward landing gear failed.

Meat Loaf is a supporter of the northern English football team Hartlepool United and, in 2003, the BBC reported he was seeking a residence in the nearby area.

Meat Loaf resided in Redding, Connecticut. He taught a kids' sport team there.

Tours

  • Bat Out Of Hell Tour 1977-1979
  • Dead Ringer Tour 1981
  • Meat Loaf & The NLE Euro Tour '82
  • Meat Loaf World Tour 1983
  • Bad Attitude Tour 1984-1985
  • 20/20 Tour 1987-1988
  • Lost Boys & Golden Girls 1988-1989
  • 1990 Tour
  • 1991-1992 Tour
  • Everything Louder Tour 1993-1995
  • Born To Rock Tour 1996
  • The Very Best Of Tour 1999
  • Storytellers Tour 1999-2000
  • Night Of The Proms Tour 2001
  • Just Having Fun Tour 2002
  • Couldn't Have Said It Better 2003-2004
  • Hair Of The Dog Tour 2005
  • The Bases Are Loaded Tour 2006
  • Seize The Night Tour 2007
  • Three Bats Tour 2007
  • Casa de Carne Tour 2008

Discography

Notable film and TV appearances

References

Books

  • Meat Loaf (1999). To Hell and Back: An Autobiography. ReganBooks. ISBN 0-06-039293-2.

External links

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