Meat Loaf — VH1 Storytellers
All Revved Up With No Place To Go
Life Is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back
Story: Howie and Ashley’s first kiss 1:46
You Took the Words Right out of My Mouth
Story: “What’s That?” 1:26
I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)
Lawyers, Guns and Money 4:57
Story: Meeting Steinman in New York 1:56
More Than You Deserve
Story: Writing for Neverland :47
Heaven Can Wait
Story: You can’t demo ‘Bat’ 3:05
Paradise by the Dashboard Light
Story: Performing for television :34
Two out of Three Ain’t Bad
Story: ‘Psycho out of Hell’ :21
Bat out of Hell
Is Nothing Sacred (new single version) 4:43
Jim Steinman / Don Black
Meat Loaf: Lead Vocals, Guitar
Kasim Sulton: Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals & Musical Direction
John Miceli: Drums
Patti Russo: Vocals
Pearl Aday: Vocals
Tom Brislin: Piano, Vocals
Damon La Scot: Lead Guitars
Ray Anderson: Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Produced by Kasim Sulton
Recorded live in October 1998 by John Harris at Metropolis Studios, N.Y.C.
Mixed by Frank Filipetti at Right Track Recording
Additional Engineering: Jess Sutcliffe, Eric Bates
Assistant Engineers: Andrew Fellus, Steve Mazur, Pete Karam, Tim Harkins, Stephanie Gylden and Eugene Bates
Album Executive Producer: Jordan Berliant
Additional Recording: Westlake Audio (Los Angeles, CA), A&M Recording Studios (Los Angeles, CA), and Bates Brothers Recording (Birmingham, AL)
Digital Editing: Paul Angelli
A&R Coordination: Jed Groding
Mastered at Sterling Sound by Ted Jensen
Equipment: Euphonic Audio, Ashdown Amps, Stuart Spector Designs, Gibson Guitars, Furman Sound, Inc., Sonor Drums, E.O. Mari, Dean Markley, Audio Technica Microphones.
SPECIAL THANKS: Allen Kovac, Jeff Sydney, Lewis Kovac, Randy Nicklaus, Jordan Berliant, Ed Thomas, Ashley Smith, Laure Dunham, Eli Lande, Lawrence Kovcac, Carol Sloat, Dawn White, Beverly Lund, Justin Walker, Mike Lane, Jason Whittington, Barbara Bolan, Susan McEowen, Julie Du Brow, Gina Iorillo, Chuck Oliner, Kevin O’regan, Jed Grodin, Alicia Winfield, Steve Burkow, Brett & Michelle Cullen, Miles & Leslie Levy, Ty Harmon & Steve Chasman, Jonny Podell, Jim Wiatt, Janet Alhante, Antonio Banderas, Dennis Quaid, David Fincher, Kevin Hooks, Joe Cardone, Peter Chelsun, Amy Kovac, John Sykes, Bruce Gillmer, Wayne Isaac, Bill Flanagan, Mike Simon, Lauren Zalaznick, Shawn Murphy, Pete Demas, Jeff Gaspin, Robert Katz, Michael Larkin, Jessica Heacock, Mark McIntyre, Scot Reich, Ed Paparro, Catherine Furniss, Jeremy Ruby-Strauss, Judith Regan, Paul Oslewski, Andre Becker & everyone at Regan/Harper Collins, Earl & Peg Shuman, Harley & Maria Medcalf, Yogi & Carmen Berra, Admiral Ronald ‘Rabbit’ Christenson, Leslie, Pearl, Amanda, Winnie & Gussie
Official International Fan Club
P.O. Box 5248 Bellingham, Washington 98227 USA
Nothing is more useless than liner notes that try to describe what you’re already listening to. You’ve got the music… You don’t need someone telling you what it sounds like. But in the spirit of VH1 Storytellers, it just might be worth telling the story behind the album — talking about how this particular album came to be.
Here’s the lowdown. VH1 has a series called Storytellers in which great singer/songwriters tell a small audience the stories about how they wrote their best known songs. And then play them. Pretty simple, but very effective television. The idea is that music on TV generally fails when it tries to recapture a big concert experience. So much of what makes a show great at Madison Square Garden — the big stage, the huge speakers, the roaring crowd, the lights, the set, the smoke bombs, the dry ice (okay, I’m dating myself now) just gets lost or comes off as overblown when you’re sitting at home on the couch in your underwear, watching it squeezed down into a little box.
Storytellers goes the other way. The concept behind the series is, TV can’t capture what it feels like to see a rock show in a big place — but TV can do one thing really well: it can put you face to face with someone and let them talk to you. Our attitude was, Iif we can’t make a television show that feels like a concert hall, let’s go the other way — let’s give people at home an experience no concert hall can duplicate. Let’s give them a chance to have a musician talk and sing right to them. Let’s make a show that feels like you’re at a party at a great musician’s house and it gets to be around midnight and someone hands him a guitar and he starts telling you about his songs.
Ray Davies did the first VH1 Storytellers in 1996. He’s a master songwriter and a wonderful racounteur. He proved it really could work. Before Ray’s episode had even aired, a couple of other Brits, Elvis Costello and Sting, agreed to give it a go. By the time Garth Brooks, Billy Joel, and Elton John said they’d take a crack at it, VH1 had a hit series.
Enter Meat Loaf. We talked about Meat Loaf doing the series from day one. His songs are already great stories, and he’s the kind of vivid character the camera loves. Hey, the guy’s a serious actor as well as a multi-platinum rock star. Who could be better?
There was just one hang-up (and it’s the sort of thing that bothers no one in the real word but gives us TV producters an excuse to have meetings to justify our jobs): Meat Loaf doesn’t write his own songs. He has his own sound, his own persona, his songs are written FOR him. But like, say Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, Meat doesn’t make up songs for himself. He makes other people’s songs his own. In fact, Meat Loaf does Elvis and Sinatra one better — he sings songs that are written for (and in some ways about) him by his longtime collaborator Jim Steinma.
So we said, Let’s do the show with Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman, the man who wrote most of Meat’s hits. Meat Loaf said,
Great, that’ll be fun. Steinman agreed, but he was living in London, working on a stage musical with Andrew Lloyd Webber. We had to keep moving the shoot date around to accommodate Steinman’s schedule.
Finally we got a window that worked for everybody: New York City on October 5, 1998. That’s when this album was made.
Around October 3, Meat rolled into town for rehearsals. We’d already be talking about how to make the show work, and Meat had given us lots of great ideas — the first was that he wanted it to look like it was happening in someone’s living room, but in a locker room. (He said,
If you want me to really open up and be at home it’s got to be either a locker room or a kitchen.) We thought that was a pretty good idea and we got to work designing a set.
I arrived at the rehearsal with the director and producer and we sat there with our hands in our pockets nodding our heads while Meat Loaf and his band played the songs. Then I got up and started throwing my weight around, saying you gotta do this and don’t forget about that and the stories need to be like this and remember to … Meat Loaf listened with the same expression you have on your face when the cop is giving you the lecture before he gives you the ticket. He nodded and asked if they could try another song. I said go ahead. He cued the band to play “You Took the Words Right vOut of My Mouth.” He was singing it great, and when he got to the chorus he handed me the microphone and said,
Now you sing it. I looked at him. He said, SING IT! like the high school gym teacher telling you to get up that damn rope. I sang it. The band grinned. The director and producer tried not to laugh. Meat Loaf took back the microphone and said, Now you sit down.
Lesson learned. We can all stand around and talk about it, maybe we can even help. But Meat Loaf’s the guy who’s going to DO it.
And when the chips were down, man, he did great. Every good show starts with a series of disasters. This was no exception. I won’t bore you with the lighting truss or the monitor problems, but the big headache was the last minute word that Steinman was sick in London and wasn’t going to show.
Oh, no, what do we do? Meat Loaf said, Don’t worry.
The show run-through was hilarious. Meat announced he needed a desk. We came up with one. Then he announced that he needed on of the men in the crew to lie on the desk. We drafted somebody. Then he announced he needed a woman. One of the producers stepped forward.
Okay, Meat said, now you have to climb upon the guy and straddle him. You can imagine the protests. Laughter, and threats of complaints to be filed with the VH1 Human Resources Department. But Meat Loaf adopted his “Do it for the coach” persona and pretty soon the Storytellers crew were acting out the romantic audience participation section of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” (Note to Amy: thanks again for not filling the sexual harassment papers.)
Watching Meat and his band lay out the show we knew we had nothing to worry about — this was going to be a blast. But we had a new proble. All the songs were realy, really long and all the stories were great — and also long. How the hell would we fit this in an one hour show? More immediatly — how the hell would we fit a fifteen minute opus like “Paradise” into eight minute blocks between commercials?
Leave it to Meat Loaf. He said,
Well, when we get to the place where you have to go to a commercial, I’ll stop and say, The band tried it, we all fell over laughing. We said, We’ll be back with the rest of this song after these messages. Can we really do this? Meat said, Who’s stopping us? That seemed to be a pretty good attitude to take for the rest of the production.
I can’t tell you how much fun that night turned out to be — I don’t have to, you can hear it. Meat drew the studio audience into the show, into the songs, into his world just as he pulled in all us VH1’ers. What really knocked everybody out was how powerfully Meat Loaf the man uses his training as an actor and his chops as a singer to create something big and grand that somehow, at its core, feels very real and intimate. I have no idea of the depths this guy who used to be M.L. Aday draws on to make his music. But for a sound that is so broad and accessible, it can really shock you with how deep it can go.
When the Storytellers filming was over and everybody was done slapping eachotheron the back and taking credit for Meat Loaf’s work, when the last trade shot was snapped and the last fan had filed out of the studio, Meat came out and looked around and said,
I really enjoyed this. I’d like to do it again. In fact, I’d like to buy this set from you and take it with me.
I figured he was kidding, or just caught up in the emotion of what started out rough and turned out to be an extraordinary night. Bus as usual, Meat Loaf meant what he said. In 1999 he put together a VH1 Storytellers tour and hit the road with the locker room set and the stories to tell, and all those songs that are the soul property of Meat Loaf, but belong to everybody.
Executive Producer, VH1 Storytellers
Beyond / BMG
Lawyers, Guns and Money
Well, I went home with the waitress
You know—the way I always do
Well, how was I to know, yeah
She was with the Russians too
Now I’m gambling in Havana
You know I took a little risk
Send lawyers, guns and money
Daddy, won’t you get me out of this?
I’m an innocent bystander
Oh but somehow I got stuck
Between a rock and a hard place
And I’m down on my luck
Oh yeah, I’m down on my luck
Oh yeah, I’m down on my luck
Oh baby, I’m down on my luck
I’m so far down I don’t think I’ll ever get up
If it weren’t for bad luck
Oh, if it weren’t for real bad luck
I would have no luck at all, yeah....
Get it on....
Now I’m stranded in Honduras
I’m a desperate man
Send lawyers, guns and money
The shit has hit the fan
Send lawyers, guns and money, whoo
Send lawyers, guns and money, whoo, whoo, whoo, whoo
Get me out of this
Send lawyers, guns and money
You know the shit has hit the fan.......
[ "Lawyers, Guns and Money" was first recorded by Warren Zevon on his 1978 album "Excitable Boy" ]
Written by Warren Zevon
© 1978 Zevon Music BMI