Kennedy Street Enterprises and Andrew Miller Promotions present
Meat Loaf and the Neverland Express on Tour
Meat Loaf is the apotheosis of bigness in the art of rock ‘n’ roll, whichever way you want to chew it and view it. His new album ‘Bad Attitude‘, his debut for Arista, sees the recently slimmed down Meat embarking on another chapter of his heroic and singularly individual career of adventure. The album was recorded in London, mainly at Abbey Road studios, because Meat wanted a sound which captured what he describes as ‘English Dramatics’. Mid-way through recording Meat and keyboard player Paul Jacobs took over control of the production subsequently enrolling ace engineer Mack to collaborate on the mix.
Marvin Lee Aday (nicknamed Meat Loaf in school ‘cause of his size) scampered from his home in Dallas in 1966 to California, where he formed a group called Popcorn Blizzard, later to become Meat Loaf Soul. Touring with everyone from The Stooges to the Edgar Winter Band got him plenty chops and plenty tired. Flop. While working as a parking lot attendant in LA someone suggested he try for a gig in the touring company of ‘Hair’. Success! He and a girl called Stoney from the cast cut an album from out of nowhere for Tamla Motown, notable only for Meat’s strong vocals.
Continuing in theatre, Meat auditioned for a play being put on by famed impresario Joe Papp. The piece was written by a crazed young composer named Jim Steinman, and in Meat he recognized a talent he’d been searching for to interpret his oddly powerful pop songs, a heady combination of Wagner and Little Richard. From this was born the album that brought the Meat Loaf moniker to attention of the public at large: ‘Bat Out Of Hell’, which has just completed around 293 weeks on the UK LP charts!
Influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, The Doors and hardcore HM with a dash of Phil Spector, ‘Bat’ was a perfect match made in heaven or hell for Meat’s voice, Jim’s songs and Todd Rundgren’s production, but it didn’t just fall out of the sky into their collective laps. Meat an pal had been working with ‘The National Lampoon Road Show’, while Meat alone had handled vocals on old buddy Ted Nugent’s ‘Free For All’ album and acted the part of ‘Eddie’ in ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’. But to get the ‘Bat’ album off the ground took a lotta trouble. With the hindsight afforded men by multi-mega platinum sales all across the globe, critics are apt to squawk about crass commerciality, but when Meat was trying to sell the concept of ‘Bat’ to record company executives the very idea of the scope and quality of classical extravagance being applied to rock music made more than a few men tremble for their jobs and pass. There was no demo, so Meat would be bellowing in some tiny office while Jim tinkled the ivories till his fingers bled. Backing vocalists were even on hand occasionally to enable Meat to act out some of the more lusty, romantic episodes from the conceptual framework.
Meat Loaf, come 1978 and all that, had himself a hit album of gigantic proportions in the USA, Holland, Australia and the UK. Especially the UK, where it thunders on to this day. Naturally, a sequel was expected, and thereby hangs one of the fables of rock. The release dates came and the release dates went, again and again. As did titles: was it ‘Renegade Angel’ or ‘Bad For Good’ or ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams’? Track listing altered frantically. Producer? Todd or Jimmy Iovine or…Rumours! Meat had lost his voice. Meat had gone stark raving mad. The tapes were damaged. The songs were terrible…
Eventually, amid fabulous tales of master tapes being flown back and forth to the Texas set of ‘Roadie’, the film Meat was working on after his other flick ‘Americathon’, the truth came out. Touring and nerves and unknown gremlins had tortured Meat’s voice to the point where he couldn’t deliver the standard of vocal he wanted. The gross expense le dto a compromise: Steinman would record ‘Bad For Good’ as his solo LP, while Meat (after weird treatments luridly reported in the pop press) would tackle a new-found collection of toons called ‘Dead Ringer’.
That album and the title cut duet with Cher spawned hit action around the world, with videos and live shows all over. ‘Bat’ conquered more ground as a pic disc and half-speed mastering de-luxe item, while two promo-only live Meat Loaf albums became much sought-after collector’s items. There seemed to be no mountain too steep for Meat Loaf to conquer, circa 1980…
Rock ‘n’ Roll is a dangerous game, though, even for a singer who numbers bikers, cops, HM fan and John McEnroe among his fans. As time went on the mighty man, now happily married with a family, found himself in extensive legal and managerial troubles, the like of which he’d hitherto avoided. Pushed to the brink of bankrupcy, he suddenly found his friendship and partnership with Jim Steinman disintegrating in a hail of lawsuits. On the face of it a disaster but in the long run useful because the next Meat Loaf LP, ‘Midnight At The Lost And Found’ proved that what some sniping souls had been saying all along was totally false: Meat could make a hit record without his pal looking over his shoulder; but then Meat always claimed, somewhat tongue in cheek, that
the only people I get along with is me. However, he soon renewed his friendship with Meat, who went on to carve a career for himself as a songwriter and producer…
Which virtually brings us up to date! It’s 1984 and Meat Loaf has a new album and a new label. This fresh start has brought the best out in the man, as he’s willing to testify.
I think the songs are superior this time, he says about ‘Bad Attitude’.
My last sounded small. We need that ‘wall of sound’ applied with my vocals. This record has some real classic songs. The single, ‘Modern Girl’, is as good as anything I’ve ever done! Strong stuff! The album was done in 60 days working 13-14 hours a day, and in the style of Meat’s duet with Cher the title cut ‘Bad Attitude’ sees the big man battling with ex-Who star Roger Daltrey.
And why England?
Well, all we did in the past was sit around and wonder how we could go for that English vibe! So it seemed a good idea to do it there… And with a combination of regular band members and hot Anglo personnel, too, first take vocals being the successful order of the day. Good omen! Songs include ‘Jumpin The Gun’, a duet with a mystery female who walked into Arista UK one day looking for a gig, plus tow Jim Steinman tunes: ‘Surf’s Up’ (no relation to classic Brian Wilson classic) which first appeared on ‘Bad For Good’, and an early version of ‘Nowhere Fast’, the song he wrote for the soundtrack of Walter Hill’s smash movie for fantasy ‘Streets Of Fire’.
Previously Meat Loaf & The Neverland Express have played only two mayor venues in the UK, like Wembley, but to further cement his love affair with his adopted home the man is about to embark on a major 23-date tour.
I looked at groups like Quo who played places like Ipswich and I said And Arista is part of the new Meat Loaf too?
Why don’t I do this? I mean, that’s the way we do America! So this time that’s what we are doing. No Wembley, it’s three nights at Hammersmith Odeon. I’ve only played there once before!
Well, I’d had it with my old record company…They were nice but they weren’t into what I did. It was such a big company. I feek much better here.
Meat Loaf may be slimmed down, but he’s gonna be bigger than ever. ‘Bad Attitude’ is good for you…
16th. Sheffield, City Hall
17th. Nottingham, Royal Centre
19th. Cardiff, St. David’s Hall
20th. Portsmouth, Guildhall
21st. St. Austell, Coliseum
23rd. Bristol, Colston Hall
24th. Southampton, Gaumont
25th. Oxford, Apollo
27th. Newcastle, City Hall
28th. Harrogate, Centre
29th. Manchester, Apollo
1st. Birmingham, Odeon
3/4th. Hammersmith, Odeon
5th. Liverpool, Empire
7th. Ipswich, Gaumont
8th. Brighton, Centre
9th. Birmingham, Odeon
19th. Glasgow, Apollo
20th. Aberdeen, Capitol
21st. Edinburgh, Playhouse
17th. Leicester, De Montford Hall
19th. Newcastle, City Hall
20th. Edinburgh, Playhouse
22nd. Manchester, Apollo
23rd. Birmingham, N.E.C.
24th. Harrogate, Centre
26th. Bournemouth, Windsor Hall
27th. Brighton, Centre
29th. Preston, Guild Hall
30th. Sheffield, City Hall
31st. Ipswich, Gaumont
2nd. Hammersmith, Odeon
- Bad Attitude
- I’m Gonna Love Her for Both of Us
- Dead Ringer for Love
- Midnight at the Lost and Found
- Jumoin’ the Gun
- Modern Girl
- Piece of the Action
- Nowhere Fast
- Paradise by the Dashboard Light
- All Revved Up With No Place To Go
- Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad
- Take a Number
- Bat Out of Hell
Wells Kelly (1949—1984)
I want to be your friend… forever and ever
Till the hills and mountains are flat
And the streams and river run dry
Till it rains and snows in summer
And lightnings and thunders in winter
Till Heaven and Earth mingle
Nor till then shall I part from you
—by Wells Kelly
Management: Beverly Hills Bob Productions — Robert Ellis
Business Manager: Ernst & Whinney
Stage Set Design: Plumline Designs
Costume Design: Lorraine Kinman
Public Relations: Versa Manos, Arista Records
Solicitor: Russels — Tony English
Photography: Simon Fowler, Allan Ballard, Sheila Rock, John Golden, Leslie Aday, Buddy Rosenburg, Bob Carlos Clark
Art Consultant: Nicholas Marchant
Programme Design: Zarkowski Designs
Tour Manager: Robbie Johnstone
Stage Manager: Gordon Adams
Guitars: Pete Carr
Keyboards: Dave McAnn
Drums and Set: John Ross
Lighting Designer: Bambi
Crew: Phil Deboissiere
Caterers: Rollin Stone (Rachel)
Rigger: John Dahl
Sound Engineer: Dave Bachelor
Monitors: Jerry Fradley
Wardrobe: Stephanie Syron
Sound: Field Services
Lights: Zenith Lighting
Trucks: Redburn Transfer
Truck Drivers: Bob Wogan and Andy Beattie
Car Service: Warwick Cars
Dean designed and constructed by Ashley For U.B.U.
Clothes designed by Lorraine Kinman
Make Up: Leonie for Stage Door Salon
Thanks to: Guild Strings, Roto Sound, Jackson Guitars, Washburn Guitars, Marshall Amplification — Jim Marshall and Ken Bran, Korg Keyboards, Yahama Keyboards — Jerry Unwins, Ludwig Drums, Zildjian Cymbals — Colin Schofield
Thanks to: Pete Edmonds, Chris Redburn, Chris Adamson & Paul Turner, Keith Roper
Special Thanks to: David Simone, Brian Yates, Nicholas Marchant, David Shortt, Chrissie Harwood, Mark Foster, Versa Manos, Patsy Johnson, Winston Lee, Gordon Mackenzie, Claire King, Giles Barwood, Chris Haralambous, David Cobb, Chris Cooke, Kim Marshall, Gillian Diamond, Julie Palm, Sue Ash, Sarah Noble-Jones, Val Rooker, Jasmine Kimera, Theresa Lawrence, Kim Nembhard, Ian Catford and Gary Taylor at Suzuki GB Ltd., Sarah Durkee, Arthur Indurski, Allan Grobman, David Sturmwasser, John Kowalski, ATI, Andy Waters, John Giddings, Jim Walker, Bob Kempenich, Hal Rodrigues, EW, Zoe Valm, Brian Turner, Sheila Budd, Geoffrey Knight
Janet and Matthew Discock
Simon Woodruff, Brian Morrison, Dick Leahy, Simon Potts, Art Jaeger, Dana (Cordon Blue) Ferguson
Fan Mail to
Meat Loaf Fan Club
PO Box 68
Stockport SK3 0JY, England
Band Line Up
Vocals: Meat Loaf
Musical Direction, Keyboards, Guitars & Vocals: Paul Jacobs
Lead Guitar: Bob Kulick
Bass & Vocals: John Golden
Keyboards & Vocals: Brian Chatten
Drums & Percussion: Andy Wells
Vocals: Kati Mac, Doreen Chanter
Keep your wheels rollin and your heart rockin. —Meat Loaf