Meat Loaf — Three Bats Tour
Who Does Meat Loaf Think He Is?
by Rob Tannenbaum for Blender
It’s 11 p.m. on a typical evening. What are you doing? Sleeping. I’m old. [Laughs] I’m a movie freak, so maybe I’m watching a film. That, or reruns of America’s Got Talent.
You’re wishing you could be a contestant? Wishing that I could twirl batons with flames. I just can’t figure out why my mother didn’t insist that I take twirling. It pisses me off.
It doesn’t seem to have held you back. It did for my twirling!
What’s your special talent? Softball pitching, slow pitch. That, and understanding the stage. Not singing, but movement on the stage, and knowing how it affects an audience. I can upstage anyone, and steal a moment in a heartbeat.
Do you enjoy being called Meat Loaf?
I’ve lived with the name my whole life. And no matter how many times I tried to get rid of it, I couldn’t. It hung on. When I first went to California, nobody knew that I was called Meat Loaf. They kept calling me Tex because I’m from Texas. My real name is Marvin. And Levi’s had a commercial on the radio that said,
Poor fat Marvin can’t wear Levi’s. And I was fat. It nearly destroyed me. I’m still not over it. If we had lawyers growing up, I would own that company.
What age are you emotionally? Twelve. I’m very much a boy. I love gadgets, golf, baseball. I love video games, but I’ve destroyed my thumbs playing on the bus. They constantly hurt now. The only way to fix them is through surgery.
What will the first line of your obituary say?
They’ll probably start the obituary with
Marvin, which is just my luck. Marvin Lee Aday, also known as Meat Loaf…I’ll be glad I’m dead!
Peter Robinson vs. Meat Loaf New Musical Express, UK
Hello Meat Loaf. Thank you for inviting me to your hotel room. Would you like some coffee?
Yes I would. Well, that’s fine. I will make you a cup. Do you want sugar?
One please. Oh, that’s way too much. You’re just asking too much now. Do you want white or brown?
White, please. You see, these are major decisions going on here. It’s not too early for you to make these decisions, is it? Here is your coffee! Just like you like it!
You are the perfect host, Meat. But, what’s wrong with you in general? Trust en generosity.
The coffee proves that. Do you suffer from road rage? I believe in letting people turn out of gas stations when the traffic’s stacked up. But sometimes I’ll honk my horn at people.
I don’t like honking at people because I’m afraid the horn will jam and I’ll have to drive around with the horn out. Well, we should be discussing you then. You have a paranoid personality! You’re thinking too negative there, son. You’re WAY over the top! You’re past reality! I’m trusting my horn won’t stick. Is your car from 1930?
No. Then your horn won’t stick! Honk that sucker! You have permission from Meat Loaf to honk your horn. Don’t do it in LA though — they’ll pull a gun on you! It’s like the Wild West!
I have a problem with your new Bat Out of Hell album. You have a PROBLEM with my album? I have to hear this.
There aren’t enough brackets in the song titles. These are very important details in terms of ‘Bat’ brand values. Oh, perhaps you don’t have the real thing yet. Let me see the sleeve (examines NME’s cdr). Oh, I see, you’ve got it wrong. They just haven’t corrected it yet. Let me correct it for you (produces Biro). You see this track is not ‘Land of The Pigs’—it’s ‘Land of The Pig (The Butcher is King), for a start. There you go.
I’m still not happy. In this track at the end could you not have ‘The Future (Ain’t What It Used To Be)’ instead of ‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be’? Er… No, you can’t do it. It’s one sentence! The future ain’t what it used to be! Whereas ‘land of the pig (butcher is king) is alright.
I don’t want us to fall out over this, but I think you are wrong. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.
Did you keep your man-boobs when you finished with them in Fight Club? There would be absolutely no reason to. They were almost 17 lbs a piece! Women who have large boobs — I feel for them. I wore that suit for almost nine months and I needed masseuses on set every day. I felt like my head was going to fall off! You have no idea what it’s like. NO IDEA! Every man should carry breasts for a week.
Have you ever been killed in a dream? Is it actually true that if you die in a dream you actually die? I believe in that scenario. The most horrific dream I have is that I find myself naked on top of a bus going down 5th avenue.
Do you look good naked? Not particularly. That’s why they paid me money to keep my clothes on when I appeared in Hair.
Your hair is looking quite good these days, Meat. Are you asking me out?
Not really. I’m not available today anyway — I’m going to a party tonight, and tomorrow I’m in Wales. I’ve probably been leading you on a bit but I’m a boring date. I just go out to the movies and buy popcorn.
What will the next Bat Out of Hell album be like? Oh, I don’t have enough time to do any more. There were 16 years between one and two, and now there have been 14 years between two and three. Figure out how old I am and add 13 of 14 years to that — I just don’t think that I’m going to be sitting here talking to you in 14 years.
Will you be dead? I might die. My hope is that if I die it’s quick and onstage. That would be quite dramatic. There’s not many people who’ve actually died onstage. It gets you a lot of press.
This is making me a bit sad. Well, at least there’ll be a box set and some remasters.
Q&A with Meat Loaf
by Austin Scaggs. Reprinted from Rolling Stone, November 16, 2006
Back in the day, what did your parents think of the nickname Meat Loaf?
My dad started it — when I first learned to walk my name was Meat. And if you look in my old yearbooks, they say Meat Loaf everywhere. When I did Hair in ‘69, no one asked me where I got the name. We had just come out of the Sixties, and everyone was still on acid until ‘76. It wasn’t until I did the first interview for Bat Out of Hell that somebody asked about my name, and I said
I’ve been called that for twenty-eight years! What’s wrong with you? (Laughs)
Your shows are so theatrical — did you grow up listening to musicals? My mother loved Oklahoma and Carousel. To be perfectly honest, when I was a kid I didn’t even know who Chuck Berry was. I was more into football. If you sum up my influence as a kid, it’s Oklahoma, Carousel and Johnny Unitas. Musical and football. And if you look at my stage performances, that’s kind of what it’s like: a football team with music.
What concerts that you’ve seen have a similar energy?
You have to go a long way back: the Who in 1968 at the Grand Ballroom, after I opened for them with my first band; Joplin at Cal State Northridge in early ‘68; then I opened for Hendrix, which was absolutely mind-boggling; Springsteen in Asbury Park and Buffalo Springfield at the Aquarius Theater. Those guys attacked it, like
We’re gonna fuckin’ give you a show! The rest of them, I go in and get disappointed in how they take the stage — like,
OK, I’m here, worship me!
That reminds me of something you said recently — that you went into therapy in the Eighties to
get over myself.
(Laughs) I did. I’m not build to be a celebrity. I met Elvis and John Lennon, and I was an idiot, a complete moron. I think of myself as a plumber. In 1978 I was prepared to do the shows, but I wasn’t prepared for everybody coming up to me like
I’m your best friend and always have been. And I wasn’t ready for the criticism and rejection. I’m not thick skinned.
I read somewhere that the first Bat Out of Hell somehow morphed out of Peter Pan. How’d that happen? Good question. A demented mind. It has to be Jim Steinman and his desire to be a Lost Boy, to never grow up. That’s everyone’s desire. But you have to admit that the entertainment business keeps you younger that any other business. In sports you get old quick. But have you seen the Rolling Stones recently? Unbelievable! (Mick) Jagger is buff, and he has incredible stamina. It goes to show that it’s not all sex, drugs and rock & roll. He made me go to the gym — I’m not working weights yet, but I’m working the treadmill.
Take it easy, because I don’t think you’d sing like you do if you weighed a buck-fifty. If I weighed a buck-fifty, I’d disappear. The wind would blow me away.
Have you read the Motley Crue autobiography, The Dirt? Hell, no! I don’t think I could handle it. I’m far too conservative.
How do you know how debauched they were? In 1984, I was around Tommy Lee and Vince Neil for a week, and I got it. Plus, my daughter, Pearl, went on tour with Motley Crue as a background singer, so I’m pretty in tune with them (laughs).
Is Halloween a big day for the Meat Loaf family? (Laughs) You remember Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? That’s what my house looks like on Halloween. I put up tombstones, giant spiders, bats, cobwebs, witches and pumpkins. I’ve hired teenagers to hang out in the front yard to scare kids.
When Brian May played guitar on the epic "Bad for Good," did he ever say it sounded like a Queen song?
No. He said,
Sounds like Bat Out of Hell III to me. It was amazing watching him work. He was sweating. Literally. He’d play something and say
That’s not good enough. He’d adjust amps, stand closer to the amp, get more sustain… He was there for ten hours. I’m in love with guitars, and the guitar work on this album is outstanding.
Like the Dixie Chicks, you’re from Texas. Are you ashamed that Bush is from your homestate? I wouldn’t touch that question with a ten-foot pole.
Favorite Albums of All Time My favorite is Hotel California, but the album I’ve listened to most is Born to Run. All the Bob Seeger records. And stuff from an old Scottish singer Frankie Miller.
Most Emotional Song to Sing "Objects in the Rear View Mirror," from Bat Out of Hell II. The middle section is dead-on about my father—I can’t even do it live.
Best Guitarist Ever Angus Young (from AC/DC) — I don’t know how he does it — Jimi Hendrix, Steve Vai, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Jeff Beck and Steve Lukather from Toto.
Last CD Bought The Eagles of Death Metal’s Death by Sexy. They’re really cool. Go listen to them.
Mark Alexander Piano/Keyboards
Mark Alexander has been playing keyboards for as long as he’s been talking, with formal lessons starting at age 5. Soon after moving to New York City in the 80’s, he began playing and recording with artists as diverse as Joe Cocker, Enrique Iglesias, Curtis Stigers, and Little Steven. He’s been playing with Meat Loaf since 1989. Mark says
Playing with Meat is more than playing a rock show… it’s an event!! It’s a thrill as a pianist to be able to really stretch out technically and try out new ideas every night. Meat Loaf always encourages this. Although not a keyboardist himself (however, he does a wicked Jerry Lee Lewis imitation) the energy and ferocity he puts into his performances have influenced me greatly as a musician. Mark was born December 24, sometime in the last century.
CC Backing Vocals
Singing was born into me. I come from a very musical family. I started my first band with my brother, when I was 19 and never stopped. Then, one day in 2003, I got the opportunity to audition for Meat Loaf, and here I am, a dream come true. Whether there’s 5 people watching or 55,000 I feel at home on stage. It’s a wonderful experience working with Meat Loaf and I am very happy to be part of the Neverland Express.
Paul Crook Guitar
I started playing guitar at the age of nine. I learned through private instruction but mostly from listening to players like Brian May, Eddie Van Halen, Angus Young and Tony Iommi. I spend most of the 90’s touring with Anthrax and Sebastian Bach. I’ve been performing with Meat since 2003 so I’m relatively new to the Neverland Express. All of my favorite "touring" moments are with these guys/gals. I spend a lot of my off-stage time laughing when I’m in their company. I spend most of my on-stage time in amazement as I watch Meat Loaf work a crowd. I love this man and I’m very honored to be on stage performing for you beautiful people.
Randy Flowers Guitar
Randy grew up in a small town just outside of Charleston, West Virginia where he began studying music at age ten. In 1993 moved to Nashville and worked as session musician and a touring sideman for such artists as Bread, David Gates, Michael English, Keith Urban, Lorrie Morgan, and Wynonna. After working on an album with his band Pinch, (produced by former Meat Loaf guitarist Pat Thrall), Randy was recommended for an audition with Meat Loaf in 2003. He’s still waiting to hear if he got the gig!
Dave Luther Sax/Keyboards
David Luther was born in the northern Michigan town of Traverse City. At age four, his parents placed him in piano lessons, unwittingly tossing him into what would be an enduring path through the years to come. By the time David had sprouted a kernel of individual taste at age 12, he picked up the saxophone, which prevails to be his primary instrument. He spent several years at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, from which he graduated with a BFA in Jazz Studies; regretfully, he never ran the Naked Mile. David’s next migration brought him to New York City, where he currently resides and intends to remain for some time. Over the course of his career, he has had the good fortune to play with a variety of musicians, including Dr. Lonnie Smith, Reuben Wilson, Jimmy McGriff, Seleno Clarke, Betty Lavette, The Temptations, Dennis Edwards, Clarence Clemmons, The Boix Tops, Johnny Bassett, Steve Rush, Al Hill, and Odessa Harris. Until its closure, he was also a regular sub on the broadway show Movin’ Out. David joined Meat Loaf’s band in the fall of 2006, a pivotal moment in his career’s unfolding. He has thoroughly enjoyed his tenure with Meat and the band thus far, and looks forward to embarking on his first mayor tour with them.
John Miceli Drums
Sixteen years ago, John met Meat Loaf while drumming for the band, Marchello. They became fast friends and John has been anchoring the band ever since, touring the world with Meat. John has toured with Blue Öyster Cult, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Marchello, The Good Rats, Nine Days and Talas. Most recently, John was the drummer in Queen’s musical in Las Vegas, We Will Rock You. Queen’s Brian May has said,
The brilliant John Miceli … is in the absolute world wide top echelon of rock drummers — a stunning player … When he’s not touring, John can be found auditioning for American Idol and Dancing With The Stars in various cities across the U.S.
Aspen Miller Vocals/Backing Vocals
Aspen Miller is a recent addition to the Neverland Express, and is delighted to be making her tour debut with Meat Loaf. She has an extensive background in theater, most recently starring as Scaramouche in Queen’s We Will Rock You in Las Vegas, and is also an accomplished voiceover actress. She voiced the role of Dodie Bishop on Nickelodeons Emmy nominated As Told by Ginger, had a guest starring role on The Rugrats and voiced three characters in the popular video game Everquest II. Aspen had the honor of being asked to sing at Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sydmonton Festival when she was just a teenager, and her voice has been heard singing jingles for such companies as Disneyland, American Airlines, Petco and Burger King. She thanks her family of their never-ending support.
Kasim Sulton Music Director/Bass
Kasim has been performing with Meat Loaf for over a decade. He has appeared on all three Bat Out of Hell records, as well as Welcome to the Neighborhood, Couldn’t Have Said It Better and Storytellers. As an accomplished recording and touring musician, Kasim has played with some of the biggest names in the business for over 30 years. Kasim has worked with Todd Rundgren and Utopia, Meat Loaf, Joan Jett, Hall and Oates, Patti Smith, Patty Smyth, Mick Jagger, Céline Dion, and The New Cars to name jus a few. His level of involvement has ranged fromn playing bass, keyboards, and/or guitar, to adding vocal harmonies, singing lead and contributing as a songwriter. Kasim was born in Brooklyn. NY, and moved to Staten Island, NY at the age of 6, where he still lives today.
Kasim Sulton: Musical Director / Bass
Mark Alexander: Piano / Keyboards
John Miceli: Drums
Paul Crook: Guitar
Randy Flowers: Guitar
Aspen Miller: Vocals / Backing Vocals
CC: Backing Vocals
David Luther: Saxophone / Keyboards
Bill Barclay: Tour Manager
Cheryl Hall: Assistant Tour Manager
Joe Lennane: Production Manager
Roxanne Fairman: Personal Assistant to Meat Loaf
Donny Gordon: Stage Manager
Bill Sheldon: Lighting Director
George Wehrlin: Front of House Engineer
Tim Coakley: Monitor Engineer
Eric Vetro: Vocal Coach
Charlie Milton: Guitar Technician
Joe Libretti: Drum Technician
Grady Champion: Guitar Technician
Randy Brown: Keyboard Technician
Pam Lewis: Wardrobe
Thomas Lyster: Rigger
Wayne Bukovinsky: Lighting System Technician
Scotty Waller: Carpenter
Jerry Zambardino: Carpenter
Mark McArthur: Sound System Technician
Nate Moore: Sound System Technician
Renato Sulmona: Pyro Technician
Tristan Ford: Pyro Technician
Nelson Funk: Video Technician
Louis Smith: Video Technician
Steve Arch: Neg Earth Lighting
Tim Phillips: Neg Earth Lighting
Ann-Marie Tonks: Catering
Helena Robertson: Catering
Kathryn Connard: Catering
Konrad Hoeker: Band Bus Driver
Oliver Freigang: Crew Bus Driver
Hans Koch: Crew Bus Driver
Tony Curtin: Truck Driver
Barry Sadler: Truck Driver
Tenth Street Entertainment: Artist Management
Gary Haber and Terry Doty: Business Management, Haber Corporation
John Giddings: Solo Agency
Larry Richter, Richter Entertainment Group: Tour Accountant
Gerald "Jerry" Gendron, Gendron Management, Inc.: Tour Accountant
Gary King: Scorpio Sound Systems
Dave Ridgeway: Neg Earth Lighting
George Studnicky: Creative Stage Lighting
Video: XL Touring Video
Dell Roll: EST; Transportation and Logistics
Buses: Coach Service GmbH
Wade Daniels: Sound Moves
Joe Gallagher: Accurate Staging
Jackie Mosolog: AAA Radios
Lon, Donna & Liz: Smart Art Itineraries
Seth Sheck: Access Pass & Design
Doug and Michael: Casbah Online
Christ Telford: Snakatak Catering
Dell Furrano, Phil Cussen, Rick Fish, Pete Weber, David Seltzer, Jamie Betwee, Aimee Bruckner: Signature Network, Inc. Merchandising
Jeremy Joseph, Yanya Davis, Emily Theobald, Ben Rawling: De-lux Merchandising Co Ltd.
Mick Ridley: Road Merchandise Manager
Michelle Kramer, Terese Mullins: Air Apparent Travel
Tina Waters: The Tour Company
Debbie, Nancy, Ellen: Preferred Travel
Tour Book Design: Iron Forge Press, Inc.
Tourbook Photographt: Timothy White for stocklandandmartel.com, P.R. Brown for Bau-Da Design Lab, Inc., Mark Weiss for markweiss.com
Tourbook printed by Hill Shorter Ltd.
Ali Rahimi of Mon Atelier: Wardrobe Design
Kasim Sulton endorses Interstate Music / Archer Guitars, Euphone Audio Amplifiers, Elixer Strings, Sydec Audio Engineering
John Miceli endorses Sonor Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Gibraltar Hardware, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Evans Drum Heads, Bag End Speakers
Mark Alexander endorses Korg Keyboards
Paul Crook endorses Ed Roman Guitars, Randall Amps, Digitech, Lexicon, DR Strings, Floyd Rose Speedloaders, EV Wireless Systems, TKL Cases
Randy Flowers endorses Fender Guitars, Washburn Guitars, Dean Markley Strings
Special Thanks To:
Don Henderson, Frank Casanova: Apple Inc.
Deborah Gillespie: Meat Keeper