The Meteoric Career of Singer-Songwriter-Actor
"No one thought the fat kid could be a rock star who would sell millions of records."
Marvin Lee Aday (Meat Loaf) was born September 27th, 1948 in Dallas, Texas. When Meat Loaf came into the world the Aday family in Dallas were well known in the local gospel music scene. It was there that Meat Loaf would first sing in front of church audiences. The short time he spent singing in church would end when his mother died from cancer. In the following years his father would become an raging alcoholic. It was in 1967 when Meat Loaf was in college that his father in a drunken rage tried to kill him. It was then that Meat Loaf left home to move to Los Angles.
In Los Angles, Meat Loaf formed "Popcorn Blizzard", a strange little band which had regional success. But, Meat Loaf still had to work as a parking lot valet. It was there that he met a fellow aspiring actor who suggested he audition for a new musical "Hair" at Aquarian Theater. He was hired to portray Ulysses S. Grant in the musical. The musical would take Meat Loaf all the way to Broadway and critical acclaim. While on tour he also recorded an album for Motown's Rare Earth label and had a minor hit with "What You See Is What You Get".
In 1971 Meat Loaf was cast in another musical, "Rainbow". After two years of acting as Buddha in the musical Meat Loaf would meet Jim Steinman while auditioning for "More Than You Deserve!". It was at that time his career took a turn for the better. Meat Loaf was picked to play Eddie in the bizarre musical "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". Meat Loaf was soon traveling the country starring in musicals and singing backup on Ted Nugents "Free For All" album. In 1977 Meat Loaf and Steinman would team up for two things. A musical opera "Neverland", a play about a futuristic Peter Pan and the album "Bat Out Of Hell".
Steinman conceived of a rock opera about Meat Loaf. The project was originally to be released by CA Records, but they bulked when the pair wanted it to be produced by Todd Rundgren. Rundgren would return the favor by paying for the recording costs and also having it distributed by Warner Brothers. But, as fate would have it Warner Brothers did not want to pay for the costs of promotion. It wasn't until Epic got the tapes that anything happened. The label snapped up the Meat Loaf/Steinman/Rundgren project. At the 1977 CBS convention (Epics parent company at the time) Meat Loaf performed live to executives who were impressed enough they commissioned three videos from "Bat Out Of Hell" - an unheard of practice in 1977.
When it was finally released "Bat Out Of Hell" climbed all the way to #14 in the US and would stay on the charts for 88 weeks. In the UK he would reach #9 and would stay on the charts for 400 weeks. Meat Loaf would achieve world wide fame after the release of the album. While touring he would get a sore voice, but would recover in time to record "Dead Ringer", which would become a huge success with the song "Dead Ringer For Love" a duet with Cher.
During the next decade Meat Loaf would have a string of US and UK hits and a number of successful staring roles in Hollywood films. In 1989, after several years of separation, Steinman and Meat Loaf reunited secretly at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angles to begin work on "Bat Out Of Hell II". The new Steinman/Meat Loaf collaboration didn't have to search for a label, Virgin was happy to foot the bill. When it was released in 1990 it skyrocketed to #1 in 25 countries and became the biggest UK album of 1993.
The name Meat Loaf was given to him by his drunken father, who never thought his son resembled the dinnertime meal. Meat Loaf overcame the "fat boy" mentality that driven into him by his father to become an improbable rock star. He is the singer that proves you don't have to be pretty to rock and roll. All you need is heart, talent, and a little bit of luck.
During the last few years, Meat Loaf has continued to record, taken time to write his autobiography, and starred in several films. Although his name is famous all over the world, he can walk down the Strand in Galveston (as he did on a recent visit) and not be recognized or hassled by autograph seekers.
(J Charles Miller)