“I’d do anything for love, but I won’t do that.”
Fans were puzzled by the lyrics in the 1993 hit “I’d Do Anything For Love, But I Won’t Do That.” Finally, on VH1 in 1998, Meat Loaf wheeled out a blackboard with the lyrics and broke it down with a pointing stick. The answer: He won’t stop dreaming about the woman he loves. That is the “that.”
And that was Meat Loaf, the energetic rocker who poured emotion into music that could be romantic or dramatic. It’s hard to imagine any other rock star who would have been as convincing as Eddie, the motorcycle-riding, saxophone-playing rocker that Meat Loaf played in the 1975 sci-fi/horror/ultimate audience-participation spoof — “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
But there was another side to Meat Loaf, which this writer saw while attending a press conference backstage during an “American Idol” finale in 2006 in Hollywood, where Meat Loaf performed a duet with Katharine McPhee.
Meat Loaf was a dad, and he loved being a dad.
And when he stood behind the podium in a Renaissance Hotel room behind what was then the Kodak Theater, he discussed his family and activities with his daughters, Pearl and Amanda Aday, who today are in their 40s. In fact, Meat Loaf seemed to enjoy talking more about his family than he did about his music.
He’d do anything for love.
Ultimately, Meat Loaf was relatable. He sang from his heart, and you could relate. No pretense, just honest emotion.
And that was Meat Loaf, who died Thursday. The singer, who TMZ reported tested positive for COVID-19, was 74. In addition to his daughters, he’s survived by his wife, Deborah Gillespie.
Meat Loaf was born Marvin Lee Day on Sept. 27, 1947, in Dallas. HIs mother was a gospel singer and teacher; his dad, a police officer. (Meat Loaf later legally changed his first name “Marvin” to “Michael.”)
In 1967, Meat Loaf moved to Los Angeles to play in bands, but in 1970, the Big Apple was calling, and Meat Loaf got on the Broadway stage in the rock musical “Hair” and the original stage version of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” His movie debut came in the 1975 film version of the latter.
Two years later came his album “Bat Out of Hell,” a giant success. Meat Loaf tied with AC/DC for having the second best selling record in history.
But the tour for “Bat Out of Hell” proved hard on Meat Loaf’s voice, and he couldn’t sing for two years. But after rehabilitation, he went back into the studio and recorded “Dead Ringer.”
Besides his music, Meat Loaf acted in many movies, ranging from “Roadie” (1980) to “The Squeeze (1987) to “Flight Club” (1999).
Ultimately, the film that stands out in fans’ minds is “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and the sight and sound of Meat Loaf pouring his emotions into the role. He was a rocker.
And he was a dad.