In Memoriam: Meat Loaf (1947-2022)
A sad bit of news to report today from the House. Noted actor and one of the best-selling and groundbreaking rock stars of all time, Meat Loaf, has passed away at the age of seventy-four.
Born Marvin Lee Aday on September 27, 1947, in Dallas, Texas, Meat Loaf moved to Los Angeles shortly after his mother’s death. The performer gained almost immediate success as his band, Meat Loaf Soul, (later changed to Popcorn Blizzard and Floating Circus) opened for such illustrious stars as Janis Joplin, Van Morrison, The Who, and The Grateful Dead.
After joining the cast of Hair for a short time, Meat Loaf was eventually invited to record with Motown. He released the album Stoney and Meatloaf in 1971 and the song “What You See Is What You Get” reached the Billboard Top 100. Subsequently, Meat Loaf returned to acting, this time on Broadway with Hair again and later performing in Shakespeare in the Park in As You Like It with Raul Julia.
Meat Loaf’s powerful, operatic, and wide-ranging voice led him to release several solo albums, most notably 1977’s Bat Out Of Hell and 1993’s Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell. The former sold over 43 million copies worldwide while the latter sold over 15 million, and earned Meat Loaf a Grammy award for the song, “I’d Do Anything For Love.” His last studio album was 2016’s Braver Than We Are.
In addition to music and stage work, Meat Loaf also appeared in over fifty films. I like, many will always remember him most for his roles as Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Bob in David Fincher’s Fight Club. Those two performances along with his video for “I’d Do Anything For Love” were staples during my formative years in the 1990s. However, his works in such films as Black Dog (with the late Patrick Swayze) and Crazy In Alabama, demonstrated a talent for more than just powerful rock operas.
Meat Loaf is survived by his wife Deborah and daughters Pearl and Amanda.
It is no small claim to say that the world has lost a truly unique artist in Meat Loaf. The man was able to do things with his voice that very few artists have ever been able to accomplish. He was a singular artist and an impeccable showman. The music and acting worlds are a little emptier today without him in them. Rest in peace.