Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Alamy)

Music

5 wild stories from the life of Meat Loaf

@TomTaylorFO

Like a bat out of hell, Meat Loaf barnstormed into the mainstream music scene cutting an unlikely presence and forever proving a refreshing addition. His style was so performative that he eventually segued into movies and lifted the tone of Fight ClubThe Rocky Horror Picture Show and more with his inherent brand of mild straight-faced surrealism.

When the star tragically passed away at the age of 74, the tributes that poured in were best summed up by one-time collaborator, Cher, who wrote: “One of rock music’s all-time great characters… A wondrously talented, flamboyant, funny, outrageous and rebellious chameleon.”

It takes a bold constitution to enlist those adjectives in the music industry and Meat Loaf was certainly not afraid of using his outsider status as a weapon rather than choosing to conform. 

Thus, this led to a pretty wild life, and it is this side of the star that we have chosen to celebrate in the list below as we look at the bizarre, brilliant and, well, most utterly ‘Meat Loaf’ tales from the life and times of the late screaming star. There is no denying that the gentleman of rock was one hell of a force of sheer entertainment.

5 wild tales from the life of Meat Loaf:

He proposed to his wife with a salmon

He would do anything for love barring one mythologised mystery and the hopeless romantic had a unique take on how best to go about searching for that asterisked devotion. While recording his Bat Out of Hell album at Bearsville, New York, he stayed true to his unorthodox form and had a whole salmon sourced as a token of his love while he popped the question to his first wife Leslie G. Edmonds. 

As his friend and collaborator, Todd Rundgren would poetically put it: “It was as if a bear had proposed to his mate. Instead of a ring, a salmon.” Evidently, however, it somehow worked and Edmonds remained in an Omega healthy matrimony with the booming voiced singer for 22 years.

He nearly pushed Prince Andrew into a moat

Meat Loaf was a fan of the medieval aesthetic and he took that to the next level with a real-life fantasy battle that nearly resulted in the singer pushing a prince into a moat. At the Royal Knockout Charity event in 1987, the singer got into a shirty altercation with the Royal, explaining: “Fergie wasn’t exactly flirting with me, but she was paying attention to me.”

The raging Royal witnessed this frisson, almost broke a sweat and approached Meat Loaf in an arrogant fashion which Meat Loaf didn’t take too kindly to. When Prince Andrew continued to berate the star, he grappled with him and the Duke reportedly yelled, “You can’t touch me, I’m royal!” Naturally, this was a blot on the Prince’s record in the eyes of the singer and he maintained he “hates” him even in a 2003 interview. It would seem he may well be vindicated in his character assessment. 

He became a huge fan of Hartlepool FC and almost moved there

In a hairy moment for Geoff Stelling, Meat Loaf almost usurped the beloved presenter as the most famous fan of Hartlepool FC. Staying true to his aforementioned surrealist approach to life, the star told Talk Sport, “I started asking ‘what would be a really odd team for me to say that I root for?’ The person who I was talking to said Hartlepool.”

When looking into his arbitrarily selected team, he unearthed the true story that earned the townsfolk their nickname “the monkey hangers”—they once publicly hung a monkey after the simian stayed shtum during a heated interrogation, bar the occasion bit of faeces flinging, and they feared he was, in fact, a French spy on a nefarious mission of unknown intent. When Meat Loaf heard the story he fell platonically in love with the working class legend-producing town where the folks are always funny and the smiles are always full (unless you’re of a tree-swinging disposition). He never moved there, but he did look at properties in the area and maybe even sneaked into The Stag & Monkey for a swift pint of Skittles.

He often chatted to ghosts

“I’ve seen them,” Meat Loaf confidently opined in an interview with Shortlist in 2021. “I’ve been around them. Some are just energy left behind, and some are intelligent. I chased one across the room once.” While he didn’t quite explain exactly why he scampered after that particular ghoul, he did say that his brushes with the undead were very common.

“When we were making ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ I saw a blonde girl in a white dress,” he explained. “I went downstairs and told the guys, ‘There’s a groupie up on the balcony’.” But by the time the crew got there, the girl/spectre had vanished with no possible exist other than to disappear into the ether, thus, his belief in ghosts was borne from his most iconic moment and it remained thereafter. The video itself is befittingly berserk.

He once gave Charles Manson a ride

During Charles Manson’s time in Hollywood, he seems to have bumped into just about every famous face around. He jammed with Neil Young and The Beach Boys, he had a horseback encounter with Bryan Cranston and even got a lift in Meat Loaf’s car after the singer unwittingly picked up the murderous hitchhiker.

As it happens, Manson wanted a lift from Sunset Boulevard to none other than Dennis Wilson’s house. “There was no Beach Boy there, although it actually was Dennis Wilson’s house,” Meat Loaf writes in his autobiography. The deflated Manson then told Meat Loaf that the world would soon end and that he could predict the singer’s fortune (which presumably involved him going down with the Earth’s demise). Meat Loaf soon forgot about the incident until Manson’s face popped up on TV and his crimes came to light.