Born into a family of Gospel Singers in Dallas Texas, there are about 12 thousand different stories circulating about how young Marvin Lee Aday came up with his famous stage name but the most plausible of them all goes something like this:
Being a somewhat, shall we say, “sizeable” lad, Marvin grew up playing football. In one high school practice he was playing tackle and his assignment was to come up out of his stance and pull outside the line to form a lead block for the running back. In the process of running the play, Marvin stomped on his Coach’s foot with his considerable bulk which inspired the coach to yell “Get off my damn foot you….you…big Meatloaf, you!”
Fortunately his Coach wasn’t a fan of Artichoke Salad.
After a short stint in LA, Meatloaf moved to New York and earned a slot in a musical called “More than you Deserve”, written by a classically trained pianist named Jim Steinman, which then led to an appearance in the 1976 cult movie “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”.
Steinman and Meatloaf enjoyed working together so much that they teamed up on a satirical musical update of the Peter Pan story called “Never Land”. Though that idea never fully materialized, most of what began as the Never Land project eventually ended up on Meatloaf’s 7 times platinum 1977 debut album called “Bat out of Hell”.
Whereas a lot of rock artists have this thing about being taken seriously and trying to look cool no matter the circumstances, Steinman and Meatloaf completely abandoned any notion of musical and lyrical restraint on Bat out of Hell, and instead crafted a totally over the top teen rock melodrama which featured an 8 minute song about a back seat lover affair that even included the play by play work of former Yankee announcer Phil Rizzuto.
Okay, so it was about as subtle as a flying mallet…..but who ever said rock n’ roll was supposed to be subtle in the first place?
If you’d like musical proof that every important life lesson can be learned in the back seat of a car, click here to download Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”.