Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul: The enduring saga of larger-than-life Texas-born rocker Meat Loaf

By on May 1, 2019

In this syndicated 1993 episode of “Night Flight,” host Tom Juarez introduces us to a smorgasbord selection of music videos from larger-than-life Texas-born rocker Meat Loaf, the Grammy-winning singer who has sold more than eighty million albums during his long career. Watch it now on Night Flight Plus.

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Meat Loaf — his name was never “Meatloaf,” as Night Flight incorrectly identifies him in the chyron — was born Marvin Lee Aday on September 27, 1947, in Dallas, Texas.

He acquired his nickname as a teenager — by the time he was in the 7th grade he weighed 240 lbs. — from a football coach (others sources claim his alcoholic policeman father called him Meat).

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By the mid-60s, Meat had already starred in several stage productions at Thomas Jefferson High School, showing a particular aptitude for stage acting.

He developed a loud, throaty and bombastic singing style, and certainly no one ever had to tell him to sing louder so the people in the balcony seats could hear.

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Pursuing dreams of stardom, Meat eventually ended up in L.A., where he worked as a bouncer and formed his very first rock band, Meat Loaf Soul.

During his very first recording session, Meat reportedly blew a fuse on a monitor. Three different recording contracts were offered, but he turned them all down.

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Meat Loaf Soul went through a number of name changes — Popcorn Blizzard and Floating Circus were two others — and they appeared on bills with Van Morrison‘s Them, Janis Joplin, the Who, the Grateful Dead, Renaissance, Taj Mahal, the Fugs, the Stooges, and the MC5, among others.

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Pairing up with Shaun “Stoney” Murphy, his co-star on the L.A. production of the new counterculture musical Hair, Meat ultimately signed a recording deal with Motown Records, who issued a single (a minor hit) and a self-titled album, Stoney & Meatloaf, featuring a song called “(I’d Love to Be) As Heavy as Jesus.”

They hit the road, opening for the Who, Bob Seger and Alice Cooper, among others, but when their album failed to chart, Meat returned to the musical Hair, joining the Broadway production in New York City.

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Meat then played two roles — the ex-delivery boy “Eddie” and “Dr. Everett Scott”– in the American stage production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which debuted at the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, California, in March of 1974.

When the movie was cast, however, Meat only played the biker “Eddie,” singing “Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul,” included in our profile.

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The film version — premiering in August 1975 — was initially unsuccessful at the box office, but we’re sure you already know it ultimately gained a huge cult following within another year, going on to gross more than $112 million in ticket sales over the next three-plus decades.

Read more about Meat Loaf below.

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Meat Loaf was asked to understudy John Belushi for the New York production of “The National Lampoon Show,” but Belushi never missed a performance.

He later agreed to join the show’s touring cast, but only if the production hired his new musical partner, songwriter Jim Steinman, as the piano player.

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Meat thought several of Steinman’s songs — particularly “Bat Out of Hell” — that he’d written for a musical called Neverland were a good fit for his vocals.

He agree to partner up with the songwriter to record them at Bearsville studios near Woodstock, NY in late ’75.

Producer Todd Rundgren brought in then-current band members from his band Utopia to back Meat, while Steinman drafted in drummer Max Weinberg and pianist Roy Bittan from Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band.

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Side One of Bat Out Of Hell — released on Epic Records’ Cleveland International imprint in October 1977 — included Steinman’s histrionic paean to awkward teenage sexuality and heavy petting, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”

The nearly 9-minute track featured Meat’s epic duet with Ellen Foley, whom he’d been dating since they were on tour with the National Lampoon show.

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Steinman’s famous baseball-as-sex play-by-play was contributed by New York Yankees announcer Phil Rizzuto.

Bat Out of Hell — its comic book cover art featured a heroic dude atop a jet-powered motorcycle while a rabid-looking bat lurks in the background — became one of the best-selling albums in the history of recorded music.

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The Eighties weren’t as kind to Meat Loaf, though. He and Steinman had a jealousy-based falling out, and then Meat broke his leg onstage and had to perform in a wheelchair, slowing him down considerably.

By the time his second Epic album, Dead Ringer, was released in 1981, he’d developed a drug habit too. Then he hit the skids financially, eventually filing for bankruptcy in ’83.

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Subsequent albums — Bad Attitude (Arista, 1985) and Blind Before I Stop (Atlantic, 1986) — weren’t as successful, though.

Meat eventually patched things up with Steinman, and they wrote songs for a new album called — what else? — Bat Out Of Hell II, which sold more than fifteen million copies on the strength of a grand single, “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).”

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In addition to “Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul,” our Meat Loaf Video Profile” features music videos for a very Hitchcockian “Getting Away With Murder,” a post-nuke set “(Give Me The Future With A) Modern Girl,” and epic long versions of “Surf’s Up,” “Paradise By The Dashboard Light,” and “I’d Do Anything For Love,” the latter directed by a 28-year old Michael Bay, later director of mega-blockbusters like Armageddon and the Transformers franchise.

Watch Night Flight’s Meat Loaf Video Profile on Night Flight Plus.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.