The friendly, jocular and, above all, loquacious Bat Out of Hell singer defies the traditional question-and answer format of an interview. Talking to Meat Loaf, it’s hard to get a word in, which isn’t always a bad thing because Meat’s monologues are fun. As he says, “I am a storyteller. It’s a gift; it’s something that I can do. And when I get bored, I make up great stories.” This works for the singing and storytelling format of his RockTellz & CockTails residency. Here, we sit back and listen.
His voice-saving routine: I don’t have fun away from the show. I call it prisoner release. I have a one-bedroom apartment; it has seven humidifiers in it. And I don’t leave. I don’t go to dinner; I don’t go to other shows. The dressing room has one big humidifier and six small ones, and I stay there.
One hearty ‘meat’ and greet: My meet and greets aren’t three seconds long and take a picture. I talk to each and every person—know their name, know where they’re coming from, know if they have kids, know what they do. And I made [management] bring the money down for the meet and greet. Last time, I really had to go out of the way for [fans] because the guilt was overwhelming me at the amount of money people spent to meet me. I’m not worth that kind of money. To me, like 20 bucks was good.
He’ll fix your leaks: I owe [my fans] everything. That’s why I don’t have “super-star, star-legend” [on my show advertising]. To me, I’m the plumber who’s fixing your sink. You call me, I come fix your sink, I do it for a reasonable price, I do a good job. It’s not leaking anymore, and next time you got a problem you’ll call me.
Based on a true story: The show is always different, the stories are different. I’ll flip them around. It’s like improv. The best stories always have a foundation in truth. It’s like a Hollywood movie. There’s a basis of truth, but it’s embellished and exaggerated.
He flunked music appreciation: I have appreciation for artists much more than I have appreciation for music. If an artist is down to earth, grounded and friendly—whether I like their style of music or not—I’ll buy their records and listen to them. I got every LL Cool J record there is, I got every Garth [Brooks] record, I’ve got every Queen record because Brian [May] is a friend and Freddie [Mercury] was a friend. I’ve got all the Bon Jovi records because I met Bon Jovi when he was 16. Before anybody knew him, I talked to him and went to my car and listened to his demos. If they’re good people, then I really love them. If I think that they’re nasty, I don’t care how good their stuff is, I won’t like them. Because they’re not real people, and I like real people.
Brother headliners: Garth Brooks could almost be my brother. We’re acquaintances, we’re not friends. We’ve hung out some; we went to dinner once and hung out in a hotel lobby for a few hours. If I had a brother in the business, it would be Garth Brooks because we think alike. He thinks about the people who got babysitters, are paying for parking, they’re doing this, they’re doing that. I don’t know how many artists go to that level of thinking how much they owe their audience. Garth believes that, and I love that about him.
Worth every penny: I have the greatest band in the world. I’ll take this band to battle. [Management] said to me, “We can get musicians for this much money,” and I’m going, “No, they can’t play this stuff the way these guys can.” People don’t understand how complicated the music is because it doesn’t go like normal music. Every song has different chord changes in the first verse and the second verse. And every chorus has different chord changes. It’s not like you can learn a verse and a chorus and a bridge and go play a song.
Keeping it real: People in New York are real. When you get into an elevator and they won’t open the door, they yell, “fuck you.” They’re real. “Fuck you, I’m not waiting for you”—I mean that’s real. I like that. Yes, go ahead take the elevator, at least it’s a real moment, a real expression and you’re telling me the truth. I like the truth. The truth as Martin Luther King said, “The truth will set you free.”
The dream role: The one thing I haven’t done that I really want to do is a TV series. If an actor would ever tell you what role they’re looking to play, they’re not much of an actor. It all depends on the script.
Rocktellz & Cocktails Presents Meat Loaf. PH Showroom at Planet Hollywood, 7 p.m. Tue, Thu and Sat through April 8, $69-$149, meet & greet $400, 800-745-3000.