No More Waiting For The End Of Time
January 21, 2022 3:15 AM   Subscribe

 
"Total Eclipse of the Heart" was originally written with him in mind.

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posted by chmmr at 3:21 AM on January 21 [13 favorites]


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posted by I claim sanctuary at 3:24 AM on January 21


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posted by Faint of Butt at 3:34 AM on January 21 [10 favorites]


I was surprised a moment ago to see an acknowledgement of his passing from Stephen Fry - and even MORE surprised to discover that it was because he and Meat Loaf had done a sketch on an episode of Saturday Night Live back in the day.

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posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:40 AM on January 21 [24 favorites]


I cannot express how impossibly cool Bat Out Of Hell was to me when I was nine years old.

"Would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses? I bet you say that to all the boys."

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posted by fortitude25 at 3:41 AM on January 21 [21 favorites]


Meat Loaf was beloved like few other musicians in Iceland. I think Bat Out of Hell sold something like 15 thousand copies in the late 70s and early 80s, which meant that more than five percent of the population of Iceland at the time bought a copy. He never needed to make a comeback, as he filled sports halls in Iceland in the late 80s, when his career was otherwise at a low ebb.

For a non-Icelandic portrait of that time, here are some fond and funny reminisces by Ronan Casey of Meat Loaf's 1989 "ram­shackle tour of some of Ireland’s worst com­mu­nity cen­tres, ball­rooms, hotel func­tion rooms and other assorted sheds sud­denly deemed good enough to host rock roy­alty", entitled Meat Loaf, a flying wheelchair, and the greatest story ever told.

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posted by Kattullus at 3:48 AM on January 21 [32 favorites]


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posted by icaicaer at 3:54 AM on January 21


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posted by Miss Cellania at 3:54 AM on January 21


Life is a lemon and I want my money back.

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posted by stevis23 at 4:00 AM on January 21 [7 favorites]


It's a short list of people who could show up halfway through Rocky Horror Picture Show and give Tim Curry a run for his money in charisma and presence.

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posted by slimepuppy at 4:06 AM on January 21 [72 favorites]


I have a journal entry from a few months ago in which I state that pure happiness is dancing around with your baby to Meat Loaf and he falls asleep in the middle of some extreme bouncing in Hot Patootie. Love you, Meat Loaf.
posted by acantha at 4:12 AM on January 21 [8 favorites]


He would have done anything for love but he wouldn't do that. The that was never specified and now that that will go with him to his grave, and I respect that.

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posted by Kitteh at 4:28 AM on January 21 [21 favorites]


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posted by Obscure Reference at 4:35 AM on January 21


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posted by Halloween Jack at 4:40 AM on January 21


The that was never specified and now that that will go with him to his grave, and I respect that

He did say it! It's lying. And that's a fact.

He would also never say it's a brief interlude, a midsummer's fling, and that it's time to move on. Anything, but that.

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posted by cendawanita at 4:45 AM on January 21 [9 favorites]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By82Udvc53w My Fav song of his.... and that's a very hard question (and yes I love the Celine version too and I know the history)....

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posted by Lesium at 4:49 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


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he and Meat Loaf had done a sketch on an episode of Saturday Night Live back in the day.

That is Saturday Live, the Channel 4 program, not Saturday Night Live, the NBC program.
posted by Pendragon at 5:01 AM on January 21 [12 favorites]


If there's one moment for me, it's the utterly raw emotion, the committment to not give a single fuck, and a ripping up of the rules, of the debut (?) of Meat Load on UK TV. Thanks to the late night forgotten about by themanagagement, musical haunt of 'Old Grey Whistle Test', Meat Loaf offered a full version of Paradise By The Dashboard Light, a full blown band keeping up with the improvisations, the sort of visceral sexual energy you don't get on the BBC in the seventies during the bases calls, and possibly the best live version of the song you will ever see as Meat Loaf basically ...breaks.

Simon / My First Record

"I watched The Old Grey Whistle Test on BBC2 with increasing incredulity as this corpulent, sweating mass of a man ( I later learned was called Meatloaf ) belted out anthemic song after anthemic song: “Bat out of Hell”, “You took the words right out of my mouth”, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”, “Let me sleep on it”, “Two out of three ain’t bad”…… I was spellbound and when Meatloaf started French kissing and fondling his sexy co singer, Ellen Foley, I was sold. Sex and great music in one package – what more could an adolescent teenager want?"

Alexis Petridis:

"Look at the footage of them performing Paradise By the Dashboard Light. His voice is already showing signs of the touring-induced wear that would scupper Bat Out Of Hell’s follow-up, but it hardly matters. Meat Loaf is in all his ruff-shirted, pop-eyed, finger-pointing, handkerchief-flapping majesty, while his duet partner Karla DeVito hams it up for all she’s worth, alternately looking bored rigid, furious or contemptuous.

"They spend the section of the song where a baseball announcer details the progress of a backseat fumble pretending to get off with each other. While DeVito rages at him about marriage, Meat Loaf stares down the camera with an expression that reads “can you believe this crap?” At another juncture, he creeps up behind her, wielding the microphone stand as if he’s about to smash her over the head with it. The song ends with Meat Loaf doubled over, repeatedly screaming “I can’t take it any more!” while DeVito rests her foot on his back and raises her arms in triumph.

"It still looks completely deranged 44 years on. Now imagine it appearing alongside the rest of the stuff Whistle Test dished up that year: Dean Friedman, 10CC, Dire Straits, Billy Joel, Jefferson Starship. "

Eleven minutes of YouTube.
posted by ewan at 5:01 AM on January 21 [25 favorites]


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May he see Paradise, by dashboard lights or otherwise.
posted by MrGuilt at 5:06 AM on January 21 [6 favorites]


The definition of Magnificent Bastard in music, I think.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 5:19 AM on January 21 [7 favorites]


John Rockwell, reviewing a 1977 live show for The New York Times, started by remarking that “Meat Loaf is the rather graceless name that a large rock performer has chosen for both himself and for the band built around his singing.” Despite that, Mr. Rockwell was soon convinced that Meat Loaf was worthy of being the center of attention. “He has fine, fervent low rock tenor, and enough stage presence to do without spotlights altogether,” he wrote, adding that, “one had to admire the unabashed intensity with which he was willing to wallow in such soap‐opera silliness.”
NYT obit.
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posted by Bee'sWing at 5:19 AM on January 21 [8 favorites]


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posted by skye.dancer at 5:20 AM on January 21


Speaking of the New York Times. I was quite disappointed to learn that the New York Times did not, in fact, refer to Meat Loaf as Mr. Loaf, except once as a joke.
posted by Kattullus at 5:36 AM on January 21 [16 favorites]


His long wait for the end of time is over. RIP.
posted by valkane at 5:43 AM on January 21 [6 favorites]


I had the end of a semi-recent relationship presaged by my then-girlfriend being appalled, three minutes into "I'd Do Anything For Love," that there was a non-radio edit version of the song that went another eleven minutes longer. Which, to me, is exactly as long as I need to savor that song—it's like a pop song so good that you play it over and over and over once it's finished, only it does you the courtesy of playing itself over four times for you.

Going All the Way, off his 2016 record Braver Than We Are, makes me feel that way too. It's nice to know that he never aged out of being an utterly delectable ham.

Long before I'd heard a single Meat Loaf song, I was delighted by the (facetious? who knows with him) Chuck Klosterman argument that "Bat Out of Hell" is thematically identical to Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run," and is possibly the superior song, and that critics don't acknowledge that because they care more about what an artist's brand "means" than about the actual songs. On a trollish level, it tickled me, because as a New Jersey resident I have always struggled with Bruce not being my cup of tea, but it was also something that I kept in mind when I went to art school, and discovered how wide the chasm often is between art that takes itself seriously and art that, while unserious, is engaging and moving and good. (Not saying that Bruce isn't all these things, just to be clear.)

He (with Steinman's help) will forever be emblematic of a certain kind of musician: the kind who could capture adolescence as melodramatically as adolescence truly is, and who never shied away or apologized or undermined that melodrama on any level, or made it seem like the embers of adolescence stop glowing once adulthood kicks in. I forget who said that the heart of rock-and-roll will always be that adolescence, but I think it's true. Plenty of rock stars took that adolescence and made beautiful things out of it, plenty found ways to capture the transition from that into growing up, plenty took that adolescence and made it about something deeper than just being adolescence, but Meat Loaf more than anyone will be the sound of acne-laden love, and I say that as someone who discovered him well after I outgrew my pimples.
posted by rorgy at 5:52 AM on January 21 [25 favorites]


His name was Marvin Aday.
His name was Marvin Aday.
His name was Marvin Aday.
posted by adept256 at 5:58 AM on January 21 [18 favorites]


Funnily enough, he was a vegetarian at the end.
posted by adept256 at 5:59 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


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posted by blob at 6:03 AM on January 21


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posted by Gelatin at 6:11 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


The British comedian Sarah Millican used to do a gag about wearing Meatloaf-themed knickers. On the front, they said "I would do anything for love". And on the back ...
posted by Paul Slade at 6:13 AM on January 21 [16 favorites]


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posted by Serene Empress Dork at 6:15 AM on January 21


His name was Marvin Aday.
Actually, per the NYT obit, it wasn't:

Meat Loaf said he changed his first name to Michael from Marvin as an adult because of childhood taunts about his weight and the emotional impact of a Levi’s jeans commercial with the slogan “Poor fat Marvin can’t wear Levi’s.”

He later cited the commercial when petitioning to change his name, which the judge granted it within 30 seconds, Meat Loaf wrote in his autobiography.

posted by neroli at 6:16 AM on January 21 [14 favorites]




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posted by coldhotel at 6:23 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


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posted by jim in austin at 6:24 AM on January 21


MetaFilter: Baby we could talk all night, but that ain't getting us nowhere...
posted by PhineasGage at 6:24 AM on January 21 [6 favorites]


He was Scott Ian's father-in-law.

Rest in peace, Mr. Loaf.
posted by bondcliff at 6:25 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


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Meat Loaf holds a special place in my heart because he came to me through my first boyfriend, a big teen who looked a good deal like him. To me, he sounds like an idiotic burning love, which is pretty much what he was going for. The thing went very badly, of course, and I was unable to listen to the Loaf for many years after that, except for his part in Rocky Horror. I appreciated him again as I got older, old enough not to hate adolescence as much as I did when I was fresh off the ride. Sincerity burns, and he wasn't afraid to catch fire.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:27 AM on January 21 [13 favorites]


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posted by Laura in Canada at 6:30 AM on January 21


Of course my first mental response to this was "a greaser from the freezer like a bat out if hell," which is one of the callbacks after his character's death in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Because at some level, the thought of him triggers the eighteen year old me that loved and was embarrassed by the tape that I'd bought a several years earlier when attempting to learn rock music. I gave that tape away to a woman I dated, who adored "Two out of three ain't bad" (which wasn't actually a red flag, she just really liked the song).

May his family find peace and his memory be honored.
posted by Hactar at 6:34 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


God, discovering Bat Out Of Hell years after it was released and I was in high school was incredible. When the only radio stations in town played generic old-person bar rock, generic young-person bar rock and easy-listening pablum, finding something this absolutely, unapologetically over the top at the exact moment being a teenager was screaming at me to be absolutely, unapologetically over the top was a miracle. I saw the Bat Out Of Hell 2 tour live, and it was amazing.
posted by mhoye at 6:34 AM on January 21 [5 favorites]


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posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 6:35 AM on January 21


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posted by wotsac at 6:38 AM on January 21


I do not come to praise Meatloaf, I come to bury him.

I spent 87-93 listening to bat out of hell with as much frequency as watching Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail (and I watched that *every* day *for a year* in addition to watching it for fun too!), and I *loved* him in Fight Club.

The politics section on wikipedia though covers how I will remember his stain. While he may not have been officially affiliated with a party, he supported Rick Santorum, endorsed Romney and had positive things to say about the entire Trump family because he was on the apprentice.

As a direct pull quote from that: He said, "I have never been in any political agenda in my life, but I think that in 2012 this is the most important election in the history of the United States." He then said there are "storm clouds" over the United States and "thunder storms" over Europe: "There are hail storms – and I mean major hail storms! – in the Middle East. There are storms brewing through China, through Asia, through everywhere." The same day, he performed "America the Beautiful" standing next to Romney.

He had a platform, and he chose to use his voice to support some pretty awful folks. I have not willingly listened to his music - to the point of excusing myself and leaving the room when possible since Santorum.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:46 AM on January 21 [66 favorites]


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posted by mikelieman at 6:46 AM on January 21




Nanukthedog: yeah, you're right about that. He died of COVID after railing against vaccine mandates, which ... well, it's not an absolute straight line, but it makes me think he paid the ultimate price for being a Republican believer in 2022.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:56 AM on January 21 [42 favorites]


(Not, I stress, that this is fair or right. People should go to fucking jail, not that they will. Poor Meat Loaf. Poor all of us.)
posted by Countess Elena at 6:58 AM on January 21 [12 favorites]


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posted by cazoo at 7:02 AM on January 21


Many years ago Paradise by the Dashboard Light came on the radio and my boyfriend, a former DJ, said, ah, the cigarette song. And I said, what? It’s 9 and a half minutes long, he said, which is exactly how long it takes to go outside, smoke a cigarette and come back. So every time you hear it you know the DJ is either smoking or taking a shit. We all love Meat Loaf for that song.

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posted by mygothlaundry at 7:05 AM on January 21 [13 favorites]


After someone (who's work I enjoyed) passes, I've come to expect that some unsavoury aspect of their personality will be revealed to me in the comments. I have never come around so quick to “fuck ‘em, then”.
posted by brachiopod at 7:05 AM on January 21 [11 favorites]


When Steinman died, I wrote this and most of it applies to Meat Loaf. Nobody ever understood the assignment, and went for extra credit, like he did.

"One of the strangest hit-makers of the rock and roll era. My mom had three cassettes that she would play all the time when driving us around as a kid: "Bat Out Of Hell," "Pearl" and "A Night At The Opera." "Bat Out Of Hell" was definitely the one that she played the most. Even as a kid you could tell it was ridiculous but everybody involved completely played it utterly straight. There was no room for giggling in Steinman's work it would break the spell."
posted by HunterFelt at 7:09 AM on January 21 [9 favorites]


In this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette interview from last year Meat Loaf outs himself as a mask skeptic, and over at Reddit they are waiting for more info before confirming his Herman Cain Award.

That (and all it implies) said, the interview has a great line: Jim’s [Steinman] songs were long, but I'm responsible for making them longer.
posted by chavenet at 7:17 AM on January 21 [9 favorites]


Paradise by the Dashboard Lights is my go-to karaoke song. Grab a partner, have fun, and now you've fulfilled your (9min!) karaoke commitment and can relax the rest of the night.

"I don't always listen to Meatloaf. But when I do, so do the neighbors"

R.I.P.
posted by jpeacock at 7:17 AM on January 21 [14 favorites]


Like others have mentioned upthread, the thrill of hearing "Bat Out of Hell" as a kid quickly wore off as I developed tastes for other flavours of shouted lyrics and other permutations of popular music. But my dad just loved the stuff, and now I'm thinking of the show in Edmonton, dad, sister, me, at the Northlands.. Meatloaf was the main act, and Jr. Gone Wild opened, and my fun peaked in the middle with Doug and the Slugs because those guys were way cooler to me. Either way, wasn't expecting to think of that night today.
posted by elkevelvet at 7:24 AM on January 21 [5 favorites]


Nobody is just one thing and there are always aspects of a person’s life we don’t see or agree with.

TIL Meatloaf was a softball coach and, aside from some insanely awesome singing, that’s what actually worth remembering.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 7:29 AM on January 21 [7 favorites]


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posted by Splunge at 7:29 AM on January 21


He was unquestionably the best thing about Spice World, the Spice Girls movie.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:35 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


He never needed to make a comeback, as he filled sports halls in Iceland in the late 80s, when his career was otherwise at a low ebb.

In North America, his ability to draw a crowd definitely had some rises and falls. Bat Out of Hell came out when I was nine or ten. By the time I was in my mid-teens, he’d passed his first peak. I recall I noticed one day in university he was playing in my hometown that week. Not at the new eighteen-thousand-seat coliseum, mind you, but at a roadhouse on an east-end industrial road in an area where all the neighbouring businesses were construction materials warehouses or eighteen-wheeler depots. The same venue that three weeks earlier had hosted a Meat Loaf tribute act.

He and Jim Steinman brought a degree of glorious operatic excess to rawk music, which was just a little overblown in those days and now seems hugely refreshing in an era of Autotune and intricate choreography and the way seemingly no artist can make a single on their own any more but every track is “feat.” someone else, like corporate mergers.

For Crying Out Loud.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:49 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


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posted by Buntix at 7:52 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


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posted by riverlife at 8:03 AM on January 21


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posted by Cash4Lead at 8:09 AM on January 21


Not to dump on anybody's sincere affection, but for some reason, I've never been able to shake the feeling that Meat Loaf was a long-term parody act. His songs have always sounded to me like caricatures of 70s and 80s commercial rock, like they're so perfectly in the mold of the generic hits of the time, that they must be parodies, nobody paints by the numbers that completely and earnestly, right? (I mean, "I'll do anything for love...but I won't do THAT!" has always sounded like an anal sex joke to me, not a serious love anthem or whatever.)

But apparently the whole persona, music and career were sincere, as advertised. I just...his stage name is "Meat Loaf," for goodness sake. To me, at least, his whole deal is more interesting if he was stealth making fun of the industry conventions around him the whole time.

Anyway, sorry about his politics and personal opinions, but COVID is an awful, horrible way to die, so rest in peace.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:10 AM on January 21 [9 favorites]


I'd heard about his politics some years ago. But you know what? He gave us Bat out of Hell (along with some other majorly talented people). Personally, I never much cared for anything he did after that album. So BooH exists from a time and place in the semi-distant past, and it's perfect.

I wouldn't say his act was parody, but it was full of Camp with a capital C.

Also want to add that Bat out of Hell would not have been as immensely popular without its perfect—perfect—album cover art.
posted by SoberHighland at 8:17 AM on January 21 [8 favorites]


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posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 8:17 AM on January 21


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posted by eclectist at 8:28 AM on January 21


Within ten minutes of opening his 1977 album Bat Out of Hell, here are the feelings that performer Meat Loaf has already felt to completion:

-Desire
-Anguish
-Desperation
-Perfect, adolescent faith in the attachments of the flesh
-Motorcycle—not classically a feeling, no, but what else can be said about the lyric “I’m gonna hit the highway like a battering ram/ on a silver-black phantom bike” except that it encapsulates the feeling of Motorcycle—that is to say, motorcycle-qua-motorcycle, the Springsteenian motorcycle, the emblem of masculine longing to get out?
posted by Mavri at 8:34 AM on January 21 [28 favorites]


the mot-Ur-cycle
posted by chavenet at 8:37 AM on January 21 [28 favorites]


The meatloaf tag would be appreciated.

> He would have done anything for love but he wouldn't do that. The that was never specified and now that that will go with him to his grave, and I respect that.
I've seen a transcript excerpt from an unpublished 2016 interview in which he says "I'll never stop dreaming of you every night of my life" was what he wouldn't do, it just was separated too much, so it wasn't generally noticed and tied together.

The line from Rocky Horror responses that's been in my head is "Argh, Meat Loaf for dinner again?!"

He'd reportedly had a run-in with Prince Andrew in the Eighties:
Fergie wasn't exactly flirting with me, but she was paying attention to me. And I think Andrew got a little - I could be wrong, I'm just reading into this - I think he got a little jealous ... Anyway, he tried to push me in the water. He tried to push me in the moat. So I turned around and I grabbed him and he goes, "You can't touch me. I'm royal." I said, "Well, you try to push me in the moat, Jack, I don't give a shit who you are, you're goin' in the moat."
From Jason Scott in 2021:
It's honestly something that you could buy a ticket to the Belasco Theater in 1975 and get to see Rocky Horror on stage with Tim Curry, Meat Loaf, and Richard O'Brien.
This recording was done after the movie was filmed but before it came out and flopped.
That recording's on The Internet Archive.
posted by Pronoiac at 8:40 AM on January 21 [11 favorites]


His Frampton Comes Alive LP was better
posted by thelonius at 8:41 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Motorcycle

I know that feeling exactly and have tried so long to find the words to describe it! Thank you for linking that article, Mavri. (I would quibble that it’s not an exclusively masculine feeling though.)

Another Meat Loaf related memory was when a friend came close to getting actually angry with me when I told her that Meat Loaf was sexier than Robert Plant. I stand by my assertion.
posted by acantha at 8:43 AM on January 21 [6 favorites]


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posted by niicholas at 8:44 AM on January 21


He transcended parody—which is to say, of course he was a parody version of himself, but he was also the serious version of himself, and there's no way to get one without the other. The parody without the seriousness wouldn't have had anything to parody; the seriousness without the parody wouldn't have been worth parodying in the first place.

The whole "separate art from the artist" thing feels less like a case-by-case thing than a person-by-person thing; I feel like it's extremely reasonable to feel that "liked Rick Santorum" outweighs "good songs tho." I think that, for me, he was yet another ignorant rich white man whose politics arose, more than anything, out of the anxieties of comfort. Which is a shitty, reactionary phenomenon that ties into all the worst institutions of our society—capitalism, patriarchy, white nationalism, probably sexism and homophobia off past where I've looked into him—and also feels like a completely predictable end to someone who made it big shortly before the end of FDR's America and the beginning of Reagan's. His music is indulgent and simplistic and adolescent and bombastic and I didn't even need to Google to know that he had a "collapse into a pile of cocaine" phase in his career. I was surprised to see that Bat Out of Hell came out in '77, actually: I just assumed it was an 80s album through-and-through.
posted by rorgy at 8:46 AM on January 21 [19 favorites]


Bat out of Hell would not have been as immensely popular without its perfect—perfect—album cover art.

Agree completely, I would unironically describe it as iconic, but it's so completely, perfectly mid-70s rock album cover that it also reads as satire to me, but that perfect kind of satire that is both making fun of, and paying homage to. Loving satire, like Galaxy Quest.

On preview, from rorgy, yes: there's no way to get one without the other.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:50 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


On the one hand, he was a climate denialist who said that Greta Thunberg is brainwashed. On the other hand, I love Jim Steinman-produced cheese, which included Meatloaf, Bonnie Tyler, the soundtrack to Streets Of Fire, and a solo album made up of songs that were supposed to have been for Meatloaf's follow-up to Bat Out Of Hell.
posted by LindsayIrene at 8:57 AM on January 21 [5 favorites]


gree completely, I would unironically describe it as iconic, but it's so completely, perfectly mid-70s rock album cover

Yes-That Richard Corben cover is utterly classic. RIP to Meatloaf. He embodied that certain flavor of 70s Theatrical Rock genre.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:58 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


I was barely 14 and filling in for my older sister as a babysitter. It was for the guy who was our dentist and they were going to some fancy event.

They stayed out late and I was sleeping when they got back. As he was driving me home at the end of the night, he asked if I knew Meat Loaf and I definitely didn't. He was VERY excited to play "Paradise By The Dashboard Light." But the album version is more than 8 minutes long and I lived less than 5 minutes away. We got to my house in the middle of the song and sat awkwardly in the driveway as the song finished.

It was that weird thing where someone is introducing you to a piece of art that they love and watching intently for your reaction, but you have never heard it before so the nuance that they understand so well is totally lost on you as you experience it for the first time. (That never goes like either person hopes, right?) And it was made doubly weird that I was bleary eyed from having just been nudged awake in a strange house in the middle of the night. And triply weird that it was my dentist, who I didn't really know that well, watching me. And quadruply weird that he was wearing a suit, (or maybe even a tuxedo?). And quintuply weird that I was 14 and maybe had one girlfriend to that point and the song was very intensely descriptive of a guy trying to cajole someone into sex, and then making and regretting his commitment to her.

I love that song now but what a strange introduction to Meat Loaf. When I think back it's like I am describing a nonsensical dream: my dentist is in fancy clothes and parked in my driveway and I have to sit in his idling Volvo and listen to a baseball announcer describe a metaphorical sex scene.

Anyway, RIP Mr. Loaf.
posted by AgentRocket at 9:00 AM on January 21 [33 favorites]


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posted by Silverstone at 9:01 AM on January 21


Mr. Loaf's politics were a problem, certainly. I prefer to think of him less as an individual and more as the perfect instrument for Jim Steinman's art.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:03 AM on January 21 [12 favorites]


One of my fondest memories of the last fifteen years is being at a horrible little bar in Exeter with Mrs. Example and some friends and lip-syncing along to "Paradise by the Dashboard Light", really getting dramatically into it with flailing arms and gestures and everything. It was a good night.

ON A HOT SUMMER NIGHT, WOULD YOU OFFER YOUR DOT TO THE WOLF WITH THE RED ROSES?

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posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:04 AM on January 21 [7 favorites]


It sucks when someone you enjoyed turned into/turns out to be one of Those People. Sigh.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:07 AM on January 21 [18 favorites]


He was an open channel for the God of Rock.
posted by Phanx at 9:14 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


I love that song now but what a strange introduction to Meat Loaf. When I think back it's like I am describing a nonsensical dream: my dentist is in fancy clothes and parked in my driveway and I have to sit in his idling Volvo and listen to a baseball announcer describe a metaphorical sex scene.

*shifts uneasily in seat, pondering the grown-man-playing-that-for-teenage-babysitter dynamic*

My cousin, her husband, and their whole wedding party did a whole bridal-party choreographed lip-sync routine to "Paradise by The Dashboard Light" at their wedding; it was one of a number of such pre-planned things, like the hoedown to "Cotton-Eye Joe" or the group singalong when the string quartet started playing "Don't Stop Believin'" during dinner.

I'd been spending most of the reception hanging out with a pair of my cousin's friends, a married pair of guys who shared my interest in weird film and theater and who were both a little cynical about most wedding foofery so they made a good match for a a woman-come-stag like me. At first we chuckled and just kept talking when they started in with this one ("hoo boy, another choreographed thing") but after a moment, I blinked. "Hang on," I turned to my new friends. "If you think about the lyrics a minute - how appropriate is this song for a wedding reception???"

They also blinked, thought about the lyrics themselves - and then we all traded a look, and burst into hysterical laughter. And refused to tell anyone who came up to ask us later what we thought was so funny.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:17 AM on January 21 [15 favorites]


Every time I hear Paradise by the Dashboard Light, it is early autumn in 1988 and I am a college freshman and Claire-down-the-hall with eyes of delft-china-blue and cheekbones that could cut ice is belting out the lyrics at high volume (along with the recording, also at high volume) over a Man Who Done Her Wrong. It's one of several Time Machine Songs in my life.
posted by which_chick at 9:27 AM on January 21 [8 favorites]


Motorcycle is a feeling the same way that First Car is a feeling where the total is greater than the sum of its part.

It’s opposites include Gravity Suuuucks or TelephonePole.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 9:36 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


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posted by jquinby at 9:44 AM on January 21


-Desire
-Anguish
-Desperation
-Perfect, adolescent faith in the attachments of the flesh
-Motorcycle


I've been laughing about this for five minutes, it is absolutely perfect. It is like something a child trying to speedrun being a teenager would say, and it is perfect.
posted by mhoye at 9:49 AM on January 21 [15 favorites]


over at Reddit they are waiting for more info before confirming his Herman Cain Award.

Seems they got that info.

It sucks when someone you enjoyed turned into/turns out to be one of Those People. Sigh.

For real. I wouldn't call myself a fan, but his work would get stuck in my head every so often (like now). Additional sigh.
posted by May Kasahara at 9:50 AM on January 21 [9 favorites]


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posted by riruro at 9:51 AM on January 21


he was a parody version of himself, but he was also the serious version of himself,

Exactly. It was the fact that he and Steinman were both these things at once that made their collaborations so enjoyable. Bat Out of Hell is an absolutely thrilling track, but you've only got to look at the album sleeve to see there's an element of self-aware parody there too.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:54 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


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I'm sorry to hear he's died. He definitely had his place in the musical pantheon, but, damn, I absolutely loathe and detest Bat Out of Hell (along with all the other overblown Steinman-produced music). I had a boyfriend who was obsessed with Bat Out Of Hell when it first came out and I'm sure it added to the many reasons why we didn't work out.

A big man with a big voice, rest easy, MeatLoaf, but I won't be playing anything of yours today to remember you by.
posted by essexjan at 10:16 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


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posted by motty at 11:01 AM on January 21


Nobody is just one thing and there are always aspects of a person’s life we don’t see or agree with.

Right... So what if he supported politicians with violently homophobic and racist beliefs and promoted lies about COVID & vaccines? So what if he was a climate change denier who publicly mocked and insulted a 16 yr old activist? He also sang some corny-ass overblown rock tunes, doesn't that make up for it?

I liked Meat Loaf as an actor, but could never stand his music. As a person, he seems like someone with terrible beliefs hidden behind a big, fun personality. It's too bad that he had to suffer and die from COVID -- there are few people I would wish that kind of misery on -- but it seems like he picked that path all by himself.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:05 AM on January 21 [20 favorites]


-Desire
-Anguish
-Desperation
-Perfect, adolescent faith in the attachments of the flesh
-Motorcycle

I've been laughing about this for five minutes, it is absolutely perfect.


Even Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was once fifteen.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:18 AM on January 21 [7 favorites]


I feel like it's possible to be totally turned off by Meat Loaf's politics to the point of not liking his songs and also not interpret "people being sorry he died and fondly remembering his music" as the start of a debate? It's not like anybody's denying that his politics sucked or endorsing people being turds.
posted by rorgy at 11:20 AM on January 21 [18 favorites]


🏍.
posted by adekllny at 11:22 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Even Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was once fifteen.

"Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Motorcycle". The five stages of grief, Dad's 39th Birthday edition.
posted by mhoye at 11:22 AM on January 21 [23 favorites]


I guess I said my piece already in the Jim Steinman thread.

I've only really ever really had time for Bat Out Of Hell (the song) ... but I've had a lot of time for it. Starting I suppose that beautiful autumn morning I got a phone call from a friend that our mutual friend (call him Craig) had been found dead, a suicide. I was nineteen at the time, maybe just turned twenty. Craig had been missing for a while so this wasn't a complete shock. More of a slow motion blow to the emotional solar plexus. Yeah, it hurt.

As I remember it, I was listening to a mix tape at the time of big deal rocking favourites. Springsteen's Badlands was playing as I hung up the phone ... and Bat Out Of Hell came next. I cranked it. And it's been cranked ever since, brash and big and so loaded with life it goes straight to hell then back again, a few times. How many endings does that song have?

posted by philip-random at 11:34 AM on January 21 [7 favorites]


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posted by zengargoyle at 11:42 AM on January 21


Back in the early 80s, I was a sexually-precocious and assertive girl who loved making out and did it every chance I got. I was queer but didn't quite know it, and wouldn't get a chance to start making out with woman until I was 19, but a couple of friends and I went through a Rocky Horror obsession during high school (the extra-nerdy kind where we had the stage play soundtrack as well, could discourse on the differences between them, talk about production history, etc).

I remember Hot Patootie really speaking to me, especially this verse:

My head used to swim from the perfume I smelt.
My hands kinda fumbled with her white plastic belt.
I'd taste her baby-pink lipstick and that's when I'd melt.
She'd whisper in my ear tonight she really was mine.

Given that I totally related to the singer's POV on this (despite, in real life, being the girl with the white plastic belt) totally should have been a Queerness Clue, but I just knew I loved it.

I'm sorry he turned out to be an asshole. But I love his particular style of overblown music, and I love his voice, and back in the day he gave me great pleasure. Rest in peace.
posted by Well I never at 11:43 AM on January 21 [22 favorites]


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posted by Phssthpok at 11:44 AM on January 21


Meatfilter! I hadn't heard about the softball coaching or the Trumpism. It's hard to reconcile how someone who could be such a mensch could also fall so far down the rabbit hole of disinformation.
posted by wnissen at 11:45 AM on January 21 [6 favorites]


Meat Loaf

He contained multitudes.

Too bad so many of them were terrible
posted by Windopaene at 12:28 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


My best friend around that time was the assistant buyer at a small record store chain, so he got records in all the time from labels. He'd bring home piles of them that he hadn't had time to listen to during work hours, so he could decide what/how much to buy, and man, I got to discover so much new music by hanging out at his apartment. One night he was laughing his ass off: "You gotta hear this. This guy's name is"--lengthy pause for laughing fit-- "Meat Loaf. He calls himself Meat Loaf." More pausing for hysterical laughter.

But I think my friend was impressed with his singing, and when he put the album on, we listened for a while, and little miss "I can name that singer in two notes" me perked up and said, "Hey, I think that's the guy from Rocky Horror." My friend and I used to go to movies late at night while his girlfriend/my other BFF was at work, and we'd seen Rocky Horror a few times before it bombed and became A Thing. He was like, "Holy shit, that IS him!"

I honestly don't know if my friend would have bought as many copies of the record (which sold out repeatedly at their shops) without that connection, but he was glad he had, though he never didn't want to laugh every time he said "Meat Loaf." Later on, when I was writing film reviews and occasional music stuff at a newspaper, I got to interview Mr. Loaf, and he was a nice, pleasant guy, funny and self-deprecating. I was so bummed about his politics later on that I never really wanted to listen to the music that had brought me so much happiness back then, but for a while, I was definitely a fan.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 12:37 PM on January 21 [9 favorites]


I didn't learn about his politics until this thread but his music meant a lot to me. I'm conflicted and sad, which checks out for 2022.

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posted by lock robster at 12:39 PM on January 21 [11 favorites]


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posted by Urtylug at 12:40 PM on January 21


I commented upthread, but I want to add: I love the album Bat out of Hell. It's pretty great from beginning to end. So I'd say I am a big fan of Meat Loaf's Bat out of Hell. It's gloriously campy, grandly hammy and fun. It gives me feels. The album and his stage presence is nearly preposterous. The world needs more exceedingly well done campy, hammy fun.

I cannot say that I'm a fan of Meat Loaf. After BooH, I heard a couple songs from him, and probably heard even more in the background in record stores, malls (remember those?) and on the radio and VH1. None of his other stuff clicked with me. I found Rocky Horror Picture Show to be mostly boring with a few great moments, and Loaf was not in the Great parts. It's just that one album that's so damn perfect. Lightning in a bottle, so the saying goes. And it's getting on 50 years old!

I personally don't know anyone else who (though the years) I would think of as a "fan of Meat Loaf," but I know many people who really, really love Bat out of Hell. That one particular album, with Loaf, Steinman, Ellen Foley and Todd Rundgren is simply great.

So screw his politics. I don't think he was a good person necessarily (this is the most time I've ever spent thinking of the man himself, though), and his political bent seems to proudly show that. But I'll always have Bat out of Hell.
posted by SoberHighland at 1:14 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


That album(you know which one) will always hold a soft spot in my 13 year old boy's heart. His views were, how shall we say, unfortunate, but for one brief shining moment his work aligned perfectly with my small town yearning. And because of that I will never be able to objectively judge that record.
His version of adulthood on Bat Out of Hell was certainly not the one I encountered🙂, it seemed so utterly glamorous, but that's okay, it did what it was supposed to do.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 1:19 PM on January 21


I bought "Bat Out of Hell" on the strength of the cover art. It lasted one listen and I gave it away. It wasn't the worst mistake in my life but it was certainly a mistake. I have always thought that Eddy was the most useless character in Rocky Horror, on the occasions when I rewatch, I fast forward through that section. I have never enjoyed Meatloaf's umm shtick? It sound like a lot of people enjoy that. I suppose it's the same as musical theater and opera, just not my thing. I'm sorry another human has passed from a preventable illness. I do not however miss him.
posted by evilDoug at 1:27 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: I'm conflicted and sad, which checks out
posted by rorgy at 2:06 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


I bought "Bat Out of Hell" on the strength of the cover art.

If someone already mentioned this, apologies, but that album art is all Richard Corben, baby.
posted by elkevelvet at 2:10 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


🍖🍞
posted by clavdivs at 2:14 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


When I was a freshman at college in Platteville, WI in 1986, my first dorm roommate would play her Bat out of Hell cassette tape as loud as it would go Every. Single. Time. she was getting ready to go out. I don't remember her name, but I do remember that, and the fact that her gigantic blond Aggie boyfriend wore cowboy boots and his feet stank to high heaven.
posted by RedEmma at 2:41 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


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posted by Coaticass at 2:49 PM on January 21


Decided to finally listen again to Bat Out Of Hell II for the first time in a close to three decades and am having thoughts and feelings.
posted by cortex at 3:10 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


.

He did say it! It's lying. And that's a fact.

He would also never say it's a brief interlude, a midsummer's fling, and that it's time to move on. Anything, but that.


Indeed, it's a kind of touching list hidden in a song that sounds like it's talking about something that wasn't his kink.

I went through the lyrics this morning and made a list of all the things he won't do for love, and realized for the first time that they're really the same sorts of things Rick Astley would never do (for any reason at all, presumably.)

The Rickroll was coming from inside the Loaf.
posted by mark k at 3:26 PM on January 21 [6 favorites]


I would do anything for love, but I won’t do vax… and I won’t do mask. —Meatloaf

Why did you have to get sucked into all that nonsense. Damn it…. Fuck.
posted by interogative mood at 3:43 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


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posted by intrepid_simpleton at 3:49 PM on January 21


From the BBC link in the FPP:
In 1973 Meat Loaf was asked to play the parts of Eddie and Dr Everett Scott in the stage production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
We just called this The Rocky Horror Show. This is like saying you're going to see a stage production of Kenneth Branagh's movie Hamlet.

I miss copy editors, is I guess what I am saying.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:17 PM on January 21 [9 favorites]


quoting a filmmaker friend:

I had the occasion to work with him back in '97. [...] Cast and crew liked him. "Uh Mr. Loaf?' "Just call me Meat", he would say. He would stand in the lunch line with everybody else, would refuse the special treatment usually given to stars. I remember a moment between camera setups when he just broke into song - Two Out of Three Ain't Bad. Everyone was thrilled.
posted by philip-random at 4:20 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


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posted by bryon at 4:25 PM on January 21




I miss copy editors, is I guess what I am saying.
Here you go: I miss copy editors is, I guess, what I'm saying.

(First one's free, then I'm $125/hour after that. You're welcome.)

Still miss us?
posted by heyho at 5:15 PM on January 21 [16 favorites]


Often punchlines play fast and loose with punctuation. It is known.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:28 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Stop Right There!

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posted by j_curiouser at 5:42 PM on January 21


I am in tears. I knew him irl, and he was a huge flirt!
“Everything works if you let it.”
posted by Ideefixe at 6:04 PM on January 21 [9 favorites]


his duet partner Karla DeVito hams it up for all she’s worth

While lip-synching the powerful vocals of Ellen Foley.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:04 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


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posted by dopeypanda at 8:05 PM on January 21


listen again to Bat Out Of Hell II for the first time in a close to three decades

Bat Out Of Hell II? Curse you, relentless march of time!
posted by kirkaracha at 9:17 PM on January 21


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posted by filtergik at 2:23 AM on January 22


I didn't hear PbtDL until summer 1987, just before going off to college, while hanging out with my friend group of the time.
I wasn't exactly shocked, but I was startled once I understood the song was about pressuring the girl into sex.
I am not sure why - I had already heard 'Only the Good Die Young' by that point - but that song comes across as slightly less immediate, I guess.
--------------------
And later, 'I Wound Do Anything for Love' got all the airplay, but then there was a video and radio push on "Objects in the Rearview Mirror", and honestly, even though the chorus/theme irritatingly gets the actual mechanics of the side mirror wrong/reversed, I still think the verses about best friend Kenny and abusive father still hit me in the chest when he signs them.
---------------------
. for the guy who worked with Steinman, not so much for who he was later.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 3:23 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


kirkaracha:"Ellen Foley"

Wikipedia: " ... where she-costarred in Night Court"

Billie Young was Meatloaf's co-star?!?!?!?! 😮😮😮😮😮
posted by MollyRealized at 4:16 PM on January 22


Meatloaf and Stephen Fry.
posted by MollyRealized at 5:59 PM on January 22


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posted by detachd at 6:05 PM on January 22


...argument that "Bat Out of Hell" is thematically identical to Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run,"

Not quite the same band but almost the same band played on both albums, spot the difference, Chuck.

'Roadie' (1980) is pretty funny and under-rated.
posted by ovvl at 9:00 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


For a fun Monday morning activity, the next time someone revisits the current water cooler convo du jour "Meatloaf said he would do anything for love but THAT but he never said what that was!" Just confidently say "pegging" and walk away.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:39 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, he was a climate denialist who said that Greta Thunberg is brainwashed.

And Thunberg couldn't bring herself to fight back against insults from an ailing and senile old man. Her response was her trademark deflect-back-to-how-the-earth-is still warming move, which I'd say is pretty compassionate in this context. I certainly hope my old-asshole moments will be treated with that kind of deflection when my day comes. If she could wave that moment off, the rest of us can too and just remember Meat Loaf for his cheesy music.

On the other hand, I just looked at his obits on the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror. And over there they seem to think his swipe at Greta was among his better moments.
posted by ocschwar at 9:03 PM on January 25


The Overthinking It podcast notes that Meat Loaf had a lot of head injuries and that might have influenced his life choices.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:13 PM on January 28


To return to an earlier comment... I (personally) don't think there's anything wrong with feeling sad about the loss of an artist, even a controversial one, whose work had meaning for you. But it is a bit disingenuous to dismiss that person's problematic statements/actions as a difference of opinion or something like that. That's all I meant earlier, but I stated it in an unnecessarily harsh way. Regarding Meat Loaf himself, I would probably much rather hang out with him than with, say, Bill Maher, who is ostensibly "on the same side" as me on many issues, and if I had the opportunity to make a trade with the afterlife, I'd totally give them Maher in exchange for Meat. He probably was a very nice guy, and a very fun guy to hang out with (when he wasn't talking anti-vax nonsense or whatever). And for me, at least, not liking his music had nothing to do with his politics, which I didn't know about until the last few years anyway. I just always thought that his stuff was completely unlistenable, like, some of the worst popular "rock" music ever released. Honestly, I'm having trouble thinking of someone whose music I find more awful... not even Nickelback.
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:43 PM on January 31


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