Music Appreciation: Better Late than Never

Meat Loaf, aka Mr. Loaf , legal name Marvin Aday, passed on January 20 of this year. My friend Bill (who you’re going to hear a lot about in this space) was the one who texted me the news. It’s almost to the point where it’s a race to the text when someone of significant pop culture dies, to both our discredit. But I digress.

First, NBC, in an attempt to reach us Gen Xers, went to a break with Paradise by the Dashboard Light. Great song. Supposedly, Phil Rizzuto had no clue what his call was to be used for but I think that apocryphal (I gotta learn how to use that word without Googling it)

More importantly, on the way home after dropping my daughter off at college, I put on Bat Out of Hell. And I realized this song is a masterpiece. From the guitar riff that begins it, to the speed piano, to Meatloaf’s power vocals. The song crescendos and then fades. And at the 7:30 mark Mr. Loaf reaches down, and grabs the last bit of power he has. Followed by the last two Bat Out of Hells, a wolf howling.

Perfection, in 9 minutes or less.

And continuing what I discussed yesterday about my taste in music, my parents got me this album in cassette form, AND a Panasonic tape deck for my 12th birthday. This on top of my friend Barry buying me Boston Don’t Look Back. I think back and my taste in music at that age was sublime.

Back to The Loaf: Would I have played this had Meatloaf been on this mortal plane? No. But I did play it that Sunday. And I played it again. And I’ll play it again as I’m driving back home as soon as I finish banging this out.

In the end it’s no different than millennials discovering Frank Sinatra or The Beatles or Buddy Holly; or anyone of us discovering Beethoven or Brahms or the Ink Spots. They have left this mortal plane; but their music will live on forever.

And remember: as Meat Loaf said in 2004, Rock and Roll Dreams (and dreams of the Boston Red Sox) come true. That’s all I got.

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“It is called a medium because it is very rare that it is well done.” — Ernie Kovacs

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