Friday, November 3, 2017

Not your mother's Meat Loaf

The Things I Carry: Meat Loaf's Bat out of Hell & Back into Hell

My first exposure to Meat Loaf was in 1993 when "I'd Do Anything for Love" hit the radios. I was 13 and painfully weird and my father was dying of cancer. It was a rough year.

I was immediately in love. So I did what any fan girl did and bought everything I could find at the local Half Price Books (because I was poor). I had all his cassette tapes (because I wasn't cool enough for a CD player) and I ran them ragged. My mom remembers when he was touring college towns in the seventies and my parents didn't understand why I would want to listen to it at all. It only added to the appeal.

Just like Melissa Etheridge had reached into me and sang my painful outsider heartstrings, so too did Meat Loaf's voice and Jim Steinman's songs reflect an escapism that I desperately.

Now granted, I didn't ride motorcycles and I was far from experiencing "paradise by the dashboard light," there was a grand, fantastical element, an angsty hormonally driven truth, that resonated with the future storyteller within me. There was an S.E. Hinton vibe (also a personal favorite) about the true nature of being oppressed and teen-aged. Of being able to smash things or just fly away. It was my audible equivalent to Piers Anthony and Dean Koontz, and Orson Scott Card. Only with death and motorcycles and sex (gasp).

And there should be no surprise there is even a werewolf element.

Bat Out of Hell just celebrated its 40th anniversary. Its my age. Even after all these years,  on my really bad days when I just need to shove the world away for a while, you will find me blasting it as I drive my mild-mannered, four-door, charcoal gray sedan around town. You'll see me nodding my head to it as I roam around the grocery store to pick up a gallon of chocolate milk.  From the first chords overlaid with a revving motorcycle, I am on a highway and free.

As with most things that I carry with me, the meaning has changed over the years. Sometime it was about rebellion. Sometimes it was all about sex. And sometimes it was just about owning the demon that you carry around with you.

I have never been ashamed to say that I Love Meat Loaf.

And maybe some day I"ll get around to actually riding a motorcycle.

As always, Carry on,

Amanda Arista

1 comment:

Helen Lowe said...

Meatloaf has an awesome voice and I love the vibe of the songs you mention, too, Amanda.:)

*Gasp* that Bat Out Of Hell is 40 years old though: so hard to believe! Mind you, Mick Jagger is well into his seventies now and still gyrating...