facebook twitter rss
Meat Loaf from "The Celebrity Apprentice 2011" is one of the stars featured in Season 4 of the NBC reality competition series.

Some people think big. Some people think huge. And then there's Meat Loaf.

For the past 35 years, Michael Lee Aday has been a towering monument on the musical landscape. Meat Loaf's legendary 1977 album "Bat Out of Hell" transformed this former high school football player, nightclub bouncer and stage actor into one of the great American rock 'n' roll icons. That record,
Meat Loaf in "The Celebrity Apprentice 2011"
Meat Loaf The Celebrity Apprentice 2011
with its staggering operatic sound and impassioned vocals, has sold more than 43 million albums worldwide—still one of the biggest-selling records ever.

Meat Loaf's reputation as one of music's greatest artists was underlined by such masterpieces as "Dead Ringer" (1981), "Bad Attitude" (1984) and the" Bat Out of Hell" sequels "Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell" (1993) and "Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose" (2006). Other artists might have tried to match his scale and copy his sound, but no one has come close.

Now, more than 30 years after he exploded onto the world stage, Meat Loaf is back with a new record, "Hang Cool Teddy Bear" (a title taken from a line in the classic Russ Meyer trash movie "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls"). From opener "Peace on Earth" to closer "Elvis in Vegas," its 13 tracks drag the classic Meat Loaf sound kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

"I wanted it big, I wanted it dramatic, I wanted a rock record," says Meat Loaf. "Yes, it sounds like a Meat Loaf record. But it sounds different too - it sounds new, it sounds fresh. It speaks to you in a different way."

Much of this newfound energy can be put down to Meat Loaf's working relationship with his new collaborator, producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance Paramore, Fleetwood Mac). For the singer, it was a chance to work with one of the hottest producers around. For Cavallo, it was an opportunity to work with a childhood hero and a proper rock 'n' roll legend.

"Rob is the Number 1 rock producer in the world because he leaves his ego out of the equation and gives an artist his voice, making it sound better than the artist could even imagine," says Meat. "I was like a fisherman looking for a big mouthed bass. I put on the right worm. The first song I played to him, I hooked him. The second song, I nailed him."

The pair hit it off immediately, and this electrifying creative partnership immediately raised the bar several feet. Meat Loaf brought more than 40 songs to the table, which the duo whittled down to the 13 that appear on the final record, including the furious "Living on the Outside" and hilarious first single "LosAngeloser."

But there was one other piece to the jigsaw: Los Angeles-based screenwriter and director Kilian Kerwin, a long-time friend of the singer. As with every classic Meat Loaf album, Hang Cool Teddy Bear has a bigger concept. It was one of Kerwin's short stories that inspired the singer to come up with the album's striking narrative.

"It's the story of a soldier," reveals Meat Loaf. "He's been in battle and he's lying face down on the ground. He can't move, but he turns his head and starts to see blood run across the ground, and so he thinks he's going to die. They always say you see your life flash backwards you when you're about to die. But his life flashes forward—into what possibly could happen. He sees what his life could be—the good and the bad. The songs are the different scenarios he finds himself in. It's not always the same time or the same place—but it's always the same woman. But I don't want to give too much away—I want people to work it out for themselves."

To flesh out his vision, Meat Loaf enlisted a set of elite musicians to play on the album, including guitarists Tim Pierce, Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins (who co-wrote two songs for the album), Paul Crook and Randy Flowers, legendary bass players Chris Chaney and Kasim Sulton, genius keyboardist Jamie Mulhoberac and the world's greatest rock drummer (just ask Rob Cavallo) John Micelli. "Hang Cool Teddy Bear" also features a stellar array of big-name guests, including Steve Vai (who appears on "Love Is Not Real"), former Queen guitarist Brian May (who appears on "Song of Madness" and "Love Is Not Real"), "American Idol" presenter Kara DioGuardi (who co-wrote and sings on "If I Can't Have You") and Hollywood star Jack Black, who duets with Meat Loaf on "Like a Rose."

But the most surprising guest is Hugh Laurie—the English actor famous for starring in "Blackadder" and hit US TV show "House." It was while making a guest appearance on the latter that Meat Loaf met Laurie and discovered that he was a classically-trained pianist. What else could he do but ask the actor to play piano on the song "If I Can't Have You?"

"He was really nervous at first," recalls Meat Loaf. "It was strange seeing someone so confident on a TV set walk into the studio like he's a quivering mess. But he nailed it. He's talking about playing it with us if we ever go on American Idol."

"What I love about Hugh, Jack and Kara," says Meat Loaf. "Is that sometimes you get people coming to the studio, and they have their manager and a bodyguard and an entourage - it's this endless stream of people. The 3 of them, they just drove up to the studio in their own cars, no bullshit no fronts, just real people. And I love real people."

But for all the star guests, "Hang Cool Teddy Bear" is Meat Loaf's album—his own dirty little secret. More than four decades into his career, the man—and his voice—is as big, bold and important as ever.

"How do I keep the fire burning?" he asks. "I don't know. I just do. I'd bet in advance that if I sat with somebody in a room and said to them, 'I'll give you five pounds if you don't go 'Whoah!' after the first song', they'd forget about the five pounds and they'd go 'Whoah!'. You can't help it. And it's like that across all the songs. This record is spectacular!"

Donald Trump Referred to Lil Jon as 'Uncle Tom' During 'Celebrity Apprentice' Taping
'Celebrity Apprentice': Arnold Schwarzenegger Replaces Donald Trump in First Teaser
Meat Loaf Collapses On Stage During Concert
Arnold Schwarzenegger Refuses to Answer Trump Question, Walks Out of Interview
Donald Trump Jokes Highlight Television Critics Association
NBC Chief Talks Separation From Donald Trump, Pushes 'Celebrity Apprentice' Back to 2016-17 Season
Donald Trump on NBC Severing Ties: 'They Didn't Want Me to Run'
10 People Who Could Replace Donald Trump on 'Celebrity Apprentice'
Trump may be out of Apprentice thanks to his latest run for attention
Donald Trump's Presidential Bid: Will It End His Celeb Apprentice Gig?


How tall is Meat Loaf? How old is Meat Loaf? Find out here.

Age: 69 years old
Birthday: September 27, 1947
Height: 5' 10 ½"
Full Name / Real Name: Michael Lee Aday
Birthplace: Dallas, TX
Wife: Deborah Gillespie
Leslie G. Edmonds (2/23/1979 - 2001, divorced, 2 children)

"Timeless" (TV show) cast members Malcolm Barrett, Matt Lanter and Abigail Spencer NBC Reveals Fall 2016 Schedule and New Series — Highlights include new dramas "Timeless" on Mondays and "This Is Us" on Tuesdays; plus "Blindspot" moves to Wednesdays and "Chicago Med" relocates to Thursdays. Read more...
Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The Celebrity Apprentice" 'The Celebrity Apprentice' Season 8 Contestants and Advisors Announced — Warren Buffett, Steve Ballmer, Tyra Banks, Jessica Alba and Patrick Knapp Schwarzenegger come on board as advisors on the NBC reality competition series, along with contestants Laila Ali, Brooke Burke-Charvet, Boy George, Vince Neil, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Ricky Williams, Carnie Wilson and more. Read more...
Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator Genisys" Arnold Schwarzenegger to Host 'The Celebrity Apprentice' — NBC has named the twice-elected California governor and international movie superstar as the new CEO of its reality business competition series. Read more...

Post a Comment
Display Name
E-mail (optional)
(not displayed with comment)
URL (optional)
  BB code and links are not permitted.