Meat Loaf credits career success to diversity

THOUSAND OAKS, CA -- More than two decades later, it appears the odds are still in Marvin Lee Aday's favor.

After all, two out of three ain't bad.

"I never get tired of singing 'Bat Out of Hell,' " said Aday, better known as the singer Meat Loaf during an interview from his Hidden Valley golf-course home.

"But singing my favorite song goes in circles. I like singing 'Two out of Three Ain't Bad,' That's a strong song. It couldn't have been said better. It's a strong song. Besides, if a baseball player goes two out of three at the plate, he'll make good money."

Meat Loaf, who introduced his "Bat Out Of Hell" story/song sound to the world in 1997, is making good money on his first live CD and DVD "Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell Live with the Melbourne (Australia) Symphony Orchestra."

The concert, conducted by Keith Levenson, was recorded Feb. 20 and 22. The story/song concept concert contains songs from the "Bat Out of Hell" album.

The two-disc DVD contains 13 songs and bonus material featuring Meat Loaf's pre-show ritual, a photo gallery and a Q-and-A with Meat Loaf.

Several music magazines have been impressed with the more than 20-minute version of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light."

"We were on tour and promoters came to us with the idea of performing with the orchestra," said Meat Loaf, a football, baseball and basketball fan, but not an ice sport fan, although his golf-course neighbors are hockey-legend Wayne Gretzey and figure-skater Scott Hamilton.

"The idea was perfect for us and perfect for (the orchestra). My drummer sent me an e-mail saying the DVD has been number one in England and doing very well in Germany and the Scandinavian countries. Now, we'll see how it does in the U.S."

As a toddler, Meat Loaf, who has performed in a wardrobe as varied as a white pirate shirt or in an all-black ensemble topped with a red-and-white varsity coat, was nicknamed Meat, by his father.

He believes "Loaf" was added as "an eighth-grader when I stepped on my football coach's foot and he said 'get off my foot you hunk of 'meat loaf' and it stuck. Even teachers called me Meat."

However, going through life known more for your nickname than your given name, can offer a person insight on what a name really means.

Not too long ago, Meat Loaf, along with President Bill Clinton, was selected by Oxford University students to give speeches at the Oxford Union.

Meat Loaf followed Clinton's address, but students saved their applause for the Meat man.

"My speech was all about names and what names mean and how they can be interpreted for something else," said Meat Loaf, who enjoys performing at European festivals when he can do 10 shows in four weeks and not have to worry about sounds and lights.

"At the end of my speech, I told them I might be called Meat Loaf, but that's a lot better than being called 'Dick.' I was very nervous, but the students gave me a standing ovation. Clinton didn't get one. I thought that was very cool."

But being cool doesn't compare to being cold in late November -- especially in sunny California.

"It's freezing out here now. It's really cold. We're a lot colder than Hollywood," said Meat Loaf, who has lived in California since 1997.

"It's cold here, but it's not raining. There are people out here golfing. I am sort of good at it, but then again, I live on a golf course."

Besides his live DVD, it might be awhile before fans see Meat Loaf again.

He said his 26-year career -- which has included acting in musicals and movies; his most attention-getting role was Eddie, the brain-dead zombie in the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" -- has been successful due to his "under-the-radar" approach.

"You are always trying to improve. I vary my shows and offer different production values depending upon my audience. I like to do different things with different things. Then I disappear under the radar, and reappear again. The next time I reappear may be 2006."

"I keep working and try to do the best I can and don't take what I do for granted," said Meat Loaf, who has sold more than 60-million albums worldwide.

Until this CD release, it has been 11 years since Meat Loaf collaborated with songwriter Jim Steinman and released "Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell."

The CD's hit single -- complete with a video that was played non-stop on VH1 and MTV -- was "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)."

So when Meat Loaf reappears from under the radar, this is what he said people should expect:

"Bat Out of Hell III: Last At Bat. It completes the trilogy," he said, "and two out of three ain't bad."

Meat Loaf

More in this category
New Meat Loaf album

A title and a producer have been revealed for the upcoming…

Meat Loaf confirms working with Jim Steinman

In an interview on the Jonathan Ross show Meat Loaf confirms the long…

Bat out of hell charts again

It is the album that won't die. The reissue of the classic "Bat out of…

4 stars for the Loaf

When Meat Loaf enters London's O2 arena tomorrow, he can do it with…

Meat's tour kicks off well

Last night Meat Loaf kicked of his farewell tour in Newcastles metro…