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Beeb air Tribute to Meat Loaf

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Beeb air Tribute to Meat Loaf

Celebrate the life and work of Michael Lee Aday this evening.

Since the release of his Bat Out of Hell album, Michael Lee Aday, aka Meat Loaf, possessed the kind of international status that few artists obtain. His larger-than-life persona and performances were fuelled by a passion for theatre and storytelling.

This candid profile, produced in 2015, reveals the man and his music through his own testimony and from the accounts of those closest to him.

After his mother died, Meat Loaf fled Texas for the bright lights of LA. After singing in various rock bands he was offered a part in the musical Hair, having been invited to audition whilst working as a parking attendant outside the theatre.

Meat Loaf as ‘Eddie’ in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Hair was the beginning of Meat Loaf’s enduring love affair with theatre. Shortly afterwards he met Jim Steinman, and the road to success really began. His first album, the now legendary Bat Out Of Hell, spent a staggering 485 weeks in the UK charts. It is a masterwork of storytelling that Meat Loaf and Steinman worked on for four years and then battled to get heard.

When Bat Out Of Hell II was finally released 15 years after the first album it defied industry expectations, with I’d Do Anything for Love reaching number one in 28 countries. It is considered one of the greatest comebacks in music history. More albums and hits followed across the 90s and 00s for Meat Loaf, alongside a varied and successful acting career.

Airing as a tribute by the Beeb of the 74-year-old who died earlier today, the programme revisits the Dallas of Meat Loaf’s early years and includes insights from his high school friends, who reveal how Meat Loaf really got his famous moniker. It also features interviews with Meat Loaf himself, and those who worked with him on the Bat Out of Hell album – from Todd Rundgren to Ellen Foley – as well as behind-the-scenes footage of his Las Vegas residency in 2014.

It also sees film critic Mark Kermode examine some of the roles Meat Loaf made his own, in films as diverse as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Fight Club.

(A Tribute to) Meat Loaf: In And Out Of Hell, BBC Four, 9 pm

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