The legendary Meat Loaf passed away yesterday at the age of 74. Any of you in my age group will most likely remember him for his passionate love songs in the 70s and 80s.
Bat Out of Hell, by Meat Loaf
This album was one of my favourites in my late teenage years. In fact, it still remains one of my all time favourites. It has the power to invoke so many memories of romantic relationships of those years. Especially Paradise by the Dashboard Lights. Every time I hear it, I am transported back to those days.
Released in 1977, the album was so popular it was on the hit list for nine years! As a matter of fact, it still remains at the top of the “best sellers of all time” list.
Also on my list of favourites are top singles on the charts from that album including “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad,” “You Took the Words Right out of my Mouth” and “I Would do Anything for Love, but I Won’t do That.”
The album was so iconic that a musical with the same name features many of my favourite hit singles from the album. Unfortunately, many performances of this musical were postponed due to the pandemic.
Meat Loaf’s Memorable Quotes
Asked about his flamboyant and passionate performances, he replied that he treats each stage performance like it’s his last. More iconic, often self-depreciating yet painfully truthful, quotes from AZquotes include:
The day that I ever become hip… please shoot me and put me outta my misery!”
“I never fit in. I am a true alternative. And I love being the outcast. That’s my role in life, to be an outcast.”
“I don’t have a rock voice. I have to force it. I am like an opera singer.”
He was quite insightful, very talented, yet well aware of his limitations. I believe that was part of his charm. What you saw is what you got. Every performance, live or recorded, was passionately and emotionally delivered.
Meat Loaf certainly worked hard for his fame. Born Marvin (AKA Michael) Lee Aday in Dallas, Texas, in 1947, he was the only child of an alcoholic, abusive father. His mother, a school English teacher, passed away when he was young. Because of his weight, constant bullying and teasing were a daily occurrence at school. In fact, (allegedly) this teasing lead to his name. Teachers, kids, and even coaches reportedly called the youngster “ML,” for Mighty Large, which turned into Meat Loaf. Another theory is that he was nicknamed after a favourite meal that his mom made often.
Meat Loaf Performances
Over the years, Meat Loaf performed in over 50 television shows and films, including Rocky Horror Picture Show, Black Dog, Fight Club, Wayne’s World, and Hair. These performances were over and above his innumerable concerts and recordings that spanned four decades.
In 1994 Meat Loaf won a Grammy for the Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for “I’d do Anything for Love.”
Health Issues Derailed his Comeback
Unfortunately, poor health in the form of excruciating back pain curbed the career that spanned so many decades. He fainted on stage in Pittsburgh in 2011 and halted his UK tour in 2013. Due to illness, shows were canceled in 2016, followed by a collapse on stage in Edmonton.
“Braver Than We Are” was released in September 2016. Ultimately it proved to be his last album. The dream of a comeback was cut short when never-ending back pain brought on eighteen months of back surgery.
Four surgeries later a glimmer of hope emerged. In early 2020 Meat Loaf promised another album. In March of 2021, he performed at country singer and fellow Celebrity Apprentice cast member John Rich’s bar in Lower Broadway. Just this past (2021) November a personalFacebook post had fans’ hopes up. At that time he vented about the four back surgeries, but also shared that he was looking forward to getting back in the studio in the new year. I for one was excited, something to look forward to in 2022.
Visit his website for more fascinating information on this legendary music icon.
Hopefully, he is rocking pain-free in heaven, or resting in peace with Betty White, another legend we lost recently. Although the two had nothing in common (that I am aware of) they both made a profound impression around the world.
Check out Daniel Campoli’s portfolio to meet a young, very talented musician. Daniel not only writes and records his own pieces, but sings and plays the piano too. Listen to his latest single entitled “Broadcast From my Bedroom” here or on YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify or Amazon Music.
I was just introduced to Daniel myself, virtually, through Facebook and was blown away by his voice and talent. It turns out he grew up, and his parents still live, around the corner from my brother in Ingleside, just west of Cornwall, Ontario. His mother and my sister in law have been friends for years. It is indeed a small world, especially when you grow up in a small town.
Social media can be wonderful for sharing positive, inspirational stories like this, compared to all the vitriol that seems to have taken over our media sources lately. I am always happy to share such amazing talent.
The Brass Monkey on Greenbank Road in Ottawa was rocking last night thanks to vocalist and drummer extraordinaire Roy Nichol and his group of talented musicians known as Fire and Ice. Guitarists Mark Day and Don LeCompte flanked Nichol and his drums for the set of Journey songs with Tammy McRae joining in as lead vocalist for the Pat Benatar set.
The music was a walk down memory lane in more ways than one for me. I grew up two doors down from Mark Day in Cornwall. As a tomboy, I spent many hours with Mark, his oldest brother and my own brothers playing everything from hide and seek to flag football. We lived on a dead end, small street, a safe haven for all the neighbourhood kids. As we hit our teenaged years, Mark moved on to spend more time with his guitar and rock band friends, so we lost touch. We reconnected recently on Facebook with other members of the McGregor Avenue gang.
In my late teens I met Roy Nichol at a friend’s cottage where she hosted many a summer party. Roy often played the drums and occasionally sang at these parties. His speciality (as I remember it) was Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Every time I hear that song, even 40 years later, it brings me back to those days.
Enough of the nostalgia and back to the present where Roy is currently the drummer and vocalist for a few different bands, including Canada’s April Wine. That skinny boy on the drums from my 70’s memories has certainly done well for himself.
Currently, and especially as this was a tribute to Journey, Roy’s vocals share an uncanny and remarkable resemblance to those of Journey’s Steve Perry back in the late 70s and 80s. Not that I am an expert of anything rock related, but must one not be incredibly talented (not to mention coordinated) to excel on the drums and the vocals at the same time? Obviously the crowd gathered last night agreed as they sang along and danced the night away.
While reminiscing for a few moments with Roy between sets last night, I did ask him if he still performed Stairway to Heaven. His reply was “not for many years, but maybe I should get back to it”.
Woodwind and Brasswind is a well put together online store for musical instruments, serving and shipping to customers in Canada, USA and several other countries around the world. They offer a convenient, user-friendly shopping experience for drums, keyboards, recorders, brass and woodwind instruments, guitars and more, as well as a wide selection of accessories, classroom teaching aids, and books.
Andrew Waines is a young man moving up quickly in the music world, currently focused on the soft rock/blues genre as a solo artist. Andrew was one of my youngest son’s best friends in grade school here in Kanata (west end of Ottawa) until Andrew and his family moved from our neighborhood.
Andrew’s mom and I are friends on Facebook which has been instrumental (pun intended) in allowing us to follow our children’s (her four and my three) endeavors. When I heard of Andrew’s success and amazing progress in the music industry, I was thrilled for him, but not really surprised as he was always the kind of kid that excelled in any of his pursuits.
Please check out these links to Andrew’s official website, Youtube channel, and Facebook page to discover just how talented he is!
Do you have songs that trigger memories from different stages of your life? I think most everyone does, just different songs for different stages in different lives. This is my list of songs that trigger my memories…
I’ve got you Babe by Sonny and Cher, 1965
Downtown by Petulia Clark, 1965
Help me Rhonda by the Beachboys, 1965
King of the Road by Roger Miller, 1965
California Girls by the Beachboys, 1965
Eight Days a Week by the Beatles, 1965
These Boots are Made for Walking by Nancy Sinatra, 1966
Barbara Ann by the Beachboys, 1966
Yellow Submarine by the Beatles, 1966
Daydream Believer by the Monkees, 1967
Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison, 1967
Green Green Grass of Home by Tom Jones, 1967
Hey Jude by the Beatles, 1968
I’m on the Top of the World by the Carpenters, 1969
Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, 1969
Sugar Sugar by the Archies, 1969
Jerimiah was a Bullfrog, by Three Dog Night, 1970
Cecilia by Simon & Garfunkle, 1970
Stairway to Heaven, by Led Zeppelin, 1971
For Baby For Bobbie, John Denver, 1972
Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple, 1972
Song Sung Blue by Neil Diamond, 1972
Sweet City Woman by the Stampeders, 1973
Sister Golden Hair, Tin Man, Lonely People, I Need You and most others on the America album by America, 1975
Two out of Three ain’t Bad, Paradise by the Dashboard Lights and most of the others on the Bat out of Hell album by Meatloaf, 1977
The Gambler and Lucille by Kenny Rogers, 1978 and 1977 respectively.
Forever in Blue Jeans by Neil Diamond, 1978
Magnet and Steel by Walter Egan, 1978
Take the Long Way Home, Give a Little Bit, Bloody well Right, Goodbye Stranger, and Breakfast in America from the Breakfast in America album by Supertramp, 1979
Can I Have this Dance by Anne Murray, 1980
Centerfold and Freezeframe by the J. Geils Band, 1981
Turn around Bright Eyes by Bonnie Tyler, 1983
Footloose by Kenny Loggins, 1984
Jump by Van Halen, 1984
Bring me a Higher love by Steve Winwood, 1986
Nothing’s Gonna Stop us now by Jefferson Starship, 1987
Wind Beneath my Wings by Bette Midler, 1989
She Drives me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals, 1989
Eternal Flame by the Bangles, 1989
Black and White by Michael Jackson, 1991
Everything I do by Bryan Adams, 1991
Show me the Way by Styx, 1991
Hero by Mariah Carey, 1994
Can you Feel the Love Tonight by Elton John, 1994
Candle in the Wind by Elton John, 1997
I get Knocked Down by Chumbawamba, 1997
I Believe I can Fly by R. Kelly, 1997
Five people in my Family from Sesame Street, 1970 sung in 90s
I Love Trash by Oscar on Sesame Street, 1970 sung in 90s
Raise a Little Hell, Girl in the bright white sportscar, Here for a good time not a long time, Santa Maria, Janine, Baby woncha please come home and most of the other Trooper songs, 70s and 80s. sung in boat at cottage
Crazy by Gnarls Barkley, 2006
Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake, 2006
Photograph by Nickleback, 2006
Umbrella by Rhianna, 2007 Derek
I Need you Now by Lady Antebellum, 2010, trip to and from Florida
Growing up in the 60s, even though my mother had six kids to look after and raise, I have fond memories of her singing to her favorite songs. Her favorites included Sonny and Cher’s “I’ve got you Babe”, Petulia Clark’s “Downtown”, Roger Miller’s “King of the road”, Tom Jones’ “Green Green Grass of Home”, and Kenny Rogers’ “Lucille” and “Gambler.” Anything by Neil Diamond was also a favourite of hers.
My earliest recollection of singing my own favorites included “Help me Rhonda”, “Barbara Ann” and “California Girls” by the Beachboys, “Eight Days a Week”, ” Hey Jude” and “Yellow Submarine” by the Beatles, and “Jerimiah was a Bullfrog” by Three Dog Night.
In my early teens, I loved “These Boots are Made for Walking” by Nancy Sinatra and “Cecilia” by Simon and Garfunkle, in fact, I had a friend named Cecilia Boots in grade seven that I used to tease with those two songs. Around the same time, my eldest brother got an electric guitar. “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple was the only song he could play, so that became annoying quite quickly.
In my mid teens I loved anything by America with “Lonely People”, “Tin Man” and “Sister Golden Hair” my top picks. My eldest sister was old enough to purchase the album, so I was able to listen to the songs over and over. “Sister Golden Hair” by the Stampeders was another favourite at that time of my life.
In my late teens, during my dating years, songs like “Magnet and the Steel” by Walter Egan and most of the tunes from Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell album were my favorites. Supertramp’s Breakfast in America album was also a favourite with songs like “Take the Long Way Home”, “Give a Little Bit”, “Goodbye Stranger” the lyrics to which my friend Leslee and I would belt out while she was driving us around in her baby blue Camaro.
“Centerfold” and “Freeze Frame” by J. Geils Band and “Turn Around Bright Eyes” by Bonnie Tyler were popular in my early twenties. I particularly remember my niece singing “Turn around Jedi” when she was about three and Return of the Jedi, a sequel to Star Wars, had just come out at the theatre.
“Can I Have This Dance” by Anne Murray was the song we chose for the first dance at our wedding in 1984. Also popular that summer and played at our wedding as well as several of our friends’ weddings was “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins, “Jump” by Van Halen, “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen, and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper.
“Bring me a Higher Love” by Steve Windwood, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop us Now” by Jefferson Starship and “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles bring back memories of a trip to Texas in the late 80s. I can still picture a staff member of a restaurant in Ohio dancing around the salad bar to Bring me a Higher Love.
Around the time my first son was born in December of 1989, “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins and “When I see you Smile” by Bad English were my favourites at the top of the charts. After my pregnancy problems preceeding this birth, this last song was very symbolic to me.
Although they were released much earlier, songs like “Five People in my Family” and “I love Trash” from Sesame Street bring back memories of trips with our young boys in the early 90s. Other songs popular that remind me of those years are from the Lion King soundtrack by Elton John, including “Can you Feel the Love Tonight?”, “Hakuna Matata” and “The Circle of Life.” Michael Jackson’s “Black and White” brings back a picture of my eldest son marching around the house behind my husband as he warmed up for his curling games with our middle son in a snuggly on his back.
When I was very pregnant with my youngest son in the summer of 1997, his two older brothers and I loved to belt out the words of Chumbawamba’s “I get Knocked Down” while driving in the car with me barely fitting behind the steering wheel. Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” brings back a sadder memory of the same summer when Princess Diana was tragically killed in a car accident.
On the same sad note, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison and “Lady in Red” by Chris de Burgh remind me of my dear friend Suzanne who died of cancer in 2001. These two songs were her favorites. “Angel” by Shaggy invokes a picture of her young son singing with my sons as we rode in my van. They could not believe I knew all the words because the song was a remake of a much older song.
Shortly after the turn of the century we purchased a cottage followed by a new boat. Trooper’s greatest hits were favourites (still are actually) in the CD player as we cruised the lake in the boat. All five of us know all the words to “Raise a Little Hell”, “The Girls in the Bright White Sportscar”, “Here for a Good Time, not a Long Time”, “Janine”, “Two for the Show” and most of the other songs on that album.
Later in that first decade of the new millenium songs like “Photograph” by Nickleback and “Umbrella” by Rhianna were popular tunes my sons (and their mother) loved to sing. The songs “Crazy” by Gnarles Barkley and “Sexy Back” by Justin Timberlake were at the top of the charts as I drove back and forth to visit my father when he was in the final stages of pulmonary fibrosis in 2006.
“I Need you Now” by Lady Antebellum reminds me of a trip to Florida in 2010 and merengue, bachata, reggae, salsa and latin tunes (unfortunately I cannot remember the names of the songs, but would remember them if I heard them) bring back memories of family trips to Cuba and Dominican Republic.
I hope I haven’t bored you with my trip down memory lane. So many songs, so many treasured memories…
Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz are visiting Ottawa this week to share the message that “there’s no place like home”…
The National Art Center (NAC) in downtown Ottawa is hosting the performances, from Tuesday December 29th until Sunday, January 3rd. Last night’s opening performance was supposed to be sold out, so I assume the empty seats visible were due to the heavy snowfall we received here in Ottawa yesterday.
The story of the Wizard of Oz is appropriate for children of all ages, from 3 to 93. The messages “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”, “be thankful for what you have”, “home is where the heart is” and of course, “there’s no place like home” are ones we can all learn from.
The original movie from1939, an American comedy and drama starring Judy Garland, was memorable for the introduction of technicolor part way through the movie. Tonight’s theatrical production byBroadway Across Canada included all the old songs and characters with a few modern twists and jokes. I especially liked the “the lion sleeps tonight” line as the cowardly lion collapses, face first, when the Wicked Witch of the West sedates Dorothy and her friends with the scent of poppies. The performance was amazing, and included a live “Toto”. Both dogs that play Toto, Nigel and his understudy Loki, were rescued from a humane society and a puppy mill respectively. This heart warming fact that I read in the programme adds to the appeal of the production.
My favourite part, apart from all the memorable, toe-tapping songs, was the contagious giggles from the youngest children in the audience.
Neil Diamond’s performance at the Canadian Tire Center in Ottawa was spectacular. He had the crowd singing and dancing to popular hits like Cracklin’ Rosie, Sweet Caroline, Forever in Blue Jeans, Play Me, Red Red Wine and many more. The stage was brilliant with colorful lighting and a large signature diamond in the background. Pictures from his childhood in Brooklyn, New York displayed on the large screens added a sentimental and personal touch to his music.
My personal favorite Neil Diamond song is still “Forever in Blue Jeans.” The words of wisdom in the chorus were powerful back when they were first written and resonate even more today in our materialistic society:
But it don’t sing and dance
And it don’t walk
And long as I can have you
Here with me, I’d much rather be
Forever in blue jeans
What impressed me most about Neil Diamond’s performance was the fact that his very distinctive voice has not changed much over the years. I remember listening to his music many years ago when my mother was a huge fan. I am still humming his tunes this morning!