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Meat Loaf

YOU never quite know what you're going to get with Mr Loaf.
"You're in Naddinghairm, the home of Robin Hood," he begins.
Indeed. Did you ever dress up as Robin Hood?
"I have never dressed up as Robin Hood. I dunno there's just something about little hat that they use you know that they use... like the Errol Flynn Robin Hood. That little hat..." he adds rather randomly, ending with a chuckle.
May be you should dress up as him for this gig.
"Nah, that's OK. If I was really going to dress up as somebody I'd dress up as Maid Marian."
With you on that one.
He admits he's nervous about the rescheduled dates on this tour, postponed from last November when doctors found a cyst on his vocal cord.
"I am fine. The doctors said 'you're great'."
He had to keep his mouth shut for 12 weeks while he recovered - the cyst burst so he didn't need the operation to have it removed.
That must have been a struggle, you do like to talk.
"Oh yeah I do like to talk. My Indian name is Never Shuts Up."
At the time of the cancellations of the UK dates in November it wasn't guaranteed that he would honour any of the dates.
"Naddinghairm kind of came up at the last moment. They said 'do you want to go back into Naddinghairm' and I said yeah, sure. It's actually the only one we're actually making up."
Because we're special.
"You are special. And the hotel gave us a great rate."
There is no new album to flog on the tour so it'll be all the hits and more he says. But why call the tour Casa De Carne, which translates as "house of meat"?
"Because when you come to the show you come to my house, doncha?"
Did you realise Casa De Carne is used on prostitute business cards?
"It is?"
Yes, there's a recent story in the Washington Post.
"I didn't know that. But they don't call it Casa De Carne."
They do.
"(Laughs) God. I'm always putting my foot in it aren't I? Maybe I should bathe the stage in red. You know that's exactly what I'm going to do just for you in Naddinghairm."
Last time we spoke I pointed out the impending 60th birthday and you threatened to come up here and give me a good hiding.
"Yeah and I would have if you'd have brought it up again."
I won't then.
(He'll be 61 in September).
He reiterates that there will be no more Bat Out Of Hell albums but will keep on recording.
"I'm not going to retire. To quote Jon Bon Jovi, I'll sleep when I'm dead."
So what will be the next album?
"I don't know. I've changed my mind half a dozen times. I had one producer in mind but changed my mind on that. I'm meeting another producer who might be really good but I'm not going to tell you who that is."
Is it Rick Rubin?
"Nooo. Him and Neil Diamond, they've got a thing going."
What about new film projects? His appearances have been sporadic to say the least. After The Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1975, he's cropped up in a number of movies such as Fight Club, Spice World and Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.
"I have a lot. One is called Kick The Can about two boys in Texas. A really great script, very witty. They're not very bright kids. They're kinda stupid. One of them's father's in prison and that's who I'm going to play. The second takes place in New Orleans but we haven't finalised that one yet. It's called The Fallen."
Throughout our chat, Naddinghairm's No. 1 Meat Loaf fan, who works at EG HQ, has been listening in, fidgeting nervously at the prospect of putting a few questions to the big man.
"Oh boy," he says.
I reckon she's too scared to talk to you.
"I'm too scared to talk to her."
She's a potential stalker.
"Ah that's OK, I stalk people too."
She wants to know if you've any regrets?
"Oh God, are you kidding? I've made a fool of myself so many times it's ridiculous."
Which of your songs means the most to you?
"For Crying Out Loud, which was the last song on Bat Out Of Hell. That's really what broke the record. It really turned the heads of the people at the record company and that's when they decided they wanted to promote the record."

Pictured with Ellen Foley, 1978

If you were stuck in a lift, who would you want to be stuck with?
"Oh God I wouldn't want to be stuck in a lift. I'm so claustrophobic. You wouldn't want to be stuck in a lift with me, I'd be screaming like a baby. I'm paranoid that it's going to happen. When I get in I'm always looking how to get out."
Oooh, Naddinghairm's No. 1 Meat Loaf fan is braving a question. Go Jan...
Looking back on your life, is there anything you could change?
"Yeah, everything. Maybe... I got a little too crazy on Graham Norton."
But that's who you are.
"I have two speeds. On and off. And when I'm on, God help us."
Are you going to be 'on' when you play here?
"Yeah, that's the only speed I know when we're playing."
When Jan tries to find out what hotel he'll be staying in it's time to manhandle the phone from her grasp and wish Mr Loaf a farewell.
Meat Loaf appears at the Trent FM Arena on Wednesday July 9 with support from his daughter Pearl Aday

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