Cher, Brian May, Local Musical Community Mourn Meat Loaf
Cher, Bonnie Tyler, Boy George, Queen’s Brian May, Bon Jovi members Jon Bon Jovi and David Bryan and local Jersey musicians Glen Burtnik and Ray Andersen are all paying tribute to the late Meat Loaf in the wake of the 74-year old singer’s death today (Jan. 21).
“What a bigger than life presence. Saw the original tour. Loved it sooo much. Luv ya Meat…,” wrote Jon Bon Jovi on Instagram.
“RIP Meatloaf…… You were/are a gigantic influence on my music journey.!! Thank you ….and Show them all in heaven how to belt it out !!!! U will be missed ……😎🎤🙏,”” Bryan wrote on his Instagram page.
“R.I.P Meatloaf. Love and prayers to all his family and close friends. He once turned me upside down in a Chinese Restaurant in St Johns Wood,” Boy George wrote on his social media page.
“I am shocked & saddened by the sudden death of Meat Loaf,” tweeted Tyler. “He was, as you might imagine, a larger than life character with a voice & stage presence to match & is one of those rare people who truly was a one off talent and personality. Rest In Peace.”
May expressed his grief on Instagram, writing ” “Remembering great times. Completely gutted that Meat Loaf has left us. Always full of madness, with the innocent sense of naughtiness of a 5-year old, Meat was forever young.”
New Jersey native Andersen, now known as children’s performer mr. Ray, was a hired as utility player in Meat Loaf’s band in the late ’90s, and wrote a touching tribute about the kind of man and artist he was.
“One key thing I witnessed night in and night out – is that he NEVER left ANYTHING on the stage after a performance. He gave it ALL to the fans. In the arts, we call it “mailing in a show” when someone looks and sounds like they’re going thru the motions and emotions during a performance, just to get thru it….but never with Meat.,” Andersen wrote. “I remember after every show – an arena, a theatre, whatever – he would sign EVERY autograph seeker who was lined up at the tour bus and wouldn’t leave until he got to every single person. He had gratitude and knew who put him where he was in show biz.”
Burtnik-known for his solo work as well as touring as his work with Styx and The Weeklings–remembered Meat Loaf as a generous artist.
“I sang on a couple of Meatloaf records (and he even recorded a song of mine). We hung out a few times and he always made me feel special. Yes he was a character. But he sure left his mark,” Burtnik wrote on Facebook. “And ain’t it crazy that Jim Steinman also died almost one year ago as well? Another cultural landmark has officially checked out. Hats off to success THAT big.”
American Idol winner Caleb Perry Johnson--who toured presenting and performing the songs of Meat Loaf as part of the icon’s Neverland Express Tour–honored his mentor on his Twitter feed.
“The rock world lost another one of its titans last night . Rest in power Meat Loaf,” He wrote. “You inspired me to be larger than life and louder than everyone else #HeavenCanWait“
Fellow American Idol alum and Tony Award nominee Constantine Maroulis remembered Meat Loaf on his Instagram page, sharing a photo of the two performing at the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.
“A gentle giant. A powerhouse entertainer who inspired generations of showmen. The perfect mix of rock opera, camp, rock n’ roll honesty and musical theatre acting. A true star.,” he wrote. “Sharing the stage with him in front of the entire music industry at @songwritershof will be a memory I will always cherish. All my sympathies to his daughter Pearl and the whole family. One by one our giants go. 🦇Thanks Meat. Eternal be your memory ✨”
Read Andersen’s full moving tribute below:
“My friend and former “boss,” Meat Loaf, passed away yesterday. I am sad, devastated & stunned beyond words, with tears in my eyes, as we just texted each other, the day after Christmas.
Some of you may know, that in 1998, I got a call to audition to be in Meat’s (yes, that’s what we called him) band by the himself-legendary bassist, Kasim Sulton. Thank you, Kas.I was the utility musician. I played keyboards, rhythm guitar and sang backup. It was a tremendous opportunity. I challenged myself.
I was (am) a nervous flyer, and I was entering a musical world of deeply thorough, dense arrangements that tested my ability to play with some of the best musicians on the planet, and so many other more personal things. Intimidating to say the least.
Meat sensed this in me, and immediately was a calming force from day one. He was a complex and sometimes, aloof cat….I state that in a loving way…but so very cool and sensitive. His exterior personality was larger than life itself…always, in the public eye…but intimately, was the sweetest, most supportive, loving man. You can feel his warmth in the texts.
We had many moments, just the two of us. One was just he and I in the back of a tour bus watching Spinal Tap, both laughing hysterically, then him going, “I’ve lived this!” That was Meat. He knew his exterior life was a show, like a rock and roll circus serpent looming large and bombastic. Yet, a warm and sensitive human being, off stage. Another is me telling him in his dressing room after a show that I needed to leave the band and focus on my career making music for children. He knew all about it, and as always, he looked me straight into my eyes when he talked with me…he always did that…love that…like a father figure and said, “Mr. Ray, I’ve heard your music for kids, and I’m a fan, but if you EVER wanna come back, there will ALWAYS be a place for you, in my band.”‘
Never forgot that. And I will never forget him and how the immeasurable opportunity of performing with him, gave me the means to see much of Europe, and of course, the land of my beloved Beatles, the UK, of which they absolutely cherish him and his music.
One key thing I witnessed night in and night out – is that he NEVER left ANYTHING on the stage after a performance. He gave it ALL to the fans. In the arts, we call it “mailing in a show” when someone looks and sounds like they’re going thru the motions and emotions during a performance, just to get thru it….but never with Meat.I remember after every show – an arena, a theatre, whatever – he would sign EVERY autograph seeker who was lined up at the tour bus and wouldn’t leave until he got to every single person. He had gratitude and knew who put him where he was in show biz.
My heart goes out to his family. His daughters, Pearl, a wonderful singer herself, who toured with us the same time I was in the band… Amanda, who came out on the road many times with us…his loving wife, Debbie, and his grandkid. We always had this thing where I would text him, after some time had passed, reminding him that I was in his band, just to get a laugh from him, and he would lovingly reprimand me that yes, of course, he remembered me.
The greatest gift I personally got from being a part of Meat’s universe, was the gift of friendship. The very same day I joined the band, Tom Brislin (keys) And Damon LaScot (guitar) did, too. We are close pals to this day. I truly treasure them. John Miceli on drums, Patti Russo on vocals, along with Pearl…honored to have made music with those wonderful folks, in the band, as well as the all the techs and stage crew.
Now that Meat is gone, that part of my life truly feels compartmentalized in a much-cherished way….like in a room in a big house somewhere. Surreal.Sometimes we meet people in our lives and so many other doors open up…so many other rooms…Playing with Meat Loaf – (and notice, folks – MEAT. LOAF. Two words. That would annoy him to no end when he’d see his name somewhere as one word.) elevated my career in so many ways.I’m grateful….
I will always remember my moments with you, Meat. Rest in heavenly, yet rockin’ peace, my friend. You were a force to be reckoned with and what you did on this earth will be remembered and cherished for generations to come.
“Like a bat out of hellI’ll be gone when the morning comes…”