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Thanks for the memories

January 21, 2022

I had other writing plans for today, but I woke up to the news that Meat Loaf has died. What a lot of memories that news brought flashing back. So, instead of listening to classical music on CBC as I sit at the keyboard, I’m listening to an old rock and roll CD.

Way back when I was living in a flat in Finchley Road, stereos consisted of an amp, a turntable and, more recently, a cassette deck. John, the man I was involved with at the time, and I used to make tapes of LPs we thought the other would like. I’d never heard of Meatloaf when John gave me a tape of Bat Out of Hell. I absolutely loved it. It wasn’t until I was in a record store a few weeks later that I saw a copy of the album and found out what Meat Loaf actually looked like. I wasn’t expecting that and was kinda glad I hadn’t known before I fell in love with the album. (I’ve just Googled it. Apparently he was born Marvin Lee Aday, although he changed Marvin to Michael at some point. Who knew?)

John and I had, as I’m sure he will agree (oddly, after nearly four decades, we reconnected recently), a far from straightforward relationship. It was messy. Very messy. We adopted Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad as “our” song. (Even before we reconnected, when I never expected to make contact with him again, I’d still think of him fleetingly whenever I heard that song.) For a long time I thought it would be a good and fitting piece of music to play at my funeral – along with Maybe this Time from Cabaret and Billy Joel’s This Night. (Spot the theme emerging?)

For many years that album (now a CD) was my go to music when I was down in the dumps. It never failed to cheer me up.

Paradise by the Dashboard Light was a particular favourite.

In the 1990s, whenever Mike was away over a weekend, I used to host, as I’ve written about before, dinner parties for my women friends. Mostly we just sat around the table and yacked. On one memorable occasion we left the diningroom table, headed into the small livingroom and danced wildly to Bat out of Hell, played at top volume – so loud that a latecomer banged on the door seeking admission for several minutes, whilst watching us dance with abandon to Paradise through the window, before abandoning her efforts and going home. (Fortunately she didn’t live far away.)

And then there was the birthday party I had at the local pub a few years ago. One of the CDs I took was, of course, Bat out of Hell, but only for one song. It was played late in the evening and here’s a funny thing: the pub’s sound system completely cut out just as it got to “Stop right there, before you go any further.” And my friend Donna (who has a remarkable memory for lyrics) and I finished the song, singing every single word of both parts until “end my time with you”. Not surprisingly we got a round of applause.

I think most people have at least one album that is infused with fond memories. Right now I’m listening to one of mine.

RIP Meat Loaf. And thanks. Hope you’re singing in paradise now.

From → Blog

One Comment
  1. Donna permalink

    Ahhh yes, good times x

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