Meat Loaf Newcastle City Hall 1983 and 1985

Meat Loaf Newcastle City Hall 1983 and 1985
meattix83I first became aware of Meat Loaf when I saw the video of “Bat out of Hell” on the Old Grey Whistle Test in the late 70s. That video screening caused quite a stir for a number of reasons. First it was an epic 9 minutes long; much longer than the clips which were normally aired on the programme. And secondly the power and drama of the performance was unlike anything else around at the time. Yes it was very Springsteen-like in its arrangement and its story of the street, love and passion. But this guy just took the concept to an entire new level. Meat Loaf came crashing into our sitting rooms that night, singing his tale of love and the street, and anyone who saw it couldn’t fail to have been moved. The video caused such a reaction that Bob Harris had to screen it again the following week; and it was often requested over the months and years that followed. I remember being totally knocked out by the drama, theatre and passion of the song, by Meat Loaf’s epic performance and Jim Steinman’s arrangement. MeatLoafprog1983 Steinman is on record as saying: “I never really saw classical music and rock ‘n’ roll as different. I still don’t. I grew up liking extremes in music – big gothic textures. I never have much regard for more subtle stuff. Dire Straits may be good, but it just doesn’t do it for me. I was attracted to William Blake, Hieronymus Bosch, I couldn’t see the point in writing songs about ordinary, real-life stuff….Meat was the most mesmerizing thing I’d ever seen…..He was much bigger than he is now, he was f***ing huge, and since I grew up with Wagner, all my heroes were larger than life. His eyes went into his head, like he was transfixed”
I didn’t get to see Meat Loaf in concert until 20th August 1983 when he featured as part of the Donington Monsters of Rock jamboree. The full line up on that day was: Whitesnake; Meat Loaf; ZZ Top; Twisted Sister; Dio and Diamond Head (pretty good eh :)). meattix85I then saw him play at Newcastle City Hall a month or so later on 26th September 1983, and again on 19th January 1985. I also saw the big man sing at the 22nd June 1985 Knebworth concert which had a line up of Deep Purple , Scorpions, Meat Loaf , UFO, Mountain, Blackfoot , Mama’s Boys, and Alaska.
Meat Loaf in concert was a magnificent piece of theatre, full-on drama and passion. Support on both occasions at the City Hall came from Terraplane, a pop rock band who would later morph into Thunder. The 1985 concert was also memorable for another reason: “1985. Meatloaf collapses on stage at Newcastle City Hall. don83He is taken by ambulance to the city’s Royal Victoria Hospital where he undergoes a 30 minute examination in the casualty department. Tour manager Robbie Johnstone later said, ‘Meatloaf collapsed onstage due to food poisoning contracted the previous evening, leaving his system completely dehydrated’”. The gig was rescheduled a month or so later and Meat Loaf returned to Newcastle on 8th February 1985 to play another great concert.
MeatLoafprog85Typical set list from 1985: Bad Attitude; Dead Ringer For Love; Jumping the Gun; Midnight At the Lost and Found; I’m Gonna Love Her For Both Of Us; Paradise By the Dashboard Light; Nowhere Fast; Piece Of the Action; All Revved Up With No Place To Go; Modern Girl; Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad; Bat Out Of Hell.
“The sirens are screaming and the fires are howling, Way down in the valley tonight, There’s a man in the shadows with a gun in his eye, And a blade shining oh so bright, There’s evil in the air and there’s thunder in the sky, And a killer’s on the bloodshot streets, Oh and down in the tunnel where the deadly are rising, Oh I swear I saw a young boy, Down in the gutter, He was starting to foam in the heat” (Bat Out Of Hell, Steinman, 1977).

One response to this post.

  1. A great entertainer is/was Mr Loaf – saw him with the Neverland Express back in ’82.

    I also recall that OGWT performance of BOOH, but what I remember also causing a stir was when he and the band (plus Ellen Foley) played Paradise by The Dashboard Light live in the OGWT studios a few months later.

    Keep the memories comin’


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