Meat Loaf - Why Him?
I Would Buy A Used Car From Meat Loaf -
A Political Manifesto Of Sorts by Lester Bangs
Robert Christgau, whom not a man nor woman here among us would dare challenge
for his throne as Dean Of American Rock Critics (Yeah, but what about
the Dean of Senegalese Rock Critics, huh?) (Lisa, I beg your pardon, you
do seem to get around a lot, perhaps you after all want to contest Mr.
Christgau for the crown 'n' scepter or whatever the hell it is deans tote
around with them? "No thanks. I have to go interview Jerri Hall...why
don't you and Billy Altman slug it out with him, Lester?" Okay, if
you'll change the name of this magazine from Hit Parader to Incest - come
to think of it, we'd probably sell more copies of it that way, specially
if we put the Bee Gees on the cover into the bargain), recently said to
me these exact words: "I'm proud that the Village Voice 'Riffs"
section," which Big Bob edits, "is the last bastion of pretentious
We were having two beers and two hamburgers at the time. And speaking
of time (oh, yeah; that stuff), in the time between these thoughts and
words turn turn turning till everybody's been burned one must in the face
of all artificial energy ask if this is placing too great a burden on
Bob's shoulders. I think so, don't you? Sure. (God, I feel like Mr. Rogers,
writing in this lousy magazine.) Okay, so let's, uh, let's...hey let's
SEIZE THE MOTHAHUMPIN TIME & DAM WELL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? I WANNA
KNOW, ARE YOU PART OF THE SOLUTION OR PART OF THE PROBLEM? IT ONLY TAKES
FIVE SECONDS TO DECIDE YOUR PURPOSE HERE ON THE PLANET? (To steal Super
Sneaky Squirtin' Sticks c. WHAM-O Inc., from Kay-Mart, that's why.) SO
I WANNA KNOW ARE YOU READY FOR THE NIGHT TRAIN? READY READY READY READY
and furthermore GONE GONE GONE GONE GONE? I GOT MAH EYES WIDE OPEN!
Well, then, good then - we will hereinafter endeavor to make Hit Parader
the most pretentious rock mag around: critics whom no one has ever heard
of or certainly would not recognize on the street squabbling interminably
over nothing like whether say Kaya or Darkness at the Edge of Town is
(as sex critic A) "one of the most masterful manifestations of a
fundamental change in the dental charts of rock occurring during this
vernal equinox" or (according to Brew 102) "a bucket of shit."
Yeah! What fun all you readers'll have, watching us rock critics here
every month, picking the onions out of each others' teeth! So, herewith
and with no little pomp I fire the first salvo: MEATLOF! (oops, spelled
it wrong) Meat Loaf is (sic) a genius. I'm listening to his first album
through headphones right now as I write this, and you can see from what
rubbish you already read how this record has inspired me. I love it. Wow,
here comes the Delaney & Bonnie section! Hey, where'd they get those
black chicks (hope I'm not being presumptuous calling 'em that) chanting
"Shop shop shoo" just at the right time! Hey hey HEY! Wodda
recud! Whooops, what's that, I smell smoke, oh it's a synthesizer and
what sounds like a carnival barker imitating Phil Rizzuto - holy cow indeed!
This record is like a one-way ticket to Coney Island, if not that place
where they sent Pinocchio and the other little fools to eat cotton candy
till dey come a crop a vomit.
Oh my god, you're not gonna believe this, but right at this very moment
(well, not while you're reading it, but while I'm writing it; guess we
must make allowances for the yawns of Father Time who has seen ALL of
'em come and go, besides which the Meat Loaf circus is probably playing
somewhere, in some stucco-armored suburban bedroom way down Encino way
even as your eyes scan these codwallopings, in fact a record as great
and with such universal appeal as Bat Out Of Hell, why hell I bet it's
somewhere lots of places in fact, every second of your waking day, while
you're taking a crap, while you're stuck in traffic, while you're wondering
if she's gonna get weird when you say "Wanna come up to my place
for a while?", while you're whiling away the endless existential
hours making love, a physical juxtaposition mit attendant rotational/gravitational
differentials which Mr. Loaf himself is not ashamed to say he is totally
in favor of, as did Sky Saxon before him - face it, you're never gonna
escape from this elpee slab of gorgonzola) Mr. Loaf and his lady are getting
ready to, uh, wait a second, click, dit dit dit dit dit bzz, click, brrring,
Robinson Amusements incorporated.
Hello, is Lisa there? Who is calling, please?
Halston. Okay, just hold on a second, sir.
Lissen Lisa, this is Lester, I have to know whether in the process
of describing this Meat Loaf fellow you saddled me with, I can refer to
or describe the sights or sounds of implied effluvia of a man and woman
having sexual intercourse? Well, Lester, you know Hit Paraders
policy on that word
! Lisa, please, I dont even
use it in my daily speech at Washington Square Park! I just want to know
if I can describe a couple of heterosexual adults
uh, well, you know
Is it absolutely necessary to the piece? Its
on the record. Hmmm. Well, I guess if we can print makeup
tips we can get by with this. Just try to curb your Meltzerisms and not
say anything bad about people like Clive or Ahmet Ertegun, okay? You know
youve been a very bad boy lately, dont shape up and mama gon
spank! Yeah, I know, youre right Lisa, its okay,
Mr. Loafs on Epic and I forgot the name of their president, okay,
yeah, great, thanx, like I said, whew! - yes my friends as I was
saying, should you happen to ply up the provender necessary unto purchase
of this Meat Loaf album, which is the only one out so far so you cant
get too confused, then you and your lady friend too if youre so
minded can apprehend the luxuriant privilege of hearing a man and a woman
(Mr. Loaf and his Femme de soir, sans doute) MAKING LOVE as all the broken
umbrellas are shipped in dark slitlid cattlecars like fallen silos off
to cherbourg death camps.
Now, heres where the political part comes in: just because Mr.
Loaf is in favor of heterosexual intercourse, apparently, all the gangly
four-eyes spindly-legged hunchbacked sissifixated rock critics have decided
that he stinks! Never mind that American boys and girls, or American citizens
with money of whatever wherever, ran out by the hundreds of thousands
to buy this mothahumpin album - these self-appointed expert hotshot rock
critics have all decided that Mr. Loaf is just a sham if not a scam if
Now, I ask you, in the light of that, how could they possibly have the
gall to think theyd gleaned enough of your trust to get you to go
out and buy the Sex Pistols or whichever foulmouthed hyped-up bit of regurgitated
Dylan dog vomit theyre pumping up this week?! Forget it! Robert
Christgau made Bat Out Of Hell his Must to Avoid in the Dean
of American Consumer Guides the same month he made an album by an English
group called Wire Pick Hit. Pretty funny, a dean picking hits
in the first place, Clark Kerr abacussing out Screamin Jay Hawkins
in the 7 A.M. light. But I heard that album by Wire, that Pick Hit.
Its the deadest record, possibly, that I have ever been privy to
in my life to date. Meanwhile, Im sitting here with Meat Loaf blasting
through my headphones, taking the words right out of my mouth, thanks
a lot you fat sonofabitch, but no, thats just kvetching between
friends, or should I say stars and their functionaries, you all know if
you seen say My Man Godfrey what thats about, and is not Meat Loaf
a metaphor for the Man Godfrey in us all, I ask you? Though starbrite
now, has he not so obviously, as have we not each, been a Godfrey at some
point in his poor pathetic life? Yes. This man has been thru the tongs
and pangs and backalleyes of hell.
Hes PAID HIS DUES BUSTER, so you better just SHUT UP whatever you
were gonna say agin him. Like frinstance this other rock critic
Billy Altman, who also writes for rock magazines, well he happens not
to like the Meat Loaf album any bettern Mr. Xgau, in fact he described
it to me thus: A real sucker punch. Meat Loafs just a patsy
for Jim Steinman and whos really getting taken with all this lets
- fill - the - cars - and - girls - operatic - Springsteen - gap business
is the poor suckers that end up buying a record like that piece of crud.
So, you hear that, thats what that guy thinks of you, all you Meat
Loaf fans, he thinks youre so stupid he cant even be bothered
just calling you jerks, hes gotta condescend to you poor suckers.
Christ, and people wonder why rock critics are looked upon by the populace
genral as below the gnat. Hey, wait a second! That means he must
think the same thing of me, since I like the Meat Loaf album too! All
right, thats it - jeeze, how appropriate that just as I am writing
this Meat Loaf is singing, All Revved Up With No Place To Go,
now why cant these stupid rock critics see that just like Dylan
in the Sixties he, Meat Loaf, the Big M, defines for we, the people of
the Meat Loaf Nation, exactly what we are thinking and what we should
do about it at any given moment.
Sure am glad theres always some guy like that around. Meat Loaf
is the Dylan of the Seventies, the real peoples populist Rocky type
Dylan, not some twit like Elvis Costello. Well, look - youre pissed
off, Im pissed off. Are we just gonna let these pea-brains keep
on squatting round our headphones, muttering how we really should be listening
to the latest Punkenwald monstrosity instead of real music?
Hell no! I, as a disaffected, possibly disbarred rock critic, want to
give up my media soapbox, let Dave Marsh have it so he can push more Bruce
Springsteen albums about the hotrod American adolescence he (Dave) never
had. Let me just mellow down easy mong the people, my people, the
only people not covered in People magazine, and thats because were
real people, the people of Meat Loaf Nation, who may well outnumber you
establishment media pigs who dont wanna think there should be anymore
hit singles from this album, and as we gather like Rastas smoking our
doobies and plotting our revenge, you may hear our battle cry: WERE
MAD AS HELL AND WERE NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE! Either that
or THANK GOD ITS FRIDAY!