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Meat Loaf recalls Motown roots

for Journal Register Newspapers

Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2011

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It’s the 40th anniversary of the beginning of Meat Loaf’s recording career — and it happened in Detroit.

Loaf (real name Marvin Lee Aday) was starring in a pre-Broadway production of “Hair” at the Fisher Theatre when he and Shaun “Stoney” Murphy, now of Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band, were signed as a duo to Motown’s Rare Earth division. The now-rare “Stoney & Meatloaf” album came out in October of 1971, peaking at No. 44 on the Billboard 200 chart, but Loaf — who went on to greater fame with 1977’s multiplatinum “Bat Out of Hell” — says he has “no perspective on that record whatsoever” these days.

“They would just call up me and Stoney and say ‘Come sing,’ and that’s how Motown ran,” says Loaf, 63, who was part of the most recent season of “Celebrity Apprentice.”

“We were both upset that we had a song we really liked by Norman Whitfield called ‘Who is the Leader of the People?’ that Berry Gordy took off our record and gave to Edwin Starr.

“I actually smashed my shoe on Berry Gordy’s desk because of it. And Norman Whitfield got really mad at them, and my recollection is that he never produced another record for Motown after that.”

Meat Loaf is on the road these days promoting his 2010 album “Hang Cool Teddy Bear,” and he has three more projects lined up: a “very personal” album called “Hell in a Handbasket,” due out in February; a holiday album that will feature guests such as Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire; and another studio album he’s just started working on.

“Ever since we started with (’Hang Cool Teddy Bear’ producer) Rob Cavallo, from that minute on I’ve been back in the music business and having a really, really great time — which I haven’t had for five years before that,” Loaf says. “I’m all about the music again now, which feels great.”

Meat Loaf performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $42 and $25 pavilion and $10 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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