Monday, January 24, 2022

DINOs, Food Trucks, and Meat Loaf

I’m becoming alarmed by the extent that the blame for inaction on much-needed legislation is being laid on Biden and the Democrats. Whether it’s TV news or newspapers, all the headlines/top stories involve “Democratic failures.” There’s barely a nod to the 50 Republican Senators who are intransigent as ever. Regardless of what the party hierarchy wants, there are rules, most of which revolve around numbers, which are just not in the Democrats’ favor.

They would be, if not for two DINOs who have been bought and paid for by the 1% of the country who don’t want any grand plans coming to pass that would put a dent in their quarterly earnings.

Manchin, a coal-man from the get-go, has played the game with moving goalposts. Every time they meet one of his demands, he finds a different reason to vote no. This tells me his “no” is predetermined and he’s just trying to make it look good.

Sinema is going with just plain NO, without offering any ideas of what it might take to turn her to YES, or even what her objections are. It’s just NO, which is also a hallmark of a predetermined vote.

When every Senator is required to vote together, any straying from that derails the whole process and there’s nothing Biden or Schumer can do about it.

Rather than blaming Democrats in general and bellyaching about the gridlock, the Sane Middle needs to join with the rest of the Democrats and vote in more Democratic senators, so that these two clowns won’t hold up the works any longer. And make sure any prospective new senators go on the record regarding their intentions toward Build Back Better and Voting Reform, lest we end up with another DINO surprise.

There is no benefit to having Democrats openly grousing about their own party. Things may not be going as expected, but if the Republicans come to power again, we’ll be salivating over the prospects of things going back to the way they are now.

It’s clear that Republicans are only interested in propping up the upper class with tax cuts, stripping government regulations that protect us and the planet, and cementing their own places at the altar of power.

All Republicans have to go on is distorting what Democrats actually want.

There’s no question that the GOP pushes these fake arguments… I’ve written about every point on this list. Since the media has been derelict in pointing out the fallacies, we have to do it ourselves. “Owning the Libs” has been elevated to their primary tenet. Actual governing doesn’t even make a cameo appearance on their list of priorities. (I would say “Party Platform,” but they never bothered to create one for the last election.)

And now, this:

I think this is an excellent idea. If people are too wrapped up in their own selfish versions of freedom to get themselves vaxxed and provide proof, they deserve to eat out in the parking lot with the rest of the rats and leave the decent people to eat in peace.


It was a very blue weekend at Chateau de Bluz, as I woke up Friday morning to the news that one of my musical idols, Meat Loaf, went on to the great beyond. Initial reports declined to list a cause of death, although TMZ said it was COVID, which was parroted by other outlets later on.

I’m aware that Meat was a Trumper and anti-vaxxer and that had puzzled me. I thought he was entirely too nice a guy to be Republican. It’s probably the byproduct of being Texan and also appearing on Celebrity Apprentice. I remember watching when TFG mentioned that he may run for president and Meat said he’d vote for him.

I was like, “No, Meat, don’t do it! It’s a trap!” I hoped that he was just practicing the toadying that is required to have a long stay on that show. Non-ass-kissers always washed out quickly.

But regardless of all that, I’m devastated. I’ve been a fan of Meat Loaf since early in my college days. And when I say a fan, I don’t mean I like his two albums that got radio play. Check this out:

I have all* of his CDS, plus a bunch on LP as well. OK, his last couple I could do without I’ve always enjoyed his main body of work, including the ones in between the Bats out of Hell. I especially liked his follow-up to Bat Out of Hell, called Dead Ringer. The title track was a rockin’ duet with Cher, of all people. I figured they were trying to recreate the vibe from Paradise by the Dashboard Lights.

*I’m aware that he released an album of duets prior to Bat Out of Hell, called “Stoney and Meat Loaf,” but that’s not worth counting.

Meat Loaf is my nominee for Greatest Rock Singer Ever.  Geez, I must have worn out 2 or 3 copies of the Bat Out of Hell cassette over the years.  When I was driving to and from college and the weather turned bad, I used to think, “If I’m going to kill myself smashing up this car, I at least want to go out to some great music.”  Could there possibly be better car crash music than the song “Bat Out of Hell?”

Anyway, when the snow fell, I’d crank up the Bat and somehow I’d always make it home.  I soon began to consider that tape to be my good luck charm.  When the weather got bad, I knew The Loaf would get me home. I always wanted to tell him that, but the one time I got to meet him, I chickened out.

As a wedding gift (for my first marriage back in 1993, when I worked at the home office of a major music retailer) my co-workers gave me two tickets to see Meat Loaf in Boston, in a warm-up show at the Orpheum Theatre, prior to his three-year world tour for Bat Out of Hell II.  Backstage passes were included.  I was thrilled... I was gonna get to meet The Loaf!

But the crowd of people amassed to see him after the show was considerable and I didn’t want to take up his time with a long-ass story, so I kept it to compliments and pleasantries and settled for a picture with him and a couple of autographed albums. But he seemed genuinely glad to meet every single person.  You never got a sense that he was thinking, “I can’t believe I have to do this.”  He loved meeting his fans. He was a complete professional and a consummate showman. The full story of meeting Meat can be found here.

If I had to pick one album as my all-time favorite, this is it.  “Bat Out of Hell” is practically perfect.  It’s got brain-stinging guitar, flawless harmonies, wicked lyrics and a sly sense of humor, hooks a mile wide, and a complete wall of sound.  The Loaf had a voice that could both blow apart a cinderblock or tickle you under the chin like a feather.  When he brings a song to a climax, you feel the earth move.

I first obtained the LP when I joined Columbia Record Club, back in the late 70s.  I got it primarily for “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” and “Paradise By The Dashboard Lights,” or “that one with the baseball rap” as I knew it then.  I didn’t know anything else on the album.

I put the needle down, lay down on the floor with the lyric on the inner sleeve and my head between the speakers, and soaked it all in.  It damn near fried my brain right there.  It had power and fury, desperation and escape, living fast and dying too young.  It was a masterpiece.  And the end… holy shit, on that last “Like a bat out of HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLL,” he hits that note so freakin’ hard, and just holds it longer than any human should be able to do.  That was a life-changing event for me, right there.

To see Meat Loaf in concert is like going to a rock opera.  Everything is over the top, and oftentimes, acted out as a stage play.  When I saw him in Boston doing small warm-up shows before his Bat Out of Hell 2 tour, he did this thing where he got the audience to do this whole call and response bit, without speaking a single word.  He just used gestures and facial expressions to communicate and it worked like a charm.  That was when I realized why he’s been so popular all over the world.  No language barrier.

I saw an interview he did back in the 80s, on a talk show that comedian David Brenner had, and was talking about an album he recorded in Germany.  Brenner asked him, “What did they call you in Germany, ‘Herr Loaf?

He answered, “They mostly called me MEEEEEAT!  Like, ‘You vill sing now MEEEEEAT!’”

I love that Meat was game for anything. Did you ever see that movie “Sausage Party?” (It was an animated movie featuring Seth Rogan, about how the food comes to life after hours in a grocery store. It’s extremely filthy and just as hilarious.) Anyway, one of the food characters was a package of meatloaf, which they gave the face of Meat Loaf, including the use of his own traditional font and frilly tuxedo shirt. No way he didn’t sign off on that, which makes him a good egg in my book.

He also has a hilarious song included on a South Park album, a duet with “Chef” (Isaac Hayes) called “Tonight is Right for Love (with Meredith Baxter-Birney).” The first part is a soul love ballad done by Hayes. Then it abruptly changes into a total Meat Loaf parody song, which Meat performs in a racing stream of images of fire, torture, demons, and death. Meat really had to be a good sport to participate in that one. 

How Meat Loaf isn’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is beyond me. The guy has been a touring dynamo for decades, selling zillions of albums and packing arenas. I think maybe the top brass at Rolling Stone had it in for him or something. As far as I’m concerned, he should have been inducted 25 years from the day that Bat was released.

If there is an afterlife, I hope he can get together with Jim Steinman again. Maybe start up a new band. I’m sure they won’t be lacking available talent.


Bohemian said...

Meat was a Cultist... Nooooooooooooo, say it ain't so! Liked his Music tho', and his Cameos on my Ghost Hunter Shows, he was apparently interested in the Paranormal too. The Famous and the Talented are dropping like Flies early into 2022, I see that as a not so good Omen.

bluzdude said...

My thought for the weekend: With Meat and Louie Anderson gone, it was a bad time for the big guys. Billy Gardell better watch out...

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Yes I read where his daughter said it was covid. It pissed me off, I hope he was in contact with Eric Clapton.
Jim Steinman died recently too right? Wow some good music wherever they are.

bluzdude said...

Yes, Jim Steinman died last April. I wrote about him here:

Bohemian said...

I didn't know Louie had passed, he was not in good shape for a long time tho'. My Brother and Mom once saw him at an Airport and he was wearing a not so effective disguise but nobody was paying attention to him anyway. They laughed when he started delayering his disguise so people WOULD recognize him, Bless him, mebbe he did such things as a Joke, who knows? May they both RIP, but yeah, bad time for not only the Big Guys, but any of us who aren't tip top, Right?

bluzdude said...

Yeah, Louie died the day after Meat. I remember seeing him on one of the Young Comedian specials hosted by Rodney Dangerfield, back in the 80s. He was a killer stand-up.

sos said...

You may be interested (if you haven't already heard it) in a recently released podcast from Broken Record where Rick Rubin interviews Todd Rundgren. They spend some time on producing Bat Out of Hell.

Of course "the Runt" was a Philly guy so ... ymmv

I thought it was a great episode.

bluzdude said...

I don't think Rundgren gets nearly enough credit for BooH, both in producing and playing on it. His influence and talent were huge.

I was shocked that in the feature for his Rock n Roll HOF induction, there wasn't even a mention of his work on Bat.

sos said...

Apparently the Runt blew off the HoF induction ceremony to ... play a gig down at his local pub. In all fairness since he live(sd) in Hawai'i it's quite a trek to Ohio.

bluzdude said...

That's true. In the last part of his induction montage, they showed him giving what looked like a commencement address and saying, "And if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ever sees fit to include me, tell them not to bother because I won't be there."
(paraphrased from memory, actual quote may vary.)