Meat Loaf has found the way to ‘Paradise’

/ Source: msnbc.com contributor
By By Doug Miller

Meat Loaf probably could have retired after his ridiculously successful 1977 album “Bat Out of Hell” and its two sequels, but the rock icon, actor and all-around performer is still going strong. His latest project is a recently released theatrical feature documentary film called “Meat Loaf: In Search of Paradise” that was an official selection of the 2007 Montreal World Film Festival. He’s also embarking on the “Casa de Carne” (House of Meat) tour this summer. We caught up with Meat over the phone recently to shoot the breeze, Six Questions-style.

Doug Miller: Have you done the whole party circuit for “Meat Loaf: In Search of Paradise?”

Meat Loaf: Nah. I don’t go to parties. I’m not one of these fun guys. The other night, I went to Clive Davis’ party with the whole red carpet deal and I felt lost. I just don’t function well at parties and with going out. It’s not my way of life. But I think people will be surprised with the film. Like the trailer says, “If you think you know him, think again.” That’s a pretty good way to describe it. It’s sort of like “Jaws.” You know, don’t go in the water, basically.

Miller: Any classic stuff that didn’t make the final cut?

Meat Loaf: I do know one good story. People try to sneak into my concerts and I caught a few of them one night. And the beautiful thing was that they didn’t know who I was. And they were supposed to do a meet-and-greet with Meat Loaf! With like 30 other people! It took them about 2 minutes to figure out it was me. The looks on their faces were just priceless.

Miller: What don’t people know about you?

Meat Loaf: I’m a closet standup comedian. I’ll do the Letterman show, and in public I’m more of a straight man. I’ll set Dave up. It’s fun. And in interviews, I lean toward the Robin Williams side of things. Like in England, I’m on TV with a reporter, she asks me a question, and I’m chewing gum. I take it out and put it in her hand, and she was absolutely disgusted by it, totally offended. She still talks about it. They haven’t gotten over it.

Miller: Is it hard for you to believe that “Rocky Horror” is now 35 years old?

Meat Loaf: Now that you mentioned it! Wow. It doesn’t feel like 35 years. If there are any reunions or anything like that, I won’t be there. It’s over. It’s done with. But let me tell you, it was a cult thing. When we did it at the Roxy in L.A. in 1973, all kinds of people would show up and dance and dress up. People like Carole King and Keith Moon, dressing up like cartoon characters. It was a very bizarre thing. Keith Moon came like 10 times and left champagne bottles on the stage for the cast members. That was cool. I mean, Elvis came! You’ve got to be kidding me! It was a who’s who of Hollywood at the time: Jon Voight, Robert Redford. Brando was there. Just pure insanity.

Miller: There’s going to be a “Bat Out of Hell IV,” right?

Meat Loaf: Oh yeah. Absolutely. But we’re franchising it out from now on. Yeah, we’re gonna franchise it out like McDonald’s. (Laughs) We’re hoping for U2 to do “Bat Out of Hell VI” or Nelly Furtado. She’s gonna do one, too. That’s what I’m hoping for. Maybe Alice Cooper can do one, too. Alice really should do one.

Miller: Any dream duets you haven’t done yet?

Meat Loaf: There are a lot of them. Off the top of my head, I’ll say Tom Jones or Faith Hill. But with Faith Hill, I don’t have to have Tim McGraw. I just want Faith Hill. On second thought, OK, it’s fine if Tim wants to be in it. Sure. And Joss Stone. I would really love to do something with her. I also like Jewel. I might have to do country music just to sing with her.