By Lily Ford, PA
Superfans of Meat Loaf have paid tribute to the “kind, funny” singer who “has always shown so much energy, love and appreciation of his fans”.
A post on his official Facebook page on Friday said the 74-year-old rocker, who became a global star with hits like Bat Out Of Hell, had died with his wife Deborah at his side.
Avid listeners of his music said they are “devastated” by his death, as they recalled fond memories of following him on tour, with one fan even describing Meat Loaf as his “idol and purpose in life”.
Sandra Allender, from Warrington in Cheshire, has been admin of the Mad About Meat Loaf Market on Facebook for eight years, helping fans exchange and buy Meat Loaf memorabilia.
The 60-year-old told the PA news agency: “In 1978 I heard Bat Out Of Hell and was hooked – this crazy guy with an amazing voice blew my mind, I’ve followed him ever since and am honoured to call him a friend.
“We met many times over the years and chatted about normal everyday things: family, pets, plans… he was the most kind, sensitive and loving man.
“I can’t believe he’s gone, I can only imagine how Deborah, Pearl and Amanda, and his grandson Revel, are feeling.”
Ms Allender, a customer resolution specialist, said she kept in touch with Meat Loaf over email and phone.
“He was a larger than life character with a wicked sense of humour and this was the side most people saw, (but) the real Meat was a more kind and sensitive man,” she added.
“He was as devoted to his fans as they were to him and he took their comments and feedback to heart – sometimes a little too much, I know he was often brought to tears by messages he received.”
Mark Greenshields, from Bolton, is a moderator of the Facebook group Meat Loaf Never Ever Stop Rockin’ and had plans to meet the musician later this year.
“Meat Loaf was my hero, my idol and my purpose in life,” the 37-year-old childcare practitioner said.
“My mission now will be to carry on the legacy of his music.
“I was due to meet Meat later this year and whilst I am devastated that is sadly not to be, in a comforting way, (I am) following the old mantra: ‘never meet your heroes’… it just heightens the enigma, the myth and legend that is Meat Loaf.
“Wherever you are, Never. Stop. Rocking. Sleep well big man.”
Sarah Maria Wardlaw, from Fife in eastern Scotland, first met Meat Loaf in 2013 on his 3 Bats tour.
“My brother got me a meet and greet (ticket) and I was in the front row of the concert,” the 37-year-old told PA.
“It was one of the best experiences of my life, he was so kind and funny and took time to ask your name and about yourself – he has always shown so much energy and his love and appreciation of his fans.
“I was in absolute awe that whole night… he even gave a me a wee kiss on the cheek.”
The pharmacy technician holds dear signed photos from the singer, pictures of their meetings, and even Meat Loaf-inspired merchandise for her son, Thomas.
“I am absolutely devastated about the news of Meat Loaf’s passing,” she added. “He was a true gentleman and is a massive loss to this world.”
David McDonagh from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, is an artist who paints on guitars and he ran into the star at London Comic Con in 2018.
Well... what an absolute legend RIP Meat Loaf! when I met him he was a very nice guy and told me he loved the artwork not because it was of him but because it was cool! Respect man 💙 pic.twitter.com/JJdysxoQsm
— Lewy L Paintings (@lewylpaintings) January 21, 2022
“He was a really nice guy, when I asked him what he thought of the guitar I painted he said ‘it’s cool – and I’m not just saying that because I’m on it. It’s cool artwork,'” the 38-year-old said.
“He signed my guitar and played it for a bit, then signed my album and started singing Highway To Hell by ACDC because there was a guy close by with pop music on.”
Mr McDonagh, who goes by Lewy L Paintings professionally, added: “His legacy is powerful. A wide range of music and film, absolute legend.”