music world

Music World Mourns Meat Loaf's Death, Some Recall His Connecticut Ties

The rock legend was a former Fairfield County resident, whose early career included performances at area venues.

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His sound was unique and his on-stage presence was quite memorable. The singer born with the name Marvin Lee Aday, turned rock superstar known as Meat Loaf, has died at age 74.

His wife made the announcement overnight on his official Facebook page. He was best known for his 1977 “Bat Out of Hell” album and 1994 Grammy winning song, “I’d Do Anything For Love.”

Meatloaf earned international acclaim for performances around the world, some of the early days, though, were spent here in Connecticut.

On Friday, some people whose lives were impacted by the rocker reflected on his connection to the state.

While raised in Texas, Aday relocated to Connecticut. Spending much time in the Stamford and Redding areas, he performed at venues like the Oxford Ale House. That’s where prolific Connecticut concert promoter Jim Koplik met him in 1977.

“I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve never seen him perform before. And it was quite astonishing watching him on stage,” said Koplik.

Koplik, said he got to know Meat Loaf when they both lived in Stamford, and described the artist’s on-stage persona as gigantic.

“A man that size, moving on stage at that pace was quite remarkable,” he said.

In January of 1978, just after his breakout album “Bat out of Hell” debuted, Meat Loaf played New Haven’s Toad’s Place for the first of three times.

“I never heard of him at the time and no one else did either,” recalled Toad’s Place owner Brian Phelps.

Phelps remembers a small crowd, but fantastic show - one where Meat Loaf actually fell off the stage; something he reminded Phelps of a few years later.

“He said, ‘you see the scar here? I did this at Toads,’” Phelps recalled.

While millions of people around the world were impacted by his music, there are also people here in Connecticut who got to know him more as a person.

Christopher Roush, the dean of communications at Quinnipiac University, got to know Aday when the two were in a fantasy football league together. But because he used the name “Michael Aday” it was two years before Roush realized he was the rock legend.

It wasn’t until Aday sent an email to his league mates inviting them to a concert that Roush knew it was Meat Loaf who was in his league.

Mourning his friend today, Roush remembers spending time with him after one of his concerts.

“After the concert, we went backstage and spent about an hour with him talking fantasy sports,” Roush said.

Ian O’Malley of Westport got to know Meatloaf in the 1990s when he said he was asked by a record company to be his body guard one night, at a Yankees game.

“Everybody was just screaming, 'Meal Loaf, Meat Loaf!' He was signing autographs and high-fiving people,” O’Malley said.

Meat Loaf’s connection to the state, also got the attention of Gov. Ned Lamont. He tweeted Friday, paying tribute to the rock star.

He also pointed out that Meat Loaf coached little league baseball in Stamford and was known as “Coach Meat.”

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