While US rocker Meat Loaf has a considerable following in Australia, for many Aussies he will always be remembered for the shambolic performance he put on as part of the 2011 Grand Final pre-match entertainment lineup.
As the Sydney Morning Herald reported at the time, Meat Loaf failed to hit the high notes and was consistently mumbling into the microphone during a 12-minute medley of hits, which included ‘Bat out of Hell’ and ‘I Would do Anything for Love’.
Public reaction to the lacklustre performance was lukewarm at best and scathing at worst, with the less savage among footy fans slamming the veteran rocker with puns like “Leftover Meatloaf” and “meat substitute”.
Many even voiced their frustrations with letters to newspapers, asking the AFL to stop rolling out “imported has-beens” for pre-match entertainment and some suggesting the rocker should return his $600,000 performance fee or donate it to charity.
Now Meat Loaf has addressed his infamous Grand Final performance in a new interview with Billboard, via Fairfax, saying that he experienced a vocal cord haemorrhage during his 2011 Australian tour and slamming the AFL as the “cheapest people” he’s ever seen.
“I was spitting blood every night on stage. And I’ve got nothing but grief and major hostility,” he said. Meat Loaf told the US industry bible that he put his all into his Grand Final performance and blamed the AFL for the sloppy execution.
“I gave those people everything I had and more. I had flown 44 people to Australia, we’re all sitting there. Insurance wouldn’t cover the band and everybody going back, so I just said, ‘OK, let’s go,'” he recounted.
“In New Zealand at the last show, I was warming up, and it was like you’re slicing a vegetable and you cut your finger really bad and it’s bleeding everywhere, that’s how blood was coming out of my throat. It was just running out of my throat.”
He also compared the Grand Final performance unfavourably to other half-time performances he’s done. “I thought it was like half-time in the middle of a field, which I’ve done for NFL and World Football League finals, the other Rugby league final, which was all at halftime, with fireworks,” he said.
“These were the cheapest people I’ve ever seen in my life. They said, ‘we’re gonna have 100 motorcycles’. They had three.” On Friday, Meat Loaf took to his official Facebook page to tell fans he hopes to bring his Last at Bat Tour to Australia.