Karla DeVito and Meat Loaf, onstage 1970s
I’ve been a music fan for as long as I remember. I remember hearing songs on the radio when I was very young (maybe as young as 3?) Music was always big in our household. It was the mid-1960s and artists in steady rotation included: Barbara Streisand and Tom Jones. But when we got in the car, I remember my favorites included “I’m Gonna Make You Mine” by Lou Christie and “Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro.
Whether a song made me happy or sad, I knew I really liked something when the tune stuck in my head, or I got goosebumps. My grandmother listened to older music, like Dean Martin. I liked that too.
When it came to music, there honestly wasn’t much I didn’t like. Later on I favored Sonny & Cher and brought all their cassettes and records.
Throughout my childhood, it was all about AM Gold — Top 40 hits you’d hear on the radio. And that music still holds dear to my heart. But for a brief time, during my awkward years, I switched to FM radio and started getting into Queen, Kiss, Aerosmith … almost anything DJs Carol Miller or Allison “The Nightbird” Steele played on the NYC FM stations, WNEW and WPLJ.
One afternoon I heard a bizarre song that had a baseball play in the middle of it. I waited to hear who it was. “Meat Loaf.”
What an odd name for a band, I thought. And later learned Meat Loaf was the singer — who was huge (at least by 1970s standards).
I immediately went out and got the album. With my allowance of $5 a week for lunch money, I discovered that if I brown bagged my school lunches, I could buy a record at Corvettes once a week. Slowly, but surely, my album collection was building.
I had a cousin named Jimmy who had over 1000 record albums. I made a healthy vow to catch up with him!
I was such a shy kid, it never occurred to me to go to a concert. The thought of being around so many people wasn’t enticing to me. Until I was 14 and started dating a much older boyfriend, Joey. He wanted to take me to see Queen, but my mother said absolutely not.
“They smoke pot at those rock concerts.”
Damn. And so I missed Queen in 1977!
Then another one of my favorites, Meat Loaf, was playing at Montclair State University. Joey wanted to take me, but this time we played it cool by sneaking to the show.
Going to a live concert was an unbelievable high!
First up was a warm-up band. A cover band called “Stars.” They opened with “Magical Mystery Tour” by The Beatles.
I clapped and supported them. I was never one of those people who trashed the warm-up acts. I just loved all kinds of music and really got into them. (And to this day, I have to admit I do like most warm-up acts!)
So I saw Meat Loaf perform all his hits from his first album, “Bat Out of Hell” along with the beautiful Karla DeVito who sang on stage with him (Ellen Foley was the female singer on the album though and she was great too!)
But sad to say, I didn’t get to see the entire concert. At 14, I had a curfew to meet and in order to get home by 11 p.m. on a weekend, we left the concert around 10:40.
I walked backward soaking up every last bit, as Meat Loaf and Karla DeVito sang to each other … and I was a very happy 14-year-old.
Here is my favorite song from that album:
BAT OUT OF HELL