Ronan Casey has a great story about Meatloaf playing a tour of rural Ireland when he was down on his luck in the late ’80s.
All the gigs were stuffed and over-capacity such was the local excitement of having a major star in the town to perform.
One gig in Moate in Westmeath was particularly rowdy and things got heated….
Two or three songs into the gig, and the pressure was building up at the front.
“Please guys, can you move back a couple of steps?” pleaded Meatloaf as he finished ‘You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth’ to an audience on the move, horizontally and vertically. “Someone’s gonna get hurt.”
About six people heard him. The rest of them were either screaming for the hits or trying to finish their cans of Fosters which, alongside Harp, Hoffmans and Furstenberg was the stable tinned lager at Irish gigs of the time. I was being crushed down the back, my previous gigging experience limited to seeing Mamas Boys, Christy Moore and, of course, local hero Joe Dolan.
The gig carried on, and more and more people swelled the already packed Community Centre. As this was a local gig for the tour promoter there was no way he was refusing anyone from his neck of the woods, particularly if they arrived at the door brandishing cash.
People began throwing things:
“Stop fucking throwing things!” he roared, the glare in his eyes adding the necessary ‘or else’. The crowd didn’t care. Beer cans, glasses, bottles and whatever else was getting in the way of the increasingly crushed audience began to arrive on stage at various intervals before, during and after songs. The odd unfinished fag end also came up. As a junior smoker at the time who was well accustomed to sharing cigs with my pals (in fact it was the norm) I thought this was an affectionate gesture for Meatloaf to take a drag. Not so.