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To Hell and Back Paperback – October 3, 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Who'd have guessed that the man credited with bringing rock & roll to a whole new level of garishness would pen such a vastly entertaining, funny, touching, and plainspoken autobiography? But Meat Loaf (christened Marvin Lee Aday) and coauthor David Dalton succeed by skillfully modifying the tongue-in-cheek hyperbole and the bombastic befuddlement of the man's Wagner-crossed-with-the-Shangri-Las music to fit the printed page. Meat Loaf grew up in Dallas, Texas, the son of a schoolteacher (she penned a locally popular textbook on Communism) and an alcoholic cop (who happened to be an acquaintance of Jack Ruby). Meat--he earned the nickname early on--got in touch with his theatrical side as a teen and was soon off on his haphazard way, stumbling from misadventure to misadventure, and taking more than his fair share of knocks along the way. (Literally--he's suffered 17 concussions thus far, which provide an oddly effective narrative device.) He lurched into the middle of the JFK assassination scene, picked up a hitchhiking Charlie Manson, earned a part in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and recorded one of the most successful albums of the '70s, Bat out of Hell. His ample fame inevitably tied to his ample frame, Meat Loaf quickly became something of an amped-up Fatty Arbuckle. Then came the colossal excesses and flop follow-ups, capped by a rebound called--you guessed it--Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell. Yes, it's a familiar framework, but the telling of Meat Loaf's rise, fall, and recovery is never anything less than fresh and absorbing. --Steven Stolder --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A highly entertaining biography" Record Collector "A rollicking good read" Uncut --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperEntertainment (October 3, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060988762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060988760
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,634,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brett D. Cullum VINE VOICE on June 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a fast read! The subject is interesting, and it reads like a Cinderella rock-n-roll dreams come true story...only to come back down to Earth in the third act! Meatloaf presents us with a good view of his life, how his music came about, and why him and Jim Steinman make such a good team. Lots of anecdotes that will satisfy any Meatloaf fan (like when he meets Charles Manson). But I can't help but notice that short shrift is given to "the bad days" of drugs and marital strife. They keep the tone light and breezey! This is not a tell-all expose, but more of what you could imagine getting if you sat down across the table from Meatloaf and asked "How did you get here?" So from a fan's viewpoint...this is a treat and a rare opportunity. But those who want the dirt, I'd say you need to find another source. Lots of pictures by the way! And the book is well designed! So it looks great out on the coffee table -- seriously. Most interesting passages seem to deal with the BAT OUT OF HELL sessions where Meatloaf and Jim Steinman spend months trying to convince ANYBODY that this is a good album and needs to be released. Shows you how ignorant the record companies can be at times. Think of all the "suits" smacking their heads after the album became a smash. And then the unreal expectations of the performers after the whole BAT craze...searching for another hit! It's a common drama in rock-n-roll, so definitely a great choice!
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Format: Hardcover
To Hell And Back Finally, we Meat Loaf fans can take an in depth look at our beloved Rock icon! Meat shows not only his talent as a storyteller, but shines with his wit and unquenched spirit in light of some pretty nasty circumstances! This book...this man's life..is the ultimate 'don't give up no matter what' story. We've all had hints of that, but you don't realize everything...you don't know everything...until you sit down and read this book. With some distance now, (but obviously still effected by the events) Meat is able to relate the circumstances of his childhood and his struggle as a young actor/musician, talk of his early fame and inability to cope, and finally of his triumphant return. This is an inspiring book, told in such a wonderful way that you will feel like Meat is sitting at the kitchen table with you, telling you these stories over spring water!
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Format: Hardcover
If Meatloaf's voice finally falters or if Jim Steinman should find permanent greener collaborating pastures, all should not be lost for one of the year's best storytellers. Meatloaf never has pursued fame by filling conventional stereotypes be it rockstar, actor, sex symbol or in this turn, author. Yet in a quirky, not-by-the-book book, he delivers anecdotes and chronicles the fates and fortunes that have risen and fallen before him in the glittery, treacherous realms of theatre and the
music business as well as his not-so-mundane commonman existance. He succeeds in cementing his image as one of "everyman"--he tells his tale as if he's popped over for a brewski or is killing time with the other parents between Little League innings. There's something unique, endearing and overall consistant, this from the Meatloaf character. Being a huge fan since the 1977 release of "Bat Out Of Hell", I found the book at the week it came out, read half of it in the store and the rest of it before leaving the parking lot. I found it very readable, impossible to put down and a great assist in chronologising various aspects, rumours and reports from the past 20+years. There were two things that did bug me about the book, however. The first being the lack of photo identification. It was an erroneous assumption that the text provides adequate names and dates to faces and events--photo credits are all the reader has to go on--details and background surrounding each would have enhanced the already homey nature of the text. The second complaint I have (and I'll acknowledge this comes to an extent out of my devotion to Jim Steinman) is this underlying tone throughout which seems to be Meat coming to grips with his relationship with Jim Steinman.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved the way this book was put togather and made into a lot of small chapters of cool stories. Meatloaf's outgoing personality shows in this style of writting. I hated to finish this book, I enjoyed it so much.
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Format: Hardcover
Just finishing "Meat Loaf:To Hell And Back", I have to say that it is the best autobiography that I have read. The stories of his life are great reading and the way it's told"like he's sitting right there talking to you" is terrific! I have been a fan of his music for years and now that I have read his book I feel that I know the man behind the songs that he has sung. A great artist and a great book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The world has seen a lot of rock stars, but never one quite as Meat Loaf. With his operatic voice, his theatrical delivery, his impressive girth, and his unlikely moniker, he hardly seems a typical teen idol. And yet within a year of the release of his debut album, the powerful "Bat Out Of Hell", he was known as one of the most successful recording artists of the seventies." (CBS) This guy has a checkered past with a lot of stories to tell. I don't know if they are all true. (For example I personally know that all the stop lights in New Mexico are NOT reversed with the green on the top and the red on the bottom.) However, they are all entertaining! This is an easy read with a style that is a lot of snippets of his life told in a somewhat random pattern, much like it would be if you were having a conversation with the artist himself! As a Meat Loaf fan myself, I appreciate his candor and openness in how he is sharing his life and experiences with the public. Much like his music, his autobiography is written in verses.
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