It is sad when anyone passes away, and Meat Loaf’s long history of acting and performing on stage will be well remembered by those who loved his work. Unfortunately, looking through Aday’s Facebook feed over the past year, one can see how the confusion and bubble effect of right-wing social media boogiemannery can offer up support for bad positions on public health policy.
In May, Aday posted this promotion of classic rock artists Eric Clapton and Van Morrison’s anti-lockdown song.
There is nothing on Meat Loaf’s social media feed that would lead one to believe Meat Loaf was or was not vaccinated. However, his feed clearly had the general conservative tenor that any and all public health measures to mask up and stay at home or out of certain venues were an infringement on individual rights.
The Daily Beast points to an interview Meat Loaf did with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last August where he complained about traveling with mask mandates and the efficacy of masks: “And on CNN last night, it finally came out that the masks we’re all wearing are useless. But I’ve known that for six months. They don’t do anything. They don’t stop you from getting Covid. They’re just a nuisance and make your nose itch and make it so you can’t breathe.”
“We had to go on the airplane with the paper masks and then on the way back, we got a Nazi: ‘Get your mask on now!’ They’re power-mad now.” But it is important to add here that Aday believed COVID-19 was very real, telling the interviewer that he was “scared to death!” of the virus but just didn’t feel like the stay-at-home orders and the restrictions were meaningful.
I will add this: Meat Loaf suffered from chronic back pain that he spoke openly about, and it sounded truly brutal. In 2019, he wrote in a Facebook: “Living in constant pain is a pain . I just what to go to work . Love you all . May you never know constant pain . Those that do I feel for you . God bless you Meat.” He also noted in the comments that he had had four back surgeries at that point. In November of this past year, he posted about how his back pain and surgeries were the source of some of the noted collapses he had had on stage in the previous few years of touring his music, saying that his third surgery had left him almost entirely incapacitated back in early 2018, but a fourth surgery had allowed him to at least begin to try and work again. “I now have 13 screws holding on a metal plate or plates in half my back. I tell ALL OF YOU, back surgery is the last thing you should opt for. Try anything else. There are many other things I would have tried had I known what my life would be like afterwards.”
For anyone who has either experienced it firsthand or cared for someone dealing with brutal pain, you know that chronic pain colors everything you do in your life. It sounds like Aday truly did power through the only way he knew how. So while I disagree with his political opinions, he doesn’t seem to have promoted the anti-vaxx message. At worst, he didn’t particularly promote vaccinations to his audience.
Aday’s Bat Out of Hell is one of the top selling albums of all time, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.