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How Meat Loaf Got His Iconic Name

Born Marvin Lee Aday, famous rocker, Meat Loaf, gave us a few differing stories as to how he got his name....
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Born Marvin Lee Aday, famous rocker, Meat Loaf, gave us a few differing stories as to how he got his name.

Meat Loaf, the singer and actor famous for Bat Out of Hell and Rocky Horror Picture Show, has died at age 74. No cause of death has been given but sources from TMZ claim it was due to COVID-19.

Meat Loaf was known for his signature stage name and he has given very different accounts as to how he actually got the name. the reason why can be made clear in a 2003 interview with The Guardian, “names and ages piss me off. So I just continually lie.”

One thing we do know for sure is that he got the name before he started in music and acting.

He told Oprah Winfrey during her Where Are They Now series that he got the first half of his name from his dad. Meat Loaf explained was “born bright red” so his father told the hospital to put a tag on his crib that said “Meat” because he “looked like nine-and-a-half pounds of ground chuck.”

“Loaf” came later in the eighth grade when he “stepped on a coach’s foot and he screamed, ‘Get off my foot, you hunk of meatloaf!’”

Is that true? Well it certainly differs from the story he told People in 1978. Back then Meat Loaf stated that his name came from a combination of his size, as he said he couldn’t remember weighing less than 185 pounds (84kg), and his initials, M.L. The reason he said he used that name instead of his real name was “to save his devout Church of Christ kin from embarrassment.” That doesn’t sound quite right but who can be sure?

On Piers Morgan Live in 2011, Meat Loaf claimed his name came partially from a Levi’s commercial from the time that said, “Poor fat Marvin can’t wear Levi’s.” This is allegedly part of the reason he changed his real name from Marvin to Michael. He told Morgan, “When I was a kid I was so big, I mean I was really big, I literally could not wear blue jeans.”

He was about six at the time and he told Morgan, “I was called Meat, but people would call me Marvin, and after that, nobody called me Marvin.”

The last tale he told, according to the New York Times involved an incident with a Volkswagen. As the Times reported, “Meat Loaf… told numerous stories about how he got his stage name, including one about a high school stunt in which he let a Volkswagen run over his head. Afterward, a child shouted, ‘You’re as dumb as a hunk of meat loaf.’”

Interestingly, Meat Loaf actually was on his passport when he first toured Bat Out of Hell. Meat Loaf told CNN, “I had Meat Loaf on my passport when we were first touring Bat Out of Hell. I went to Germany and showed them my passport and they kept me in immigration for six hours. So at that point I thought probably the best thing to do was to get ‘Meat Loaf’ off my passport immediately, if not sooner.”


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