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Memories of Meat Loaf from ‘Rocky Horror’’s Broadway run in ’75

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Meat Loaf, the larger-than-life, operatic rock singer and actor, died on Thurs., Jan. 20, at 74.

Before his massive-selling 1977 debut album, “Bat Out of Hell,” Meat Loaf in 1975 starred on Broadway in “The Rocky Horror Show” as Eddie, the juvenile-delinquent delivery boy kidnapped by the crazed Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Doing double duty, he also portrayed Dr. Everett Scott.

Meat Loaf and Tim Curry enjoy hanging out after a performance of “The Rocky Horror Show” on Broadway. In the show, Curry’s Dr. Frank-N-Furter removes half the brain of Eddie, Meat Loaf’s character, to use it to create his latest obsession, Rocky. (Photo by Elle Gerstler)

Meat Loaf reprised the Eddie role that same year in the movie version, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which went on to become a cult classic.

Elle Gerstler, a longtime Tribeca resident, met Meat Loaf during the show’s brief Broadway run. An avid photographer, she shared these candid photos of the powerhouse belter, who was then in his late 20s, and her memories of him with The Village Sun.

Meat Loaf and his then-girlfriend, Jill. (Photo by Elle Gerstler)

“So sad to hear of Meat Loaf’s passing,” she said. “I was fortunate to have gotten a gig as a cocktail waitress when “The Rocky Horror Show” played at the Belasco Theater. The theater was turned into a cabaret for the show. I became good friends with Meat and his then-girlfriend, Jill, and hung out many days at their apartment on West 74th Street.

“These photos were from a night out drinking/singing after an evening performance.

Meat Loaf and Jill. (Photo by Elle Gerstler)

“An incredibly gifted and good guy gone too soon. Rest in peace, Meat Loaf.”

Gerstler went on to become part of the founding team behind MTV and today is a realtor.

2 Comments

  1. Mary Reinholz Mary Reinholz January 21, 2022

    Loved Mr. Loaf! Hope he’s found eternal paradise by the dashboard lights.

  2. C.J. Scheiner C.J. Scheiner January 23, 2022

    My first exposure to Meat Loaf was his performance in Joe Papp’s Public Theater presentation of “More Than You Deserve.” The star was Fred Gwynne, of TV’s “Car 54, Where Are You” fame, but Meat Loaf’s presence and voice filled the entire stage effortlessly, and he wasn’t trying to upstage any one. I next saw him, twice, in the NYC production of “The Rocky Horror Show.” Who can forget all the peanut shells on the theater floor? To me, Meat Loaf was an outstanding actor, who also had a great voice. He performed, that is acted out, the songs he sang. When I hear him on the radio I still mentally see his stage presentation of the song. Baseball’s Babe Ruth was a great pitcher who was also a great hitter; he went with the latter and never got proper credit for the former. I believe the same is true for Meat Loaf. He has been vastly underappreciated as an actor, but can’t be appreciated enough as a songster. RIP, Big Man.

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