I’m a huge Meat Loaf fan. When I’m writing I usually listen to the same selection of music for a particular project – my novel Convoy was Guns n Roses, and I wrote my first TEGG story to Hollywood Vampires – but if I’m working on something other than word creation/editing and need general background music, it’s probably Meat Loaf. Say what you will about the guy’s voice today – he’s almost 70, so cut him some slack – but he’s a friggin legend, still sounds awesome and gives it his all, and his music is brilliant if you’re a fan of classic rock.
His concerts are fun to listen to or watch, and I go back to them sometimes if I need a little energy boost. I was at the Meat Loaf concert here in Ottawa in June, and the energy in the amphitheater was electric – you get a taste of that watching the video. The thing that has always astounded me are the clips where he’s playing one of his all-time classics, like “Bat Out of Hell” or “Paradise,” and you see and hear the incredible reaction from the audience. There are a couple moments from more recent concerts where Meat Loaf just stands there, awash in the energy from his fans, and watching it I think to myself, “Damn, that must be something incredible to feel.”
I get a tiny microcosm of that sometimes: when I see former students in the halls beaming just from bumping into me, and the rare occasion when someone says, “Hey I read your story (or this blog) and I loved it!” The kind of adoration that a legend like Meat Loaf receives is something I’ll probably never achieve – not just because rock stars and writers are very different, but also because I’m not shooting for it. I’d rather have something a bit different. My analogue to what Meat Loaf gets is what I hope for down the road in my career: attending conferences and seeing fellow writers I’ve been working alongside for decades, people who I’ve forged a connection with based on mutual respect of each other’s work and similar sensibilities. We’ll share a drink or meal over the weekend and chat about what we’re all up to before going to some event, and then message each other on threads to remind ourselves that writing isn’t actually an isolating profession. I like to think I’m at the start of that, now that I’ve gotten around to a few cons, but the benefit to being a known face (and known for being good people) is to enter a conference and know you’re with friends and peers, accepted the way a rock star like Meat Loaf feels accepted by an amphitheater full of fans. Sitting here musing and listening to Bat Out of Hell, I think I’ll take my end goal over what Meat Loaf gets at his concerts.
Not that I would say no to being him for a day. Just to get a taste.
Speaking of cons – Can*Con registration is now open! I’m on the programming team again this year, which means I know who are Guests of Honor will be 🙂 Stay tuned for details on Twitter (@CanConSF) or on our website: http://can-con.org/cc/