Storysinger: Almost anything for love

Standing here at the high bar separating kitchen from dining area from living room, I’m listening to the greatest hits of the recently deceased Marvin Lee Aday, known to most as Meat Loaf.

Alas, I have not a single device now that plays CDs, but YouTube will do for today and maybe a few more days, and then for occasional replays as time goes on.

As I do this, I’m mostly ignoring the reports about how Covid anti-mask stubbornness might have killed him. Instead, I’m remembering him as the storysinger he was and the hundreds of miles I’ve driven over the years with Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell blasting on the CD player.

I almost called Marvin a storyteller, but since he was much more performer and singer, storysinger seems appropriate even if my spellchecker doesn’t like it. Every song was a story.

Mrs. Smith asked yesterday what it was that the singer “won’t do” in the story called I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That). I didn’t remember all the specifics, but it wasn’t just a single thing and it wasn’t the mystery some reviewers and others made it out to be. I went back and listened carefully. You can do that or just skim through the lyrics.

There were many things he wouldn’t do.

To say that I’m in mourning would be a great overstatement. I didn’t know him and there have been too many others to mourn. As I enjoy the music playing on my laptop, however, I’m saddened by two things.

One is that when we had tickets back in the day to see Meat Loaf in Cedar Rapids, I was too sick with a cold or the flu or whatever it was when the big day arrived. Mrs. Smith took our friend Rita in my place. I’m told they had a good time.

I’m also saddened by having to wonder if the first-person lead in one of my favorite rock performances might have been willing to do almost anything for love except wear a mask when it most counted.