“This guy could use a haircut,” said Meat Loaf

Okay, so most male rockers who choose to grow their hair long will, at one time or another, have encountered uninvited comments, ridicule and even open hostility from parents, teachers and peers. Nothing unusual about that. My own experiences include being sworn at, abused, attacked and even threatened with school expulsion. (Bit of a boy my old headmaster!) But of course, we don’t care. We stick to our guns, defying both convention and the wills of those who would break us, hanging on for dear life to both our flowing locks and our self-identity.

When I was a teenager, my father went as far as putting me in a headlock so he and a mate could bundle me into the car and drive me to the hairdressers. I didn’t even have time to put my shoes on. Luckily, I managed to wriggle free of their grip when we reached our destination – tearing off down the street, still shoeless, in the pouring rain, with the hairdresser and his staff cheering me on!

At times like this, my mind often strays to an Ian Astbury line from The Cult classic ‘Dreamtime’:

I will wear my hair long
my hair long, my hair long
An extension of my soul
I will wear my hair long

And, of course, we derive great succour from the appearance and perspectives of our rock heroes, who themselves have endured such hardship for their art, for rock and roll and for us – rock fans with hair on our heads and music in their souls. We don’t expect our heroes and idols to turn on us and side with our parents.

So fast forward a couple of decades. Cardiff International Arena on a cold November evening. Meat Loaf is playing, touring in support of his Hang Cool Teddy Bear album. His new album is a corker – strong from start to finish, with exceptional performances throughout both from his  band and a range of intriguing guest musicians (Steve Vai, Brian May, Jack Black, to name but three). I’ve never been the world’s biggest Meat Loaf fan, but on the back of the album I am quite excited about seeing him live. Via a connection with a friend, we’ve got some backstage hospitality and a ‘meet and greet’ type session lined up, so it’s set to be quite an evening.

And so, we watch the sound check, eat and drink our fill, exchange pleasantries with support act Imelda May and various members of the band and crew, and generally enjoy ourselves. John Miceli, Meat’s drummer, even takes my daughter up on stage to have a go on his drumkit (which causes stirrings of excitement and anticipation in the growing audience who can’t see what’s really happening behind the curtain). We also get to meet Meat who turns out to be a warm and wonderful bloke who takes the time to chat and pose with all of us.

But here’s the rub, as I’m introduced to him and shake his hand he says: “This guy could use a haircut.” This guy could use a haircut? THIS GUY COULD USE A HAIRCUT! What a betrayal! Has he looked at any old photos recently? Does he say that to Brian May too?

I don’t care what they say, I still think someone put him up to it. (My father and my old headmaster probably had a hand in it somewhere.) Still, shock and betrayal aside, he was a lovely bloke, and we had a great evening. Hang Cool Mr. Loaf!

Leave a comment


  1. My boss meets the meat!

    Shocking hairstyle. Likewise, Mr Loaf.

  2. Great story!


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