Paradise By The Dashboard Light – Meat Loaf

Michael Lee Aday, better known by his stage name Meat Loaf is an American rock musician and actor.

Meat Loaf was born as Marvin Lee Aday in Dallas, Texas, United States. He was the first child of Wilma Artie (née Hukel), a school teacher and a member of the Vo-di-o-do Girls gospel quartet, and Orvis Wesley Aday, a police officer. His father was an alcoholic who would go on drinking binges for days at a time. Marvin and his mother would drive around to all the bars in Dallas, looking for Orvis to take him home. Because of this, Marvin often stayed with his grandmother, Charlsee Norrod.

Meat Loaf relates a story in his autobiography, To Hell and Back, about how he, a friend, and his friend’s father drove out to Love Field to watch John F. Kennedy land. After watching him leave the airport, they went to Market Hall, which was on Kennedy’s parade route. On the way they heard that Kennedy had been shot, so they headed to Parkland Hospital, where they saw Jackie Kennedy get out of the car and Governor John Connally get pulled out, although they never saw the president taken out.

In 1965, Marvin graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, having already started his acting career via school productions such as Where’s Charley? and The Music Man.[6] After attending college at Lubbock Christian College, Marvin transferred to North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas in Denton). While there, he was called in for an Army physical, which he tried to fail by gaining sixty-eight pounds in four and a half weeks.

In his autobiography, Meat Loaf claims that shortly after his mother died, his father, in a drunken rage, tried to kill him with a knife, and that he barely managed to escape after they had a bad fight. After Marvin got his inheritance from his mother’s death, he rented an apartment in Dallas and isolated himself for three and a half months.[citation needed] Eventually a friend found him. Marvin bought a car with his inheritance and drove to California.

In Los Angeles, he formed his first band, Meat Loaf Soul. During the recording of their first song, Meat Loaf hit a note so high that he managed to blow a fuse on the recording monitor; he was immediately offered three recording contracts, which he turned down. Meat Loaf Soul’s first gig was in Huntington Beach at the Cave, opening for Them, Van Morrison’s band. While performing their cover of the Howlin’ Wolf song “Smokestack Lightning”, the smoke machine they used made too much smoke and the club had to be cleared out.[citation needed] Later, the band was the opening act at Cal State Northridge for Renaissance, Taj Mahal and Janis Joplin. The band then underwent several changes at lead guitar, changing the name of the band each time – including Popcorn Blizzard, and Floating Circus.[7] As Floating Circus, they opened for The Who, The Fugs, The Stooges, MC5, Grateful Dead and The Grease Band. Their regional success led them to release a single, “Once Upon a Time” backed with “Hello.” Meat Loaf joined the Los Angeles production of Hair. During an interview with New Zealand radio station ZM, Meat Loaf stated that his biggest life struggle he had to overcome was being taken seriously in the music industry. He compared his treatment to that of a “circus clown.”

During the winter of 1973, after returning from a short production of Rainbow in New York in Washington, D.C., Meat Loaf received a call asking him to be in The Rocky Horror Show where he played the parts of Eddie and Dr. Everett Scott. The success of the play led to the filming of The Rocky Horror Picture Show where Meat Loaf played only Eddie. About the same time, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman started work on Bat out of Hell. Meat Loaf convinced Epic Records to shoot videos for four songs, “Bat Out Of Hell”, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”, “You Took the Words Right out of My Mouth” and “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad”. He then convinced Lou Adler, the producer of Rocky Horror, to run the “Paradise” video as a trailer to the movie. Meat Loaf’s final show in New York was Gower Champion’s Rockabye Hamlet, a Hamlet musical. It closed two weeks into its initial run. Meat would later return occasionally to perform Hot Patootie for a special Rocky Horror reunion or convention, and rarely at his own live shows (one performance of which was released in the 1996 Live Around the World CD set).

During his recording of the soundtrack for Rocky Horror, Meat Loaf recorded two more songs: “Stand By Me” (a Ben E. King cover), and “Clap Your Hands.” They remained unreleased until 1984, when they appeared as B-sides to the “Nowhere Fast” single.

In 1976, Meat Loaf recorded lead vocals for Ted Nugent’s Free-for-All album when regular Nugent lead vocalist Derek St. Holmes quit the band. Meat Loaf sang lead on five of the album’s nine tracks.

Paradise By The Dashboard Light

Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is a song written by Jim Steinman. It was first released in 1977 on the album Bat Out of Hell, with vocals by the American musician Meat Loaf alongside Ellen Foley. It is most notable for its unique structure and length, and has become a classic rock radio staple.

The song has an epic-like structure, which is divided into three parts:

Part I. Paradise

The song opens with the characters reminiscing about days as a young high school couple on a date. They are parking by a lake and having fun, experiencing “paradise by the dashboard light”, but the boy insists they’re “gonna go all the way tonight”.

Baseball broadcast

His pushing the matter is mirrored by New York Yankees announcer Phil Rizzuto broadcasting a portion of a baseball game that serves as a metaphor for his attempts to achieve his goal.

Rizzuto’s baseball play-by-play call was recorded in 1976 at The Hit Factory in NYC by Rundgren, Meat Loaf and Steinman. Rizzuto publicly maintained he was unaware that his contribution would be equated with sex in the finished song, but Meat Loaf asserts that Rizzuto only feigned ignorance to stifle some criticism from a priest and was fully aware of the context of what he was recording.[1]

In a nod to the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry, some radio stations in Boston created a version where Rizzuto’s part was substituted with Red Sox announcer Dick Stockton describing the baseball play.

Part II. Let Me Sleep on It

Just as the boy is about to “steal home base”, the girl bursts out, telling him to “Stop right there!” She refuses to go any further unless the boy first promises to love her for ever and marry her. Reluctant to make such a long-term commitment, the boy repeatedly asks her to continue on for the time being and promises to give his answer in the morning. However, as she is not giving in that easily, so that he finally cracks and gives his promise: “I started swearing to my God and on my mother’s grave/That I would love you to the end of time”.

Part III. Praying for the End of Time

Back in the present, the male character can no longer stand the presence of his lover. However, he cannot possibly break his vow and hence is now praying for the end of time to relieve him from his obligation. The song fades out on the situation, juxtaposing his gloomy “It was long ago, it was far away, it was so much better than it is today!” with her joyous “It never felt so good, it never felt so right, we’re glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife.”

Although Ellen Foley is recorded on the album, another woman, Karla DeVito, was used for the music video and for live performances.

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/meat-loaf-paradise-by-the-dashboard-lights.flv[/flv]

BOY:
I remember every little thing
As if it happened only yesterday
Parking by the lake
And there was not another car in sight
And I never had a girl
Looking any better than you did
And all the kids at school
They were wishing they were me that night
And now our bodies are oh so close and tight
It never felt so good, it never felt so right
And we’re glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife
Glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife
C’mon! Hold on tight!
C’mon! Hold on tight!

GIRL:
Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night

BOY:
I can see paradise by the dashboard light

GIRL:
Ain’t no doubt about it
We were doubly blessed
‘Cause we were barely seventeen
And we were barely dressed

TOGETHER:
Ain’t no doubt about it
Baby got to go and shout it
Ain’t no doubt about it
We were doubly blessed

BOY:
‘Cause we were barely seventeen
And we were barely dressed

Baby doncha hear my heart
You got it drowning out the radio
I’ve been waiting so long
For you to come along and have some fun
And I gotta let you know
No you’re never gonna regret it
So open up your eyes I got a big surprise
It’ll feel all right
Well I wanna make your motor run

And now our bodies are oh so close and tight
It never felt so good, it never felt so right
And we’re glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife
Glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife
C’mon! Hold on tight!
C’mon! Hold on tight!

TOGETHER:

Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night
I can see paradise by the dashboard light
Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night
Paradise by the dashboard light
You got to do what you can
And let Mother Nature do the rest
Ain’t no doubt about it
We were doubly blessed
‘Cause we were barely seventeen
And we were barely-

We’re gonna go all the way tonight
We’re gonna go all the way
tonight’s tonight…
We’re gonna go all the way tonight
We’re gonna go all the way
tonight’s tonight…

RADIO BROADCAST

OK, here we go, we got a real pressure cooker going here,
Two down, nobody on, no score, bottom of the ninth,
There’s the windup, and there it is, a line shot up the middle,
Look at him go. This boy can really fly! He’s rounding first and really
turning it on now, he’s not letting up at all, he’s gonna try for
second; the ball is bobbled out in center, and here comes the
throw, and what a throw! He’s gonna slide in head first, here he
comes, he’s out! No, wait, safe-safe at second base, this kid
really makes things happen out there. Batter steps up to the
plate, here’s the pitch-he’s going, and what a jump he’s got,
he’s trying for third, here’s the throw, it’s in the dirt-safe at
third! Holy cow, stolen base! He’s taking a pretty big lead out
there, almost daring him to try and pick him off. The pitcher
glances over, winds up, and it’s bunted, bunted down the third
base line, the suicide squeeze is on! Here he comes. squeeze play, it’s gonna be close! Heres the throw. heres the play at the plate. Holy cow, I think he’s gonna make it!

GIRL:

Stop right there!
I gotta know right now!
Before we go any further!
Do you love me?
Will you love me forever?
Do you need me?
Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away, will you make me your wife?
Do you love me!?
Will you love me forever!?
Do you need me!?
Will you never leave me!?
Will you make me happy for the rest of my life!?
Will you take me away , will you make me your wife!?
I gotta know right now
Before we go any further
Do you love me!?
Will you love me forever!?

BOY:

Let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Let me sleep on it
And I’ll give you an answer in the morning
Let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Let me sleep on it
I’ll give you an answer in the morning
Let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Let me sleep on it
I’ll give you an answer in the morning

GIRL:

I gotta know right now
Do you love me?
Will you love me forever?
Do you need me?
Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away , will you make me your wife?
I gotta know right now!
Before we go any further
Do you love me?
Will you love me forever?

Whats it gonna be boy? Come on…I can wait all night… Whats it gonna be boy… yes or no?? Whats it gonna be boy? YES OR NO???

BOY:

Let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Let me sleep on it
And I’ll give you an answer in the morning
Let me sleep on it

TOGETHER:
Boy: let me sleep on it……
Girl: I gotta know right now…….Do you love me will you love me forever do you need me will you never leave me will you make so happy for the rest of my life will take me away will make me your wife i gotta know right before we go any further do you love me will you love me forever.

BOY:
Let me sleep on it..

GIRL:
Will you love me forever?

BOY:
Let me sleep on it..

GIRL:
Will you love me forever?!?!?!

BOY:

I couldn’t take it any longer
Lord I was crazed
And when the feeling came upon me
Like a tidal wave
I started swearing to my god and on my mother’s grave
That I would love you to the end of time
I swore that I would love you to the end of time!

TOGETHER:

So now I’m praying for the end of time
To hurry up and arrive
‘Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
I don’t think that I can really survive
I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow

BOY:But God only knows what I can do right now

I’m praying for the end of time
It’s all that I can do
Praying for the end of time,
So I can end my time with you!!

TOGETHER:
BOY:
It was long ago and it was far away
And it was so much better than it is today

GIRL:
It never felt so good
It never felt so right
And we were glowing like
A metal on the edge of a knife

  • Audio from the 1977 album, Bat Out Of Hell:

BOY:
I remember every little thing
As if it happened only yesterday
Parking by the lake
And there was not another car in sight
And I never had a girl
Looking any better than you did
And all the kids at school
They were wishing they were me that night
And now our bodies are oh so close and tight
It never felt so good, it never felt so right
And we’re glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife
Glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife
C’mon! Hold on tight!
C’mon! Hold on tight!

GIRL:
Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night

BOY:
I can see paradise by the dashboard light

GIRL:
Ain’t no doubt about it
We were doubly blessed
‘Cause we were barely seventeen
And we were barely dressed

TOGETHER:
Ain’t no doubt about it
Baby got to go and shout it
Ain’t no doubt about it
We were doubly blessed

BOY:
‘Cause we were barely seventeen
And we were barely dressed

Baby doncha hear my heart
You got it drowning out the radio
I’ve been waiting so long
For you to come along and have some fun
And I gotta let you know
No you’re never gonna regret it
So open up your eyes I got a big surprise
It’ll feel all right
Well I wanna make your motor run

And now our bodies are oh so close and tight
It never felt so good, it never felt so right
And we’re glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife
Glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife
C’mon! Hold on tight!
C’mon! Hold on tight!

TOGETHER:

Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night
I can see paradise by the dashboard light
Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night
Paradise by the dashboard light
You got to do what you can
And let Mother Nature do the rest
Ain’t no doubt about it
We were doubly blessed
‘Cause we were barely seventeen
And we were barely-

We’re gonna go all the way tonight
We’re gonna go all the way
tonight’s tonight…
We’re gonna go all the way tonight
We’re gonna go all the way
tonight’s tonight…

RADIO BROADCAST

OK, here we go, we got a real pressure cooker going here,
Two down, nobody on, no score, bottom of the ninth,
There’s the windup, and there it is, a line shot up the middle,
Look at him go. This boy can really fly! He’s rounding first and really
turning it on now, he’s not letting up at all, he’s gonna try for
second; the ball is bobbled out in center, and here comes the
throw, and what a throw! He’s gonna slide in head first, here he
comes, he’s out! No, wait, safe-safe at second base, this kid
really makes things happen out there. Batter steps up to the
plate, here’s the pitch-he’s going, and what a jump he’s got,
he’s trying for third, here’s the throw, it’s in the dirt-safe at
third! Holy cow, stolen base! He’s taking a pretty big lead out
there, almost daring him to try and pick him off. The pitcher
glances over, winds up, and it’s bunted, bunted down the third
base line, the suicide squeeze is on! Here he comes. squeeze play, it’s gonna be close! Heres the throw. heres the play at the plate. Holy cow, I think he’s gonna make it!

GIRL:

Stop right there!
I gotta know right now!
Before we go any further!
Do you love me?
Will you love me forever?
Do you need me?
Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away, will you make me your wife?
Do you love me!?
Will you love me forever!?
Do you need me!?
Will you never leave me!?
Will you make me happy for the rest of my life!?
Will you take me away , will you make me your wife!?
I gotta know right now
Before we go any further
Do you love me!?
Will you love me forever!?

BOY:

Let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Let me sleep on it
And I’ll give you an answer in the morning
Let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Let me sleep on it
I’ll give you an answer in the morning
Let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Let me sleep on it
I’ll give you an answer in the morning

GIRL:

I gotta know right now
Do you love me?
Will you love me forever?
Do you need me?
Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away , will you make me your wife?
I gotta know right now!
Before we go any further
Do you love me?
Will you love me forever?

Whats it gonna be boy? Come on…I can wait all night… Whats it gonna be boy… yes or no?? Whats it gonna be boy? YES OR NO???

BOY:

Let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Let me sleep on it
And I’ll give you an answer in the morning
Let me sleep on it

TOGETHER:
Boy: let me sleep on it……
Girl: I gotta know right now…….Do you love me will you love me forever do you need me will you never leave me will you make so happy for the rest of my life will take me away will make me your wife i gotta know right before we go any further do you love me will you love me forever.

BOY:
Let me sleep on it..

GIRL:
Will you love me forever?

BOY:
Let me sleep on it..

GIRL:
Will you love me forever?!?!?!

BOY:

I couldn’t take it any longer
Lord I was crazed
And when the feeling came upon me
Like a tidal wave
I started swearing to my god and on my mother’s grave
That I would love you to the end of time
I swore that I would love you to the end of time!

TOGETHER:

So now I’m praying for the end of time
To hurry up and arrive
‘Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
I don’t think that I can really survive
I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow

BOY:But God only knows what I can do right now

I’m praying for the end of time
It’s all that I can do
Praying for the end of time,
So I can end my time with you!!

TOGETHER:
BOY:
It was long ago and it was far away
And it was so much better than it is today

GIRL:
It never felt so good
It never felt so right
And we were glowing like
A metal on the edge of a knife

(336)

About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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