In 1974 a 27-year-old song writer named Jim Steinman penned a musical about a futuristic Peter Pan. A rock and roll homage to the boy who would not grow up.
But with little interest from producers willing to take a chance on the jukebox musical, “Neverland” sat idle until the composer was asked to review the score with the Music Theater Lab at Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Who also passed opportunity to produce Steinman's score.
But in the lab with Steinman that day was the songwriter’s friend Michael Aday. Aday a musician and actor with budding notoriety for his work in the musical “Hair.” Aday telling Steinman that day that three of the score’s songs were “exceptional!” The singer going on to explain that he had been looking for a seven-song set of songs to add to his concert repertoire, Aday having recently begun performing live with R & B star Shaun Stoney Murphy.
Steinman wrote the singer four more songs!
With four new songs the pair jumped mediums. Giving up on finding a producer to take the show to Broadway instead focusing on finding a record label willing to produce and release their music as an album.
Their efforts finding no more success than Steinman had had with the Broadway production companies.
The iconic record producer Clive Davis so unimpressed with the work that he told Mr. Aday to quit the music business because “actors don’t make records!”
The epochal Davis, then the head of CBS Records and known for his discoveries of Bruce Springsteen, Janis Joplin and Whitney Houston just to name a few went on to share with the pair his concerns for Steinman’s song writing abilities and knowledge of rock-and-roll music.
In October of 1977 Fortune smiled on the pair of musicians when independent record company Cleveland International Records agreed to release the album. The record label only having one condition: that there would be only one artist's name listed on the album.
And it wasn’t that of the music’s creator Jim Steinman.
By 1977 Michael Aday was finding success using his stage name and the label liked their chances better with a solo act with a cool name than with rock and roll duo.
With some notable exceptions, rock and roll is most typically performed by bands and solo acts.
Steinman agreed, with one condition of his own. That when the album was released it would clearly shown that he was the created of the work.
The album went on to sell more than 40,000,000 copies and to this day remains the third best-selling rock album of all time behind only Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and AC/DC's "Back in Black."
The album building its rock and roll credentials with the first note. A rip at the strings which betray the secret of Clive Davis’ misjudgment.
Jim Steinman knows rock and roll and Meat Loaf, was more than just an actor!
Despite the album's rock and roll bona fides “Bat Out of Hell” is perhaps best remembered for its double-platinum selling single “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.” The song a dirge for hearts discovering that want and need, do not always portend love.
How 'Bout One Out of Three?
While Meat Loaf's recent passing reminded me that two out of three was not too bad, an email from PPG reminded me that one out of three was worse.
Dealers continue to call me looking for news of PPG’s announcement that their best-selling Speed Hide brand, previously only available at company-owned stores and independent retailer locations, will now be available at more than 2350 Home Depot and HD Supply locations nationwide.
I recently emailed my "media contact" PPG’s Corporate and Government Affairs department inquiring about the paint giant’s plan to sell the Speed Hide line in Home Depot asking:
“Will PPG stores or warehouses be handling fulfilment for Home Depot and HD Supply as part of this new program?”
"Will (CEO) Mike McGarry be making himself available to dealers to answer their questions?"
"Would Mr. McGarry be interested in being a guest on my podcast to answer my questions?"
The company only responding to one of my three questions.
But that one answer was enough for some of the PPG dealers I spoke with.
PPG handling B2B and B2C order fulfillment for the both Home Depot and HD Supply gives the nation’s largest home improvement retailer a decided advantage over independent dealers who do not get that level of service from the paint manufacturer. The difference in the levels of service a de facto price disadvantage for dealers forced to pay for drivers, dispatchers, trucks and insurance to deliver PPG goods those final miles.
Meat Loaf speaking to the speed some dealers are moving to divert gallons normally directed towards PPG away from the country's second-largest paint manufacturer.
Author’s Note: Whether listened to on vinyl, cassette, 8-track, CD or of any of the pocket-based mediums of the digital age, since 1978 I have had Meat Loaf’s album “Bat Out of Hell” in my music library. The album my second all-time favorite full-album of music behind only the Beatle’s “Abbey Road.”
Despite my love for the music of BOoH it’s the lyrics which have always drawn me to the album. More than just an outstanding love story the album is poetic in its use of the English language: “my skin is raw, but my soul is ripe” as worthy a line of prose as any.
Give it another listen and let me know what you think here.