Meat Loaf with a Side of Urine – Real-Life ‘Spinal Tap’ Stories
Our collection of real-life ‘Spinal Tap’ stories contains some pretty wild moments, but for sheer distinctiveness, few can match the tale of the night Meat Loaf traded ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’ for a bottle of urine to the face.
Starship‘s Mickey Thomas shared his recollection of the infamous night as part of our celebration of ‘Spinal Tap’s’ 30th anniversary, flashing back to the time his band shared the bill with Meat at the 1988 Reading Festival. “It’s one of those three or four day festivals and we were on the fourth day, so it was one of those deals where the audience had been out there in the English countryside for four days and nights drinking ginger beer and building bonfires, getting high and doing whatever,” explained Thomas, laughing, “So by the fourth night, it’s almost like a bunch of druids! It gets to be a very primitive feeling thing.”
All that ginger beer has to go someplace, but during this particular festival, the audience ended up giving it back to the performers. Recalled Thomas, “Their form of expressing themselves by that time is to take the plastic liters of ginger beer that they’d been drinking, refill them with urine, stab a few holes in the bottle and then helicopter it over the stage. So the whole stage is filled with ginger beer bottles that have been filled with urine and then to make it even worse, when we get offstage, the dressing rooms had no running water. So I just kind of took off my shirt, threw it in the garbage can, took off my shoes, threw them in the garbage can, dumped out a stainless steel bowl of fruit that was in the dressing room, filled it up with bottled water and showered myself off as best I could until I got back to the hotel.”
A memorably disgusting gig, to be certain, but Thomas and his bandmates got off easy. “On that same night, after we played, Meat Loaf goes on and after about three songs, he gets hit with one of these plastic bottles, so he gets pissed off and he just shuts down his whole show and he leaves the stage,” he continued. “The promoters go out and they talk to the crowd and they go, ‘Do you want Meat Loaf to come back?’ and they say ‘Yeaaah!’ ‘You promise you’re going to throw no more bottles?’ and they say ‘Noooooo.’ So then they get the band back out and Meat Loaf walks back out onstage center stage and grabs a mic and before he can sing one note, a bottle hits him right in the nose and breaks his nose.”