"Stories are like legal tender in Texas; the stranger the better. It's not that people in Texas are particularly morbid or anything. It's just that they love stories, and the best stories naturally have some bizarre aspect to them." That's Meat's summation of his home state, and a read of To Hell And Back proves he's a Dallas boy through and through.
It's fantastic to report that this is the huge, bombastic rags-to-riches-back-to-rags-back-to-riches tale that it really should be, with Meat coming across as a thoroughly charismatic madman--with thanks, no doubt, to the homely style and incisive editing of ghostwriter David Dalton. The gothic-styled To Hell And Back is replete with tales of fingerless drummers, arms-dealing managers and perpetually overdosing lead guitarists, and while Meat seems slightly horrified by his own excesses, even the doldrums are here in gory detail. "I've blacked out the whole thing," says Meat, of laying Mum to rest, "but apparently what I did at the funeral service was pull my mother out of the casket and say they couldn't have her. I actually lifted her into my arms, and people were horrified."
From the depths of cocaine psychosis, all paid for by the multi-million selling Bat Out Of Hell, Meat pulls back from the brink and when Bat Out Of Hell II makes him a superstar again, even the critics are onside. "When Rolling Stone reviewed the concert in Madison Square Garden and gave us a rave, I nearly had a heart attack and died. I literally got dizzy, fainted" explains Meat, proudly. Steady on, big guy--what they're saying about To Hell And Back might just spark off a full cardiac arrest. --Louis Pattison
"A highly entertaining biography" (Record Collector)
"A rollicking good read" (Uncut)