Paul Crook On Replacing Meat Loaf After He Passed Out On Stage
Meat Loaf sadly departed from this world last year on January 20. It’s almost the first anniversary of his passing, and his longtime friend and guitarist Paul Crook reflected on his career with the late musician. Speaking to Eon Music, Crook remembered when he had to hit the road with Meat Loaf’s band after he collapsed on stage.
“We’ve been doing this for four years,” said Paul Crook, referring to the shows to celebrate Meat Loaf’s legacy. “People think we just started doing this when our boss passed; no. You know, Meat was all in on this. He was a part of it. He passed out on stage in Edmonton, Canada. He dropped; it was 2016, and from there, he went on to two back surgeries.”
Recalling another instance where Meat Loaf had to cancel the tour, Crook continued, “And we had to cancel the ‘Braver Than We Are’ tour, which is the record I produced for him. The whole tour was canceled, and Meat said, ‘Hey, Paul, give me four months.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, no problem, boss; get yourself all set up, and then we’ll hit it.’ And that was like December, and then he goes, ‘Paul, I need more time.’ ‘No worries, boss!’”
“Now we’re in May 2017 or something, and he’s not ready,” remembered Paul. He then added, “He’s in a lot of pain. So I told him, ‘Hey, boss, we’re going to lose the band. I got to get out on the road with these guys.’ So I just put it together. I said, ‘I’m going get another singer, and we’ll go out and play. I want to keep the machine oiled for you so that when you’re ready, you can step in anytime — you could get on a plane and join us.’ And it would turn into a Meat Loaf show immediately. That was the plan, and he loved it. And that’s what we did.”
The late singer had several health issues before his passing. He had asthma, and it caused him to collapse on stage during shows in Pittsburgh and Edmonton. Before his untimely death, Loaf had back surgery and spinal fusion and used a cane and wheelchair. As it seems, his producer, friend, and longest-serving guitarist Paul Crook was there with him through those hard times. Now, he is getting ready to celebrate Meat Loaf’s legacy with the upcoming Celebrating Meat Loaf tour.