WHERE Meat Loaf went controversy generally followed and so it was when the rock legend played Donegal in 2008.
It was not the star’s first visit to the county.
Many Fermanagh followers saw him when he first played in 1990, in the Astoria Ballroom, Bundoran on February 11 and the Mount Errigal Hotel on Valentine’s Day.
How did the man behind the hit-laden Bat out of Hell album end up playing Ireland’s hotels and nightclubs? According to a recent documentary a fading of his star, contractual problems and some poor financial decisions were to blame.
Three years after his 15-date Irish tour the singer was flying high again thanks to the runaway success of I’d Do Anything For Love.
Before that though he had hit up venues in some of the remotest corners of Ireland. Moate Community Centre in Westmeath had never seen a crowd like it the night the Texan rolled into town.
His Donegal gigs must have gone well enough as 18 years later he returned. His second visit to Bundoran though did not go as smoothly as before.
The singer was due to perform in a specially constructed marquee but on seeing the facilities, he began to express reservations about the safety of the venue.
He also aired concerns about the set-up and the security. So much so that the decision was taken to postpone until the following night.
Despite the rain the concert went off without a hitch, Meat Loaf blasting out classics such as Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Heaven Can Wait and Two out of Three Ain’t Bad to an enthralled audience.
He did though use the opportunity to let rip at the organisers and while not naming him, Sean McEniff in particular.
“You can thank me for saving your f***ing lives. This f***ing tent would have fallen down all around you,” Meat bellowed to the crowd at his show.
He then told Ocean FM, “We just had real security issues inside, like the tent falling down on the audience and the stage falling down and lights falling down, so yeah, real security issues.”
The comments prompted an angry response from Sean McEniff who said the show should have taken place as originally planned.
“His remarks, which were made in the public domain and quoted in another newspaper, are both slanderous and defamatory and are totally unacceptable.
“I have been in public life for over 50 years and am well used to people taking the odd swing at me but nothing of such a personal and defamatory nature.
“I can now confirm that I have instructed my legal team to issue proceedings against the singer for his slanderous remarks.”
The outcome of the legal proceedings was never made public. For the 2,000 people who attended the gig though, Bat out of Hell in Bundoran remains a night to remember.
“He is absolutely amazing. It has been worth the wait,” one delighted fan told the Irish Independent at the time.
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