“I've been dreaming of mirrors. Millions of mirrors, reflecting people to death.”
“On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?”
James Catfish "Jim" Steinman (born November 1, 1948 in a volcano on the outskirts of New York) is a Wagnerian rock and musical theater composer, songwriter, and pyromaniac of immeasurable infamy. He is well know for repeatedly writing about Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, and having an obsession with motorcycles. He is also notable for his 10-hour-long Broadway Epics starring Meat Loaf. His infamy spans from his relations with serial killer Celine Dion, 1980s Compilation Christmas Album artist Barry Manilow, and fellow deranged songwriter Andrew Lloyd Webber. Over the years, Jim has been responsible for the Bat Out Of Hell series (all 3000 entries), the song Total Eclipse of the Heart and the musical Whistle Down The Wind.
As a songwriter, many thought Jim to be a complete wacko, as his songs are nearly all about impending doom, lust, and motorcycles. The interesting fact few actual know, is that Jim's songs are completely true. Every single song he's written is based on an actual experience of his, as disturbing as that may be. In the late 1950s, Jim's best friend Kenny was killed in an airplane accident. How his brother got a hold of this plane is a mystery, but Jim's life is full of these surprises. Regardless, his father, who happened to be a Terminator sent back through time to kill John Connor, repeatedly beat him with baseballs, blaming him for his favorite son's accident. It was at this time, in the early 1960s, that Jim met future ex-lover Ellen Foley, who changed her name multiple times over the years - In the 1970s, she was Karla DeVito, in the 1980s, Cher, in the 1990s, Patti Russo. Despite the name changes, Jim repeatedly attempted to gain her love. Simply kissing her caused Jim to become a mute, unable to speak for days, even months, on end. And on Saturday nights, Jim constantly claimed she was nothing but a lonely girl, though she tried to surround herself with bodyguards, in the hope Jim wouldn't find her. It was in the mid 1960s that Jim was involved in a catastrophic motorcycle accident (yes, he had a motorcycle) on his way to meeting with Ellen, ditching another "lonely girl" he found the night before. After witnessing his heart fly off into the sun, and having his body torn and twisted apart, he was eventually found by a traveling gang of Peter Pan enthusiasts, who proclaimed him their leader. After his heart was reattached, albeit now shaped like an eclipsed moon, he started harassing Ellen again, now donning a leather jacket, long flowy hair, and gloves Michael Jackson would envy. It was now, in 1966, that Jim decided to focus on his education - In other words, his 12 hour long musical about Peter Pan.
Neverland The Musical
In the year 1967, while a student at Ambust College (the exact same college that Mozart never went to) in Hamburg, Jim Steinman wrote the book, music, lyrics, produced, directed, and starred in a musical loosely based on and named after J.M. Barrie's pedophilic tome Peter Pan. The story is set in a distant past, and is about a young boy named Peter. The story is great and all, but the part Jim was interested in was the love interest, Wendy (Jim was unable to get Ellen Foley to play the part, and had to scrap the numerous sex scenes he had written in). Steinman played Peter in the original production.
It was quite visionary and ahead of its time. Some themes from Steinman's later songs can already be heard here, like the "Turn Around" line in Total Eclipse Of The Heart. It was considered extremely shocking for its time since it included nuns and singing, which had up to that time been taboo subjects in theatre. The first 4 hours of the musical contain Jim eating, drinking and sleeping in real time, giving the audience a feel for how deprived the Grope Group are of any interesting things to do.
During its last performance, the well-known drunk Joseph Papp (thrown out of 325,000 bars in New York alone, up to that date) accidentally ended up in the audience and was so impressed (though it might have been the drink, or the crack he had been given by Steinman) that he decided to bring the play to New York. Jim hoped to rename it A Night With Ellen Foley in the hope that peer pressure would force Ellen to accept the job, but Papp ended up renaming it Papp Presents "A Play," a name that proved his genius to Steinman, who had begun to wonder if this guy was just a moron. He wanted to bring it to Broadway, but was stopped by the law because the play was much too sexually explicit to be represented in a public place, not to mention it was lengthened to 24 hours, as Jim wanted to get more sleeping done in act 3.
Several of the songs in the show were recorded by Meat Loaf, a man who would later get the hots for Foley, and trick her into recording the songs for Steinman, who hid in the back room till recording ended.
You Get What You Deserve
After the worldwide success of "A Play," Papp asked Steinman to write songs for a musical named You Get What You Deserve (1974) (which actually gave its audience of cheap bastards exactly what they deserved when thug ushers from Los Angeles beat the pulp out of the half of the audience that didn't pay admission), co-written by Henry Jekyll.
How exactly was he pressured into this second project? In 1974, Papp was producing a second show (originally titled "People Walk on Stage") since he'd blown the royalties from "A Play" on drink; the author, Jekyll, said he was interested in adding a song or two to the show. Papp took this notion as Jekyll wanting Jim Steinman to rewrite the entire musical in the style of Peter Pan. Steinman accepted, envisioning a full blown Broadway musical of chaos, with fires, murder, and conception going on simultaneously on stage. Pretty soon, he had his way, and You Get What You Deserve was born.
The story is set in Vietnam during the war in a group of men who wish to never grow up, one of whom is named Peter. Steinman wished to take a unique route, and found that the only person for the role of the sexy nurse in act 2 would be Ellen Foley, who refused the project after reading the 8000 page screenplay, which featured her own live murder at the end.
It was during the auditions for this show that history was made. This marks a very important encounter for Steinman, and it wasn't with a hooker. It was here that he first met a large glob of sweat named Marvin Aday, who, for some odd reason, went by the name of Meat Loaf. Jim took an instant liking to him when Loaf commented on the attractive young woman tied to a bench in the waiting room - Ellen Foley. After hearing Meat sing a song from his album Stoned on Meatloaf called (I'd Love To Be) As Bulky As Buddha, Jim was so impressed that he promised not to cut off Loaf's head in act 4, so that they could work later on trying to get Foley to engage in a threesome.
When Loaf sang Steinman's title song, You Get What You Deserve, Jim and the audience were brought to tears, though that may have been due to the smell.
After having worked with Meat Loaf on "You Get What You Deserve" in 1974, Jim Steinman lost track of the band and went on to do his own things - among them, read Peter Pan for a 90th time, build a 70 foot long grand piano in his father's bedroom, and expand "Neverland" to at least another 4000 pages.
In 1975, Steinman recruited several young actors who had no idea who he was and began production of Neverland Revisited, a revival of his "masterpiece," though he was asked to tone it down to 4 hours, and was only allowed to murder three people a night for financial reasons.
The Era of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf
Bat Out Of Hell
In the year 1976, Steinman was contacted by Meat Loaf, who seemed to be running short on cash, and was eager to hear if Jim had any new projects going on. Steinman told him that Broadway was not ready for their brand of music, but record companies certainly would be. Steinman collected 3 songs from the Neverland revival, and wrote 4 new ones, one specifically as a duet, as to involve Ellen Foley.
Record companies proved unwilling to accept, as they refused to listen to the 30 demo tapes and over 90 hours of footage Steinman wanted to include on the album, so he was forced to travel door to door with Meat Loaf, preforming for anyone in New York who would listen.
After about two years of caroling door-to-door, Meat Loaf asked Steinman to rewrite the 3 hour epic "Paradise With Ellen Foley" to make it a mere 9 minutes, and to rename it "Paradise By The Dashboard Light," as Ellen Foley had disappeared somewhere in Yugoslavia. They also changed the title from "Jim Steinman's Relations With Ellen Foley" to "Bat Out Of Hell." They were able to convince Todd Rundgren, a man who also had the hots for Foley, to let them make the album on his Playschool Tape Recorder and give him 50% of the earnings if he promised to find and capture Ellen Foley to be included on the album. Rundgren accepted, and found Foley under a new name, Karla DeVito. He ushered her into the recording office, where Meat Loaf and Jim were hiding in the ventilation. She recorded all of her vocals, but then noticed the ceiling caving in, and out popped Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman. Ellen immediately called for her bodyguards and disappeared back into eastern Europe, changing her name again - this time to Cher.
Despite it's length, incomprehensible mutterings by Steinman, and the scratch and sniff Meat Loaf scent collection released with it at release, Bat Out Of Hell sold 44 Million copies around the world.
Bad For Good
In 1979, Jim stopped touring with Meat and company to begin writing a sequel to Bat Out Of Hell, tentatively named "Renegade Angel (Ellen Foley Loves It)". Unfortunately, when the time came to record the new album, Meat's voice had changed dramatically due to his vocal technique. If only they had capitalised on this, they would have recorded the world's first "death growl" album together and invented - perhaps not Death Metal, but Death Operatic Soft Metal Rock & Roll.
Instead, Jim did something else which no-one had ever done before in the world of music; release an entire album credited to himself while several songs are actually sung by someone else. Rory Dodd had approached Jim and attempted to convince him that he was in fact Ellen Foley disguised with a lovely fetching new moustache, and so Jim let him sing a few tracks, such as Surf's Up - a touching ballad about Jim's penis.
The retitled album "Bad For Good" was released in 1981 and tanked around the world, despite every copy coming bundled with a free grand piano. It does however hold Steinman's most true-to-life song title, "Dance In My Pants," a direct quote he said to Ellen Foley numerous times. Ironically, Steinman's voice was considerably better than Meat Loaf's and future works between Meat and Jim were naturally quite awkward.
Although Jim had written, got someone else to sing, and released his own album, he still had to present Meat Loaf with a bunch of songs to sing due to Meat's (even bigger) cousin Lenny threatening to shove all of Jim's Wagner memorabilia up his arse, in order of pointiest things first. So he gave Meat some songs he'd written about Ellen which his legal team had advised him not to put on his own album "just in case": "I'm Gonna Shag Her In All Her Holes", "Give That Guy Sniffing Your Underwear Another Chance", and "I'll Kill You If You Don't Come Back". And a 37 second clip of Jim muttering to himself while high on the scent of Ellen's underwear, which was called "Sacred Emissions".
The new album was almost complete at this point, when one day in 1981, Meat Loaf chanced upon finding Ellen Foley hiding in England under the name Cher. He immediately contacted Steinman, who quickly wrote the song "Dead Ringer For Love", and invited Ellen to sing with Meat as a duet, all the while craftily disguised as one of the Marx Brothers so as not to draw suspicion. In its original version, the female part of the song "Dead Ringer For Love" was reciprocating affection, but when she arrived in the recording studio, Ellen worked out it was just Jim in a Groucho disguise because his moustache was still dripping wet paint. She ad libbed a torrent of abuse, then immediately fled the scene. So they had to stick with what they had. The resulting song was a big hit single in the UK where people mostly bought it because the music video which contained a lovely portrait of a lady with her boobs hanging out, in the background.
This new album was to be titled "Ellen Foley, It's Me Jim Steinman, and I Still Love You". However, Meat Loaf felt the title was too long and creepy, so he changed it to "Dead Ringer".
Total Eclipse of the Charts
Some time in 1982, Jim Steinman was listening to a classic rock radio station and heard a song he was convinced was called "It's a Hard Egg". The lyrics went "It's a hard egg, nothing but a hard egg. Hits you when it's too late, hits you when you're down". Knowing he'd have success with food-related vocalists, he invited Bonnie Tyler to the home he'd personally built using his earnings from "Bad For Good"; a series of used cardboard boxes somewhere in New York state.
There, she found a trail of M&Ms leading right up to his door, and realised that Jim is a little bit weird. Those same M&Ms would later go on to record "I'd Do Anything For Love" for the 2013 Superbowl, proving that Meat Loaf never really gets first dibs on a song (and that M&Ms have a ridiculously long shelf life).
Tyler asked Jim if he was insane, and a friendship was born unlike anything Steinman had previously experienced. They recorded the song "Total Eclipse of the Heart" along with its accompanying hilarious/erotic/terrifying music video full of mostly naked young men in an abandoned mental asylum, and she still didn't run away screaming. It was destiny.
The song skyrocketed to #1 around the world, and Jim finally found success with a person who wasn't drunk, or 350 pounds.
In 1984, Steinman did attempt to present Meat with a new song called "Holding Out For A Hero", but as Meat had been on a strict no-sandwiches weight-loss diet for the past 3 years, he found the theme of the song too painful to sing, and passed up the opportunity. Bonnie Tyler recorded the song and it became a worldwide hit and the "song most reused in films, TV shows, video games and adverts" of all time.
Instead, Meat Loaf recorded a cover version of Jim's song about his penis from Bad For Good, but for some reason, no-one seemed interested in buying a copy.
In between sessions with Bonnie Tyler's new album, Jim began noticing a man with feathered hair patrolling around the front of his apartment. The man turned out to be Barry Manilow, who was hard up for songs to sing, as the 80s were not yet half over, and he was already thinking of doing a compilation album featuring the best of them. The result was Steinman handing the rights of "Read 'Em And Weep" over to Manilow. The song climbed the Adult Contemporary / Weirdo charts rather quickly, and became Manilow's pride and joy for a good year, before he wanted to do a "Best Of The 80s" album yet again.
Some jackass in Hollywood decided that his movie would be incomplete without a Jim Steinman composition, and decided to hire him to record two new songs. Running short on time, Steinman collected 4 janitors who happened to be cleaning out the studio bathrooms, and 2 hot ladies he found at a strip bar, and "Fire Inc" was born. Their biggest hit was "Nowhere Fast," a song recorded by Meat Loaf simultaneously to little success. Fire Inc was able to dazzle audiences and take up about 40 minutes of the B-movie it was part of - "Streets On Fire".
The Golden Age Of Steinman
Pandora's Boxing Match
In 1989, Steinman cooked up another method to get into the panties of Ellen Foley, his first attempt in several years. Forming a "band" called Pandora's Box, adding two females known to have a penchant for fighting, two additional female singers, and himself, he formed the concept album Original Sin, based of course off of that one book Jim heard everyone talking about in church when he was busy reading Peter Pan. Steinman served as commentator, generally talking about mirrors and haunting images that wake him up at night, and used the females as a way to convince Ellen he was now a feminist. It didn't work, but Jim was able to assassinate Ellen's bodyguards with the help of the Hulk Hogan-like kickboxing specialists he had hired to work on the album, and Ellen recorded backing vocals and speech in the time Jim was able to convince her his insane followers would do whatever he told them (aside of course from Jim's ultimate goal in life - sex). When Ellen fled the country and changed her name to Patti Russo, Jim moved on with production.
The album was released along with a video, directed by Ken Russell, for "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" (Based on all of the good times Jim can remember stalking Ellen throughout the 1960s and 70s), but a planned tour was scrapped, as Jim refused to perform with any clothes on, because the recording studio was in a nudist colony. The album was not released to the United Kingdom and continues to remain unreleased in that country for reasons still unknown today. Sales for the album were modest, though Steinman continues to be very proud of it. Many fans and critics consider it one of his best works, and best plans ever thought up to get Foley to have sex with him. The track "Original Sin" was recycled and featured prominently in the musical show "Walzer vom Werwölf." The album's final track "This Isn't The Way (That I Used To Pee)" was about the numerous STDs Jim wished he had acquired throughout the years.
Meat Loaf covered "Original Sin" on his 1995 rap crossover album Welcome To The ****ing 'Hood, forcing Ellen Foley to do everything on the album she wouldn't do for Jim, which was quite a numerous list.
Bat Out Of Hell II
During Christmas 1989, Steinman spontaneously decided to give his old pal Meat Loaf a visit. What he found was a man who called himself a vegetarian, and had lost over 200 pounds. He was devastated.
Meat Loaf expressed interest in continuing the "Bat Out Of Hell" series, and told Jim to take his time writing the songs. Jim took this recommendation a little too seriously, and took the next 5 years off. In 1993, Meat Loaf was broke, living in a puddle in Texas, and thinking of changing his name back to Marvin. Jim decided now was the time to reunite the original Bat crew, including Todd Rundgren and Ellen Foley, and record a new album. The Witness Protection Program Proved difficult for Steinman to navigate, and Foley's new alias Patti Russo evaded his searching, and he was forced to recruit Rory Dodd yet again. The new album featured the #1 hit "I'd Do Anything For Ellen (I'd Even Do It With Sheep)," and Meat Loaf was put back in the public eye. Jim rejuvenated his confidence after Bat Out Of Hell II and celebrated by running off with Celine Dion, leaving Meat Loaf to fend for himself.
Affair With Celine Dion
In the late 90s Steinman returned to his old love: Women who hated him.
Celine Dion, a woman famous for beating her chest and over-singing every song she's ever been given, accepted Jim Steinman's help on a new album, covering Pandora's Boxing Match's song It's All Coming Back To Me Now. As Barry Manilow eagerly awaited to cover the song yet again for his 1997 compilation Manilow Sings More Songs Others Found Success With, Steinman entered his golden age of fame, winning a Songwriter of the Year award at the Grammy Awards. Dion left him after her brief success in hopes that she could succeed without his help. She couldn't.
Tanz Der Vampire
In 1997, Jim met famed child abuser and director Roman Polanski and they bonded over tales of Peter Pan. Together they would rule the world via musical theatre, using a film that was made in the late 1960s, and music which had also been written in the late 1960s. Whether that music was taken from Jim's back catalogue or borrowed from David Bowie, it didn't matter! It was to be released in Austria, and the internet hadn't been invented yet, so they were certain no-one would ever notice. They decided to employ long time professional phone-call prankster Michael Kunze to write lyrics.
The musical, featuring long, uncomfortable songs about old vampires regretting preying on young girls quite so often, was a big hit in Europe, but for some reason when it was headed for Broadway, they decided to change all the themes of the piece, and turn it into a pantomime featuring Michael Crawford, who decided to play the lead vampire role in the style of his role as Frank Spencer from 1970s BBC comedy show "Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em", but combined with a vaguely racist deliberately poor Italian accent. Rollerskating down staircases while singing "Ooo-err Betty! It's-a me! Vampirio! Turn Around Bright Eyes!". This musical was such a big flop on Broadway that it completely destabilised the USA as an economic region for the following two decades.
Affair With Andrew Lloyd Webber
In 1998, Jim met his idol from the 1970s, the Jesus Christ Superstar and Phantom Of The Opera writer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Hoping that Webber would understand his lyrics and love for Peter Pan, Steinman met with him to talk about a new play, titled Whistle Down The Wind. Although Steinman disliked the title, as it failed to feature Ellen Foley's name, he wanted to write with Webber, and finished production in 1998. The musical failed financially, but features some of Steinman's most down to earth songs - None of which features a motorcycle, well, except one, and only three of them are secretly about Ellen Foley. Despite their work together, Webber moved on in 1999, and Steinman started prospects for a Bat Out Of Hell III.
Bat Out Of Hell III - Jim's Monster Is Loose
In 2001, Meat Loaf revealed at a nightclub show, to an audience of 12, that he'd be working with old friend Jim Steinman on the final Bat Out Of Hell album. When they met to discuss the album, Jim thought Meat Loaf was an impostor, as he had a haircut the year prior (his first since 1958) and had lost a ton of weight. Meat Loaf was insulted that Jim thought he was improving his physique, and decided to do the album alone, well, with the help of former Starship producer Desmond Child. Child proved to be just as creepy as Steinman, with twice the ego, and one tenth of the talent. He wrote one good song for the new album, Blind As A Bat (which Barry Manilow eagerly awaited covering for his Best of the 2000s Volume 18 Collection), and about 6 other sub-par ballads that reminded Meat Loaf very little about his old love for Ellen Foley, who suddenly turned old at some point in the late 90s and lost her attractiveness to Jim or the Loaf. The album sold well in England, but America's inability to tell the difference between the food Meatloaf and the singer Meat Loaf cost him millions of sales. Steinman chuckled quietly in his log cabin in Northern France.
In 2004, Jim Steinman suffered the largest known total eclipse to ever affect a heart, and nearly died. Doctors revived him by using a bunch of those lights people with SAD use, but warned him to give up chasing Ellen Foley, or next time, it would be fatal. At this time, Steinman penned a new song "Ow Ow Ow My Everything Shit Ow Fuck".
He then spent several years ogling young people singing his songs at the "Car 54 Where Are You" club / restaurant in New York, where his songs could be heard in the way they had always been intended: slightly off-key and accompanied by the clatter of cutlery.
Braver Than We Are
In 2013, Meat Loaf revealed that he was going to work on a new album with Jim Steinman, entitled "Ok I'll stop suing you, let's make some money". So he asked Jim for some new songs, and let him Take his time. What he ended up with - three years later - were 10 songs, 8 of which were actually written before 1980, and one of which was actually from a musical Meat Loaf was in, but Meat Loaf's memory isn't that good so he thought it was new.
On this album, the song "Braver Than We Are" does not actually appear as it has been reworked into a 12 hour opus featuring vocals from both Ellen Foley and Karla DeVito at the same time. This caused Jim to orgasm 27 times in a row, suffer a stroke, and left him wheelchair bound. He is quoted as saying: "TOTALLY WORTH ITTT".
In June 2016, Meat Loaf collapsed and died on stage in order to promote this new album. As Jim had made Meat Loaf part vampire (he had actually just been wondering whether Meat Loaf actually tasted like a meatloaf), Meat simply turned into a convenient pile of dust which was swept up and transferred to a nearby hospital. Doctors then added several gallons of water and toasted breadcrumbs, and Meat Loaf come back to life. This event was described on social media as "severe dehydration".
This new album is due out in September 2016, but was briefly accidentally released on iTunes (apart from the song "How Do You Marry The Gull In Your Pantry"), where fans quickly downloaded the entire album, listened to it, and declared it to be "eh, not as bad as I thought it would be", then swiftly deleted it.
Bat Out Of Hell The Musical
Neverland is now known as "Bat Out Of Hell The Musical", and debuts in February 2017 in Manchester, England, because thanks to "Dance Of The Vampires", Steinman is no longer allowed to put on a production within 300 miles of any notable theatres. It has been renamed from Neverland so that people actually might come and see it, and to avoid getting investigated by Operation Yewtree.
Jim has hinted that Bonnie Tyler caught his eye once again in a TV appearance in 2005, but no progress has been made on an album. Perhaps Tyler told him to Take his time. Barry Manilow has also been quietly scurrying around the drainpipes of Steinman's apartment in the hope that Steinman accidentally flushes a song book down the toilet and allows him to record them all for his new compilation album Manilow Sings Again...Again.