One of Meat Loaf’s buff buds has an issue with the way the rock star’s death has been drawn into the COVID-19 culture war.
“It’s painful to see him being used as a political tool,” Marc Lobliner told The Post. The high school bodybuilder and wrestling coach was a neighbor of the rock star in Brentwood, Tennessee.
Lobliner appeared in the first season of the Fox TV series American Grit in 2016 with John Cena.
“We don’t have to throw him into this whole left versus right war. Vaccine versus non-vaccine. I’m independent so I don’t care, but what’s being done to his name… it’s disgusting.”
Former bandmate Tom Brislin remembered Meat Loaf as the consummate showman.
“He taught the whole band not just to play all the way to the front row, but to play all the way to the nosebleed seats,” said the pianist and keyboardist, who performed with Meat Loaf on his last major tour in 2016. “He gave his best in every performance and wanted everyone to have the same incredible feeling.”
Meat Loaf, born Marvin Lee Aday in Dallas in 1947, died this week at the age of 74. He was reportedly “severely ill” with COVID just days before his death.
“People shouldn’t conclude that COVID was the cause of Meat Loaf’s death,” Lobliner said. “He was 74 years old living the real rock star life and I’m sure he enjoyed every minute of it.”
He hadn’t seen Meat Loaf in the weeks since the “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” singer suffered an injury.
“I think he’s been ill for a while, maybe November, December. He injured his back.”
The friend treasured a picture of him and the performer he shared on Instagram this week. Lobliner shows off his chiseled abs and pecs, dressed like a Roman god, while the radiant meat loaf looks dramatically scaled back from his inflated “Bat out of Hell” hit-making days of the 1970s.
“He was always full of energy with a huge smile on his face,” Lobliner wrote. “The life of every party.”
Brislin marveled at Meat Loaf’s athleticism for such a tall man.
“He looked at every concert almost like a big game,” said the musician. “We used to huddle together before every show like it was a football game.”
Both men want Meat Loaf to be remembered for the way he lived, not how he died.
“Let his friends and family celebrate 74 years, you know, as a teenager, driving around and singing, ‘I would do anything for love.’ We have to celebrate that,” said Lobliner.
“Let’s celebrate the man he is. Let’s celebrate the beautiful music he brought to the world and the joy and laughter he brought to all he met.”
“Meat Loaf had a great sense of humor,” Brislin said. “He was also funny and didn’t take himself too seriously. He took his work seriously. I was shocked when I heard (he had died). He will be missed.”