Thursday, November 8, 2007


Meatloaf's 'Two out of three ain't bad' is the sound of his father singing. It is important to know that his father wears his rumbling tunelessness with pride - he is fond of recounting an occasion in church shortly after he married Mother when his hymnal was taken away from him by a disapproving nun.

As much as his family listened to the radio in the car, his father didn't seem to pay much attention; he was more inclined to reference
Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison than anything current. But he could always be counted upon to chime in, basso strano, when Meatloaf got to the chorus: 'Ah want you / Ah need you / But there ain't no way ahm ever gonna love you / Now don't be sad / 'Cuz two outta three ain't bad.' His son suspects it had something to do with the turn of phrase; Father is fond of aphorisms like 'close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades'.

Years later, his father would click with another pop song, namely
Grateful Dead's 'Touch of grey', happily waiting to sing along with the single line 'I will get by'. Years after that, in his most mystifying selection, he took a shining to the house anthem 'Witch doktor' by Armand van Helden and would happily whoop the chorus on his own at unexpected moments.