One of Meat Loaf’s buff buds has a beef with the way the rock star’s death has been dragged into the COVID-19 culture war.
“It’s painful to see him used as a political tool,” Marc Lobliner told The Post. The bodybuilder and high school wrestling coach was a neighbor of the rock star in Brentwood, Tenn.
Lobliner appeared on the debut season of the Fox TV series “American Grit” with John Cena in 2016.
“We don’t need to throw him into this whole war of left versus right. Vaccine versus non-vaccine. I’m independent, so I’m indifferent, but what is being done to his name … this is disgusting.”
Former bandmate Tom Brislin remembered Meat Loaf as the consummate showman.
“He taught the whole band to play not just to the first row but all the way to the nosebleed seats,” said the pianist and keyboardist, who performed with Meat Loaf during his last major tour in 2016. “He gave every performance his all and wanted everyone to come away having had the same incredible feeling.”
Meat Loaf, born Marvin Lee Aday in Dallas in 1947, died this week at age 74. He was reportedly “seriously ill” with COVID just days before his death.
“People should not jump to conclusions that COVID was the reason why Meat Loaf died,” said Lobliner. “He was 74 years old and he lived a very rock star life, and I’m sure he loved every minute of it.”
He had not seen Meat Loaf in the several weeks since the “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” crooner suffered an injury.
“I think he’s been sick for a while, like maybe November, December. He hurt his back.”
The friend cherished a picture of he and the performer that he shared this week on Instagram. Lobliner shows off his chiseled abs and pecs dressed as a Roman god, while beaming Meat Loaf appears trimmed down dramatically from his bloated 1970s “Bat out of Hell” hit-making days.
“He was always full of energy with a huge smile on his face,” Lobliner wrote. “The life of any party.”
Brislin marveled at Meat Loaf’s athleticism for such a large man.
“He looked at each concert almost like a big game,” the musician said. “We had a huddle before every show like it was a football game.”
Both men want Meat Loaf to be remembered for the way he lived, not the way he died.
“Let his friends and family celebrate 74 years of, you know, as a teenager, driving around and singing, ‘I Would Do Anything for Love.’ Like, that’s what we need to be celebrating,” said Lobliner.
“Let’s celebrate the man that he is. Let’s celebrate the beautiful music he brought to the world, and the joy and laughter he brought to everybody he met.”
“Meat Loaf had a great sense of humor,” said Brislin. “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.”