I was nineteen and living in Ashford, Connecticut. There's nothing in Ashford but a gas station and the Ku Klux Klan. Being a young punk rocker with pink hair and spikey wrist bands, i couldn't get a job at the gas station and i sure as shit wanted nothing to do with the Klan so i spent my time in the next town over
Storrs is the home of the University Of Connecticut. It was here where i would drop acid with puppetry majors, hang out with a crazy ex-navy seal at a pizza restaurant watching re-runs of the Simpsons, preen over GG Allin records at the local music store and lurk outside of the Store 24 bumming cigarettes and change.
One spring day i was sitting in front of this terrible collegiate bar called "Husky Blues," reading a few 25 cent comic books and trying to get a smoke off of whoever ventured into the bar. Then he came like a bat out of hell.
A motorcycle roared into the back parking lot, about ten feet where i sat propped against the wall. A largish man dismounted and removed his helmet, politely nodded to me and walked inside. He had an air of charisma about him, but at the time i thought nothing of it. I was some dirty punk on the street and this guy was probably a bartender or a professor. I went back to reading Ninja High School.
After about a beer's worth of time, the bar door opened and our ghost rider steps out into the balmy air and surveys the desolate parking lot before settling his gaze upon me. with a perplexed look, he asked me; "are you in a band that's playing here tonight?"
Tickled that he recognized me as a musician (i was in a band called Projectile Vomit at the time,) i coyly answered "no". Then he gave a disgruntled shrug towards the bar and said, "well that's good, because honestly, the looks they gave me in there i can guarantee they're definitely not going to like your ass in there."
We both laughed, and he asked me what i was reading. I showed this charming man my comic books which he thumbed through while fishing a Marlboro red out of the breast pocket of his leather jacket and i asked him if i could have one, to which he graciously answered; "Of Course."
He light my cigarette and saddled up his pony before saying "have a good day" and taking off. I smoked down to the filter and made my way back to Ashford without really thinking about anything besides getting down with a few puffs of mary jane and drinking some orange juice.
Flash forward one month later. My girlfriend Rachael and i were big fans of VH-1's "Behind The Music" series. We watched it all the time. This time the focus was on Meatloaf. The second the camera showed a current interview with Mr. Loaf, my mind imploded. It was HIM. The man on the motorcycle who leafed through comics with me and graciously bummed me a cigarette before hauling ass into the spring afternoon. Fucking Meatloaf. Adding to this, VH-1 reported that he lived in Hebron, Connecticut and enjoys riding his motorcycle and coaching his daughter's little league team. Hebron is two towns over. He was on a day-ride (a "milk run," as bikers call it) and stopped off for a beer.
Say what you will about the man, but Meatloaf was fucking cool. I wonder if he remembers the skinny dirty kid with pink hair sitting outside the college bar reading comic books and bumming smokes. When/if he dies, i'm going to leave a pack of Marlboros on his grave.
Ride on, brother.