The Meat Loaf’s Off

After a week of confusion when it was far from clear if and when he was going to resume his European tour, Meat Loaf has decided to postpone the rest of the shows.

The week-long saga had something of a melodramatic beginning with the star leaving the stage a little more than halfway through his October 31 set at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena, apparently saying it could be the last show he does.

Thousands of despondent fans reportedly left the Tyneside show after the singer walked out an hour into his show.

Fears that he was retiring from the road were quickly dispelled as promoter Andrew Miller said Meat Loaf just needed a break and would be back in a couple of days.

"I’ve spoken to his doctor and it’s clear it’s just exhaustion and stress. It’s not his last ever gig, that’s for sure. He’ll be fine. We hope that 24 hours rest will get him better," he told BBC News.

"He does occasionally have these blow-outs. He collapsed on stage at Wembley a few years back with a heart problem," Meat Loaf’s publicist told The Times, which reported that the singer requires a mask and a small tank of oxygen to be charged up beside the stage.

The U.K. media, apparently mindful that Meat Loaf has overcome some huge setbacks to keep his live show on the road, were dubious about his claims that he may be quitting.

Some blamed it on him being misheard, others said it may have been a slip of the tongue, or – as The Times suggested – he would do anything for love, but he wouldn’t do Tyneside.

When the shows at Birmingham NEC (November 2) and Manchester Evening News Arena (November 4) were canceled, the doctors’ diagnosis changed to laryngitis and the comeback date was set for November 6 at London’s Wembley Arena.

However, by the day of the show, the medical prognosis was that the rock legend had a cyst on his vocal cords and the Wembley show and the rest of the European leg of the "Three Bats" was canceled.

Danny Betesh of Kennedy Street, which co-promoted the U.K. leg of the tour in partnership with Miller, told Pollstar it was decided to cancel and give refunds from the point of purchase immediately as opposed to waiting to see when the dates could be rescheduled.

Other shows were scheduled for Horsens, Denmark; Bergen, Norway; Stockholm, Sweden; Rotterdam, Holland; and Belfast and Killarney in Ireland November 13-24.

"It really breaks my heart not to be able to perform these shows. I was really looking forward to capping off a great year and celebrating the start of the holidays with the fans," the Bat Out Of Hell star said in a November 6 statement.

"But I have to do what the doctors tell me so I can look forward to healing and coming back strong in 2008. Let me dispel any rumours before they start – I will be back," he continued.

Apart from missing the live appearances, Meat Loaf also failed to make the November 5 Classic Rock Roll Of Honour awards at London’s Landmark Hotel, where he would have picked up the classic album gong. His daughter, Pearl Aday, collected it on his behalf.

One artist who overcame injury to attend was Jimmy Page, who shrugged off the broken finger that’s delayed the Led Zeppelin reunion until December 10 to receive a Living Legend award.

In 1978 Meat Loaf fell off a stage in Toronto and broke his leg. The rest of his tour had to be canceled. Unable to work, he turned to cocaine and then had a nervous breakdown.

After collapsing on stage in 2003 he was treated for Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, in which there is an extra pathway carrying electrical signals through the heart.