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Meat Loaf says he really is on his final tour

U.S. singer Meat Loaf performs during the German game show "Wetten Dass" (Bet it...?) in the southern German town of Friedrichshafen Decembe
U.S. singer Meat Loaf performs during the German game show "Wetten Dass" (Bet it...?) in the southern German town of Friedrichshafen Decembe

By Edward Baran

LONDON (Reuters) - After more than 35 years of touring, American rocker Meat Loaf is quitting the road.

Meat Loaf, whose 1977 "Bat Out Of Hell" remains one of the biggest selling albums, said his "Last At Bat" tour starting in Britain this week and heading through Europe, would be his last, after struggling with health problems in recent years.

While other ageing rockers like the Rolling Stones are returning to the lucrative tour circuit, Meat Loaf said he has had enough.

"This is really it ... I just don't want to travel anymore," the portly singer told Reuters TV in an interview before his tour through Britain, Germany and the Netherlands.

"I outweigh (Mick) Jagger by about 100 pounds (45 kgs) and that counts for something. He hasn't seen the wear and tear."

Meat Loaf, whose real name is Marvin Lee Aday, canceled a European Tour in 2007 after being diagnosed with a cyst on his vocal chords, saying he received some "vicious" reaction to this.

He then sparked further fears for his health in 2011 when he collapsed on stage. He later blamed the blackouts on past concussion injuries and his health issues on asthma.

Last year he underwent a knee replacement operation from which he is still recovering and is due to have an operation on his other knee shortly.

Meat Loaf said his health was "fine" but it was important to be able to perform to your best.

"When your name is on the marque, you either get the glory or you get the hits," said the rocker, dressed all in black, who has also appeared in a list of movies, including cult classic "The Rocky Horror Picture Show".

"Over the years, a lot of stones and a lot of arrows have been flying my way. You expect that."

In the "Last at Bat" tour, Meat Loaf will perform his greatest hits in the first half of the show such as "Dead Ringer for Love" and "I'd Lie For You".

In the second half he will perform, in order, the seven songs from his "Bat Out Of Hell" album which has sold around 45 million copies to date.

Meat Loaf did not rule out performing live again, such as in Las Vegas, particularly after releasing his 13th album, "Brave and Crazy", that is currently in the pipeline.

The rocker said he was working on this album with Jim Steinman, the reclusive producer and songwriter behind his biggest hits with whom he last worked on his 1993 album "Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell".

But Meat Loaf cautioned fans that if he cried while singing "Crying Out Loud", the closing song of "Bat Out Of Hell" while on tour, this was not due to sadness at quitting touring.

"Even in rehearsal when I go to sing it I start crying so it's not like when you see me in the show and I am crying it's like "oh I bet he...". I would do it in rehearsal, I can't help myself," he said.

(Reporting by Edward Baran, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith and Paul Casciato)

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