- McLachlan says he’s relieved Meat Loaf is dead
- Rocker had shocking 2011 grand final show
- AFL boss says he ‘brought great disgrace’
Outgoing AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has brutally mocked Meat Loaf more than a decade after the US rocker infamously butchered his AFL grand final performance.
McLachlan, speaking at at The Carbine Club Grand Final Luncheon at Crown, explained that the singer’s death in 2022 came as a great relief to him.
The AFL paid $500,000 to secure Meat Loaf for the Geelong-Collingwood grand final in 2011 in what is widely regarded as the worst entertainment ever staged at the year’s biggest game.
‘I went down the [Big Freeze] slide as Meat Loaf and then Tim Watson asked ‘why are you Meat Loaf?’ and I got on a bit of a roll,’ McLachlan said at the luncheon, referring to his involvement in the annual event to raise money to fight motor neurone disease.
‘He brought great disgrace to the game, he brought disgrace to the MCG, he brought great disgrace to the committee of the MCG, the AFL Victoria – and, in fact, probably brought great disgrace to all of America.
McLachlan explained that one of his great reliefs is the fact that Meat Loaf is no longer alive
The music superstar’s performance at the 2011 AFL grand final was regarded by many as the worst entertainment ever staged at the year’s biggest game
‘I got down and [Andrew Dillon] was a bit ashen faced. I said, “What’s wrong?”.
‘He said, “Not sure that was ideal, there’s a fair chance we have a defamation issue there.” He said something about my comments being observed.
‘And I doubled down and nothing really happened. I must say, although his death was a real tragedy for his family and obviously him, it was a great relief to me and mine.’
In 2021, McLachlan admitted to Channel Seven that booking the American rocker was the biggest mistake he’d made during his time in the top job.
‘He brought shame to the MCG, the committee got rolled, he brought shame on America,’ McLachlan said.
‘He said we underpaid him, got half a million dollars, which is $499,000 too much.
‘I have lived with it every day for a decade and it is time to exorcise the demons and get him on everyone’s agenda.’
In 2022, Australian promoter Harley Medcalf revealed that Meat Loaf had serious health issues before the performance and should not have appeared on stage.
McLachlan, who dressed up as Meat Loaf in 2021 (pictured), says hiring the US rocker was the biggest mistake of his time running the league
After Meat Loaf’s death it was revealed he was battling illness on the day of the grand final
‘The story’s never been told – I’ve never spoken about it – because Meat was so proud,’ Medcalf told Channel Nine.
‘He went on stage that day because he always went on stage. But he rang me that morning – and I happened to be in Melbourne – and I spent three hours with him in the dressing room.
‘He had a fever, he had the shakes, he was coughing up all this stuff out of his lungs. He should not have gone on stage.
‘If I could roll back that moment, I would’ve grabbed him and walked him out the door. But he was under so much pressure. It rained, there was no sound check, no gear check – nothing.
‘He was literally just tossed out there. But the big Texan strongman (said), ‘I can do this’.
‘But he was sick and no one has spoken about that and no one has ever defended him.
‘It’s just wrong, this part of his incredible legacy of this beautiful man. He doesn’t deserve that.’