MEAT Loaf once claimed a deal was struck with the IRA and the British Army so he would not be targeted in a terror attack while crossing the border into Northern Ireland.
The Bat Out of Hell wildman, who died aged 74 on Thursday after falling seriously ill with Covid-19, made the shock allegation in the autobiography Meat Loaf: To Hell and Back.
Meat, real name Michael Lee Aday, also bizarrely claimed his then wife Leslie was warned the Provos could shoot her dead for wearing orange in the Republic on a day of Catholic celebration.
He wrote: “In 1989, we did 19 towns in Ireland — we toured Ireland more than U2.
“When we crossed the border from Ireland into Northern Ireland, we weren’t aware how intense the feelings were between Catholics and Protestants.”
He said one point, Leslie got off the bus to walk around but one of his party was “absolutely mortified” when he saw her.
“‘Are you wanting to be shot?’ he asked. ‘Do you understand what you’re doing? You are wearing orange and it is such-and-such a day and this is a country that is completely Catholic, and, well, that orange you’re wearing is like a red flag to a bull’.
“She had to change her clothes. She was offending the whole town.
“We had IRA members secretly on the bus with us in plain clothes and we had the British Army in troop transports in front and behind our tour bus.
He said one his party had somehow worked out an agreement between the IRA and the British Army.
"They were working together to make sure no harm would come to us,” he claimed.
In the autobiography, he also recalled staying at Belfast’s Europa Hotel, which was called The Forum between 1983 and 1986, during another tour.
“We stayed at this hotel in Belfast called The Forum and the place was completely surrounded by tank barriers and barbed wire. It was like being in Beirut,” he said.
“I remember driving from the radio station to another hotel in Co Antrim in the country.
“There were English Army troops everywhere in open-bed trucks with guns at the ready.
“Leslie thought this would make an interesting photo, so she rolled down the window and started taking pictures.
“Once again, we almost caused an international incident. You can’t take photographs of the Army.”
Meat’s original band Meat Loaf Soul had their first show opening for Van Morrison’s Them in 1968.
He performed at the Avoniel Leisure Centre in east Belfast
in 1985 as part of his Bad Attitude album tour. There were also a string of gigs at the King’s Hall and Odyssey Arena into the 2000s, when he was hit by a string of health woes.
His 1989 tour of Ireland came during a rough patch in his career, with the showman reduced to touring small venues out in the sticks.
During one concert in Moate, Co Westmeath, the crowd got so rowdy they started to fling shoes at the stage.
When a wheelchair was hurled, Meat stormed off for his own safety.
He later said of the tour: “We were going to all these tiny little places and playing these shows where no one had ever made the effort to go before.
“It would take us forever on these tiny Irish roads in these really rickety old buses to get from one city to the next.”
Meat spent his life believing he was walking among ghosts who used him as a “conduit”.
He once claimed he saw spirits walking along the streets “like normal people”, with such sightings apparently increasing while he was in Ireland.
“We stayed in a lot of old mansions where there were ghosts and things that go bump in the night,” he said.
The singer passed away with his second wife Deborah Gillespie by his side without getting to fulfil his final wish of dying on stage.
He declared in 2011: “I’ll go out on the stage as if it’s the last thing I’ll ever do, and that’s what I’ve always said — if I’m going out, I’m going out on stage.”
Months before his tragic passing, Meat said he was “scared to death” of Covid. But he is believed to have been an unjabbed anti-vaxxer, with the singer saying he would “rather die” than face restrictions. He added: “If I die, I die — I’m not going to be controlled.”