Meat Loaf, the operatic rock singer who died on Thursday at age 74, once was scheduled to play a concert in a Calais park named for the feral hogs that used to run wild through that part of town.
But the artist never actually took the outdoor stage due to a thunderstorm that came through town at the last minute, according to a number of people who were set to attend that show, including Calais city manager Michael Ellis.
The singer, born Marvin Lee Aday, was a relentless touring artist, even through a career that saw big ups and downs, from the highs of his 14 million-selling debut album, 1977’s “Bat Out of Hell,” to a fallow period in the late 1980s and early 1990s, during which he didn’t release an album for seven years.
Aday toured through Maine several times during that period, including for the 1990 concert that was supposed to be at an unexpected location: Hog Alley Park in Calais.
The concert, as part of Calais’ International Festival, was set to take place in a park named for an area of the city that in the late 19th century was known for seedy taverns, drunken sailors, run-down housing and wild hogs running feral through the streets (hence the name).
A colorful article by the St. Croix Historical Society details the wild events that purportedly took place there over the years.
Hog Alley Park, formerly located along the St. Croix River waterfront, isn’t there anymore.
And Meat Loaf’s fortunes would buoy upward again a few years after his canceled performance there, with his platinum-selling album “Bat Out of Hell II” released in 1993. By 1994, he was playing at the Cumberland County Civic Center, rather than in a public park in Calais once known for its pigs and booze-soaked sailors.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the performance occurred.