In 1993, Steve Murray was working in his family’s restaurant.
At the time, the Saddleworth spot served up classic British pub specialties – a bottle of Blue Nun and a thick slice of Black Forest cake.
The restaurant manager, in his twenties at the time, wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his future, but liked to liven up and entertain his little corner of the table at work.
Then the restaurant had a hard time and Steve’s life would change forever.
A friend secretly recorded Steve singing his favorite tunes before sending the tapes down the road to Granada.
This is how Steve ended up in Stars In Their Eyes.
Just under 30 years later, Steve is a far cry from his days as a bus boy, all thanks to his unlikely appearance as opera rock star Meat Loaf in the hit singing contest.
Trading dishes for concert halls, Steve is now a successful musician in his own right.
Performing under the stage name Steve Steinman, a play about Meat Loaf collaborator Jim Steinman, the Oldham-born boy has performed in front of thousands of loyal fans over decades of touring, while operating his own production company. worth millions â.
Far from letting locking take the words out of his mouth, Steve began writing his own music for the first time, spawning a chart-topping record.
Steve told the Manchester Evening News about his unexpected trip from the restaurant at the Royal George Hotel to pay homage to fame and beyond.
âIt’s been a long road to rock and roll,â laughs Steve. “My road took a complete turn, I never, never wanted to become a singer.
âMy family had a restaurant in Saddleworth and I took over the family business after my father died.
âIt was just your traditional food. Back then it was all a Black Forest cake and a bottle of Blue Nun, chicken in a basket in the 1970s. Nothing fancy, before everything became a bistro. But it was a busy place.
âI was playing it when Stars In Their Eyes had just started. It was a very popular program on a Saturday night. We were watching people who could have been the local butcher.â
The high interest rates of the early 90s hit Steve’s restaurant and he was forced to close it. Desperate to “put food on the table”, he began to give strange concerts because he liked “to be a front man”.
âI just didn’t know what to do,â Steve continues. âAll I had done, all my life, was work for my family or work in a restaurant.
âAs a little boy I was the bottle opener, when I was older I was in the kitchen, then I was the leader.
âI needed to make a living and I used the contacts I had with the breweries to go and play Meat Loaf in the pubs.
âI sang ‘You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth’ and one of the guys in the band recorded me and sent the tape over. I sound like Meat Loaf, not trying to sound like him.
âI got a phone call from Stars In Their Eyes asking if I wanted to come in and I said ‘what are you talking about ?!’
“I was like ‘this is only Manchester’ and that would be a lot of fun. I went to the audition and I went.”
âAt first, nobody was an actor. We really weren’t singers,â adds Steve.
Steve appeared on the show and while he was “pissed off he didn’t win” it kicked off his career as a tribute.
At first, it was tricky.
âIt was a chore because no one ever wanted meatloaf,â Steve says. “They told me they don’t want heavy rock – but it’s Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, these are just love stories!
“When I got a reservation, I was packing the place.”
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After a taste of success as Meat Loaf, Steve decided to rebrand himself as “Steve Steinman”, expanding his number by making jokes “with his northern accent”.
This act will eventually lead him to perform in South Africa, before returning to the UK to “start over” from scratch, “with no Â£ 10 in his pocket”.
Over the next two decades, Steve says he âbuilt and builtâ his own production company, Steve Steinman Productions, putting on concerts and musicals. Before the pandemic, which disrupted showbiz, he organized his own lighting, music equipment and tours by day – while performing in front of “100,000 people a year” at night.
When theaters are open for business, Steve can be found directing a plethora of musicals featuring rock classics, to fun storylines he writes himself, including Vampires Rock and Anything For Love – The. Meat Loaf Story.
Now 56 years old, he says he has been “several times a millionaire”, but everything is reinvested in his ambitious productions.
Mainly, he says, he’s just happy “not to live in a shoebox anymore.”
The secret to staying afloat is to think of the music industry as a business, says the father of two.
âI grew up running businesses, so now I run music like a business. A lot of musicians get ripped off a lot and they really don’t know what they’re doing.
âBut I approached it from a different angle. I managed and took care of myself. I put my neck on the line a few times to keep moving forward.
“The shows are funny, the music is mega, and they have worked so well. We’ve packed the Manchester Opera House and the Palace so many times that I can’t tell you.”
Fast forward to 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic hit, like so many musicians across the world, Steve’s career came to a halt.
Forbidden from taking the stage, he remained clueless – until he decided to use the new free time to try life beyond the Meat Loaf tracks.
While writing his own original single, Take a Leap of Faith, Steve unexpectedly rose to No.2 on the iTunes Rock Chart and No.1 on the Amazon Rock Chart, sitting between Bruce Springsteen and the Beatles.
âIt’s going to take 18 months before I get back on stage, so it’s been a killer,â Steve continued.
âBut good things came out of it. Let’s look at the positives rather than the negatives. This is what I am trying to do.
âI’ve been asked to make my own music for a long time and I’m always too busy because I do about 120 concerts a year.
âIt never really was on the cards, I never really needed it. It’s not something I wanted to do.
âThen when the pandemic happened, I was approached again. I said, you know what, let’s do it. So I made an album. I would never have done this otherwise.
” I have such a good fan base and try to keep busy. You don’t want to disappear, you want to let fans know that you’re still here.
“Now the album has arrived and it’s taking off. I’m over the moon. I couldn’t believe it.”
Next year Steve plans to tour with his own music, but not before taking the stage at Bridgewater Hall with a â10-piece orchestraâ.
Now living in Nottingham, he says he can’t wait to return to the crowds in his hometown of Manchester.
âIt’s going to be a thrill for me standing on stage singing my songs,â he said.
âIt’s been hard work – and still is. But now I have a number one song and an album that I can’t wait to release.
âIf you had asked me what I wanted to do with my life 35 years ago, I don’t even think I would have had an answer.
âI worked to become a musician and an artist – and I did it all on my own.
“I’m my own agent, my own manager, my own producer. It’s all my money, I pay everyone. If I make a mistake, it’s my mistake.
“It was a gamble at first, but there’s no one doing what I do. I’m a 35 years of overnight success. ”