Meat Loaf launches $100,000 lawsuit against tribute act accusing him of being an 'online imposter'

 

A Meat Loaf tribute artist from Lancashire is fighting a $100,000 (£64,000) writ from the US rock star, who accuses him of being a “cybersquatter and online imposter”.

Dean Torkington, 49, from Burnley, Lancashire, has used the MeatLoaf.org domain name since 2000. Torkington, who has performed his show To Hell And Back: (A Tribute to Meatloaf) for 16 years, argues that since he has shed 11 stone in the last two years, he could no longer be considered a “dead ringer” for the well-upholstered rocker.

The tribute artist accused the Bat Out of Hell singer of acting out of jealousy because the Meat substitute had received better reviews.

A writ, issued in Los Angeles using Meat Loaf’s real name Michael Aday, names Torkington as a “cybersquatter”.  It claims he has “commercially exploited the internet top-level domain name MeatLoaf.org to capitalise on the artist’s celebrity”. The real Meat Loaf, 64, uses the website www.meatloaf.net.

“I have every intention of defending this to protect my good name and will not be bullied in this way,” said Torkington, whose Meat Loaf show incorporates dry ice, stadium lighting and an American Low Rider Chopper motorcycle. “I am not guilty of passing myself off as him.”

Torkington believes that his own original album, The Bat Strikes Back, angered Meat Loaf and provoked the writ . He asks: “Could the reason be it got a better review than Bat Out Of Hell 3 in Classic Rock Magazine?”

The Lancashire singer, whose website makes clear he is a tribute act, has diversified and now includes tributes to Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi in his show. His substantial weight loss has made it harder for him to convince as Meat Loaf.

Torkington says he will demand a substantial sum from Meat Loaf if he is to give up the domain. “It would cost me thousands to rebrand,” he said. “There are brochures, advertising and the paintwork on the van and other costs.”

His tribute show, advertised with the claim “You simply won’t find a more accurate portrayal of the Rock God Meat Loaf anywhere else”, has been praised by members of the real Dead Ringer For Love singer’s own band.

Torkington met Meat Loaf backstage after a Liverpool concert in 2003 and claims the star asked him to hand over the domain name for £1,300. He declined.

Whilst Torkington claims to be the number one Meat Loaf tribute act in Europe, the real thing has suffered a series of health problems, which has led him to cancel or cut short shows.

Torkington, whose next show is at the Crown Paints Social Club, Anchor Lane, Darwen a week on Saturday, said: “To be honest, losing all the weight wasn’t good for a Meat Loaf tribute act anyway.  His pursuit of me through the courts has left me thinking differently about him. I do include some of his music in the show but I see it more as a tribute to the songs rather than the man.”

He added: “The show I do now is far better and appeals to a far wider audience, I don’t dress as Meat Loaf.”

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Management Trainer

£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Scientist / Research Assistant

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...

Reach Volunteering: Chair of Trustees

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible