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.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week