Battle out of Hell! Rock legend Meat Loaf sues East Lancashire tribute act over website (From This Is Lancashire)
Battle out of Hell! Rock legend Meat Loaf sues East Lancashire tribute act over website
AN EAST Lancs singer who performed as a ‘dead ringer’ for Meat Loaf has found himself in a ‘spat out of hell’ after the American star launched a $100,000 lawsuit against him.
Dean Torkington who has toured with his show To Hell And Back: (A Tribute To Meat Loaf) for the past 16 years, said he was shocked at claims by the rock star that he is an ‘online imposter’.
The row centres on a website that Dean uses to promote his act — www.meatloaf.org.
Dean, whose next show is at the Crown Paints Social Club, Anchor Lane, Darwen on Saturday, July 28, added: “There are no court dates set and I believe they have to serve me the writ in person for that.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if they did it while I was on stage in Darwen.”
The muti-million selling artist, famous for hits Bat Out Of Hell, Dead Ringer For Love and I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That), has launched the legal action in California.
The 49-year-old full-time performer, from Burnley, said he has used the domain name since 2000 and makes it clear he is a tribute act.
But he has now received a legal letter from Meat Loaf’s team informing him of the action against him.
Dean said the dispute has led to the one-time devoted fan diversifying his act. His Legends of Rock show now includes tributes to Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi.
A writ issued by Los Angeles law firm Lavely & Singer, using Meat Loaf’s real name Michael Aday, names Dean as a “cybersquatter and online imposter”.
It claims he has “commercially exploited the internet top-level domain name MeatLoaf.org to capitalize on the artist’s celebrity”.
The writ goes on to claim Mr Torkington is “liable for substantial damages, including statutory damages of up to $100,000 for your cybersquatting”.
Dean said: “Earlier this month I received a copy of the lawsuit posted to my home and emailed.
“I have every intention of defending this to protect my good name and will not be bullied in this way.
“I really don't see what his gripe is or legally where he is coming from, I am not guilty of cyber squatting or passing myself off as him.”
Dean, a former Ivy Bank High School pupil, travels to gigs in a van adorned with Meat Loaf images.
He said he is now trying to re-launch his career with the new show after shedding around 11 stone since 2010.
He 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.
“If I was to let go of the website it would cost me thousands to rebrand. There are brochures, advertising and the paintwork on the van and other costs.
“Now I have got away from the Meat Loaf tag I'm enjoying the shows far more.”