Meat Loaf demands $100,000 from trib act
Fed up: Dean Torkington as Meat Loaf
A Meat Loaf tribute singer is being sued for $100,000 by the Texan singer’s lawyers.
But UK-based Dean Torkington, who’s been impersonating the Bat Out of Hell icon since 1996, says the legal action is a case of “bullying” and he won’t bow to it.
He first fell foul of Meat when he was invited backstage in 2003 – and ordered to remove artwork from his custom-painted van.
Torkington tells the Daily Mail: “I paid £400 for VIP tickets to see Meat Loaf at Liverpool Docks. He came in his big tour bus and I came in my van with Bat Out of Hell artwork on the side.
“I got a tap on my shoulder and this guy tells me Meat Loaf wanted to see me after the show. I went backstage and I had him and his manager having a go at me.
“He said he wanted all the pictures off the side of my van, and also he wanted my web address, meatloaf.org.
“My webpage has always said I am a tribute act. I have never tried to say I am Meat Loaf himself.
“He’s never made it easy for me. I have taken this show all over the country and promoted him well in all these years. I have done charity gigs too. But when the person you’re portraying is making your life hell, it makes you question whether you still want to be like them.”
The writ accuses Torkington of being a cyber-squatter and “online impostor.” But he believes it cannot lead to court action unless he’s served with papers in person, and is planning to use the fact that his act has been tolerated for years as defence.
“I will protect my good name and I will not be bullied in this way,” he insists. “I don’t see where he’s coming from. I’m not guilty of cyber-squatting or passing myself off as him.”
He adds that he once relented and agreed to sell the domain name for £8000, but was only offered £1300.
“I’ve gone back to doing Elton John tribute acts as a result of all this,” Torkington says. “It’s less hassle than being a Meat Loaf tribute act any day.”