A MEAT Loaf tribute singer from Burnley has vowed he will never again be a Dead Ringer for Love after he was taken to court by the American rocker.
Dean Torkington said he had gone through three years of hell after the Bat Out of Hell singer sued him over a website the Burnley tribute singer used to advertise his act – www.meatloaf.org.
The former Ivy Bank High pupil has now been ordered to pay $25,000, around £18,000, by the US District Court in California.
But Dean (50) has vowed that his former idol – real name Michael Aday – will not receive a cent or a penny from him.
“The last few years have been the hardest of my life and it has now culminated in this judgement. I am completely broke and have applied for an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement) to protect my house.
“The whole argument centres on my website and tour van, and I just think he has acted like a playground bully.”
Dean, who became well-known in Burnley when he played in the popular tribute group Timewarp during the 1990s, began his Meat Loaf tribute 15 years ago.
But problems started three years ago when Dean, from Ightenhill, drove to a Meat Loaf concert in his tribute van with the website address emblazoned on it.
You hear of website domain names selling for millions of pounds but I asked him for just £8,000 for mine. He decided to take me to court and it has ended up costing a lot more.
“He has now re-directed my site to his. I decided I could go one of two ways, and thankfully I stayed positive. I decided to make a complete break from the Meat Loaf tribute and started by losing a lot of weight. I dropped from 24 stone to 12 stone and am now feeling a lot healthier and happier.”
Now, Dean has gone full circle and back to another artist he originally covered – Elton John. He has also created a new tribute show called The Legends of Rock.
He will be showcasing them all in a Valentine’s Day Concert at the Empire Theatre, Blackburn, on February 14th.