Bill Murray and his William Murray Golf company have been using the Doobie Brothers‘ song “Listen to the Music” in an advertisement for their “Zero Hucks Given” golf shirts, and the band is not happy about it. Not at all.
The Doobie Brothers are so upset at the unauthorized use of their song that they lawyered up and sent Murray a… lighthearted sort-of-cease-and-desist letter?
“We’re writing on behalf of our clients, the Doobie Brothers. The Doobie Brothers perform and recorded the song Listen to the Music, which Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers wrote. It’s a fine song,” lawyer Peter Paterno‘s humorous letter began.
“I know you agree because you keep using it in ads for you Zero Hucks Given golf shirts. However, given that you haven’t paid to use it, maybe you should change the company name to “Zero Bucks Given,” it continued.
After comparing Murray’s golf company’s use of music to that of President Donald Trump and taking a jab at his involvement with the Garfield movies, Paterno and his Doobie Brothers clients had one more low-blow for the actor:
“We’d almost be OK with it if the shirts weren’t so damn ugly.”
Murray, of course, wouldn’t take this public lashing lightly, and had his lawyers respond with a letter of their own.
“First, I would like to compliment you on finding levity in the law at a time when the world and this country could certainly use a laugh,” the response letter began, thanking them for “Takin’ It to the Streets” instead of the courts.
After taking a jab at the Doobie Brothers’ lawyers for defending Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I. in the copyright case over Marvin Gaye‘s “Got To Give It Up”, Murray’s representation then took issue with the negative comments regarding the clothing line’s fashionableness.
“Your negative comments about their fashionableness are especially disconcerting to all of us—especially considering 75% of my wardrobe consists of William Murray polos, shorts and pants. Color me biased, but the consensus on this side of the table is that Bill and the brothers have some of the most clever and creative lifestyle wear available.”
While neither letter seemed to solve the issue, the letter from Murray’s lawyers did offer to “happily upgrade” the wardrobes of each member of the band with a shirt they “find the least offensive.”
Read the full response from Bill Murray below and head to the William Murray Golf website to check out the wardrobe selections.
As far as the Doobie Brothers are concerned, the band recently released the “Quadio Boxed Set”, which includes quadraphonic mixes of four classic albums on Blu-Ray audio. Furthermore, the band has a 50th anniversary tour planned for next summer, taking them across the U.S. and Canada. Head to the band’s website for more information.
Letter From Bill Murray to the Doobie Brothers
Dear Mr. Paterno,
Our firm represents W.M. Golf, Inc., d/b/a “William Murray Golf”. First, I would like to compliment you
on finding levity in the law at a time when the world and this country certainly could use a laugh. Your client’s demand was able to cut through the noise of the news cycle and remind us how much we all miss live music these days.
We would also like to confirm that both our firm, and the good folks at William Murray Golf, are indeed fans of the Doobie Brothers’ music, which is why we appreciate your firm’s choice of “Takin’ It to the Streets”, rather than to the courts, which are already overburdened “Minute by Minute” with real problems.
I am sure that Howard King of your firm, who argued that the song “Blurred Lines” (Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I.) did not infringe on Marvin Gaye’s composition “Got To Give It Up”, would agree that your client was not harmed under these circumstances.
All that to say, your negative comments about their fashionableness are especially disconcerting to all of
us–especially considering 75% of my wardrobe consists of William Murray polos, shorts and pants. Color me biased, but the consensus on this side of the table is that Bill and the brothers have some of the most clever and creative lifestyle wear available.
In the immortal words of Mr. Murray–the more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything… so let’s pour one up and unwind with a listen of the recently-released “Quadio” box set and plan to cross paths at a Doobie Brothers’ 50th anniversary show in 2021 when some level of normalcy resumes.
As your client so aptly stated in this classic song in question, “What the people need is a way to make them smile”– which both Bill and the Doobies have been doing for decades, as world-class entertainers.
Please provide us with the shirt size for yourself, Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons, Michael McDonald, and John McFee, along with which of our client’s shirts you find the least offensive, and we will happily upgrade your wardrobes and hopefully win each of you over as new fans of the brand.
At least that’s “what this fool believes”.
[H/T The Wrap]