The Doobie Brothers sent Bill Murray the funniest cease-and-desist order

The Doobie Brothers are pissed at Bill Murray. They’re accusing him of using their music–specifically the song “Listen to the Music”–in some ads for Bill’s new line of golf apparel, Zero Hucks Given, without permission. As you do in a situation like this, the aggrieved party sends the offender a cease-and-desist order.

The letter, drafted by the band’s attorney Peter Paterno does threaten legal action, but in an interesting sort of way. I quote and annotate:

“Dear Mr. Murray:

“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. I know you agree because you keep using it for ads for your 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.’

“We understand that you’re running other ads using music from other of our clients [Paterno’s firm who also represents Metallica and Dr. Dre]. It seems like the only person who uses our clients’ music without permission more than you do is Donald Trump. [The Doobies are pissed at Trump, too.]

“This is the part where I’m supposed to cite the United States Copyright Act, excoriate you for not complying with some subparagraph that I’m too lazy to look up and threaten you with eternal damnation for doing so. But you already earned that with those Garfield movies. [Murray was the voice of the animated Garfield the Cat.]

“PS: We’d almost be OK with it if the shirts weren’t so damn ugly. But it is what it is. So in the immortal words of Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘Au revoir Golfer. Et payez!” [In Caddyshack, Murray’s character Carl says this to his gopher nemesis: “In the immortal words of Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘Au revoir, gopher!’”]

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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