Toronto Band Claims the Blue Jays Owe Them $700K for #ComeTogether Tag

In a shrewd marketing move–hey, how many people have heard of Blimp Rock before now?–a Toronto band is asking for $700,000 in restitution from the Blue Jays for infringing on what they say was their slogan. Fortunately, they’re not serious. At least I don’t think they are.

Here’s the story. In 2012, Blimp Rock recorded a song entitled “Oh, Baseball” about the Blue Jays ’93 World Series run that features this line:  “And the people, they come together.” Ergo, they cite prior art vis-a-vis that phrase, as they had connected the phrase “come together” to “baseball” about three years before the Blue Jays did.

Because of the specifics of this association, they feel okay in ignoring previous uses of “come together” (cf. Primal Scream and some band called “The Beatles”) and are comfortable is asking for $700,000.

Why $700K? Because the band has a long-held fantasy project of raising that kind of coin to hold a music festival from aboard a blimp floating over Lake Ontario. As of this morning, they’d raised a mere $21,000. Or so they say.

This is the text of a letter they sent to Mattew Shuber, a member of the Blue Jays legal team.

Hello, Matthew

I’m contacting you on behalf of the band Blimp Rock, a light-hearted rock and roll group looking to raise funds for the world’s first music festival on a blimp.

It has been brought to my attention that the band wrote and recorded a song about The Blue Jays in 2012 entitled “Oh, Baseball.” The chorus of the song (as you will note at 2:11 if you listen to the track) is “And the people they come together.”

Given that “Oh, Baseball” was written and recorded in September 2012 and the Blue Jays slogan wasn’t used until February 18, 2015, it follows that Blimp Rock are the true inventors of the slogan. Furthermore, since the song is copyrighted, royalties should be paid to the band.

Please you let me know how much you would like to settle for. The band has an amount in mind.

Sincerely,

Peter Demakos, Legal Department. Blimp Rock Enterprises.

Blimp Rock complaint copy

Here’s more from the band’s Facebook page:

Being a venture capital band, it is important that we make every effort to cash-in on the ‪#‎BlueJays‬ hype.
You see, not to inflate our own airship, but not only did we predict the Blue Jays success in more ways than one, we invented their slogan.

In our song “Oh, Baseball”, written and recorded in 2012, a few lines make this blimpantly clear:

1. “That doesn’t mean there won’t be another Joe” – clearly a reference to Joey Bats Jose Bautista being the new Joe Carter.

2. “Oh, baseball” – Definitely what everyone was thinking after that 7th inning last night.

3. “And the people they ‪#‎ComeTogether‬” Yes, the chorus of our song (recorded in 2012!) has now become the Toronto Blue Jays slogan. All we ask is a modest $700 000 worth of royalties. Please make the cheque out to Blimp Rock Enterprises.

And of course, let’s go Blue Jays.

Like I said, this all seems to be grand gag. And good for them for finding a way to attract some attention. I’m sure they’ll settle for a pair of 500-level seats and a couple of foam fingers.

Good on Exclaim! for breaking the story.

 

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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