Bill Murray and The Doobie Brothers send ‘fun’ legal letters


Illustration from the article titled Fathers of Nations on the Brink of War as Bill Murray and The Doobie Brothers Argue

Photo: Rocco Spaziani / Archives Rocco Spaziani / Portfolio Mondadori via Getty Images

Today, in “Lawyers for funny people don’t automatically turn funny themselves” news: A lawyer for Bill Murray – and, specifically, for the William Murray Golf company, through which the beloved actor sells various pieces of sports equipment for the athletic lesser of sports – has now responded to a letter issued by attorneys for the Doobie Brothers, asking the company to pay them if they want to use the band’s music in their commercials. Company attorney Alexander Yoffe then responded, essentially stating that using “Listen To The Music” in those same commercials was okay, and so they were likely to continue playing the song.

Everything is fine. (Crazy an “How will American fathers choose when war inevitably breaks out? Meaning, anyway.) Jesus christ, the contiguity to comedy icon Bill Murray, in this pretty normal legal skirmish, seems to have made a number in the minds of everyone involved, because, well, okay, just read those fucking letters :

Certainly, Doobie Brothers attorney Peter T. Paterno is definitely throwing it out, fulfilling his otherwise standard legal request with references to the Garfield films, trash corporate shirts and draw parallels with those of Donald Trump frequent use of music by people who heartily hate his guts. But Yoffe really does push things back to the moon, filling his response with plenty of references to Doobie Brothers songs, giving the band free shirts instead of payment, and in general trying to manifest some sort of Murray-esque smartassery that even Bill Murray usually can’t test these days. What makes all of this even stranger is that there is still some pretty sharp legal wrangling going on here, including the suggestion that the Brethren law firm is hypocritical for taking this position, after a of its members tried to defend Robin Thicke during the “Blurred Lines” affair. In other words, this whole thing stirs up the veiled hostility of a dude clenching his teeth while telling jokes you’d better laugh about, mate – and that’s a lot more of a Chevy Chase energy than a Murray, now that we think about it.


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