Bill Murray is a comedy legend, but a hilariously brutal cease-and-desist letter he received from a lawyer for the Doobie Brothers is what’s getting the laughs today.
The actor owns a golf apparel brand called William Murray Golf and is selling a shirt called Zero Hucks Given, named for Huckleberry Finn.
Ads for the shirt feature the classic rock band’s 1972 hit “Listen To The Music,” but apparently without permission from the band, according to Stereogum.
That was unacceptable to the Doobie Brothers’ lawyer Peter Paterno, who sent a letter to the actor’s camp demanding he stop using the song without compensating the band.
“Listen to the Music is a fine song,” Paterno said in the letter. “I know you agree because you keep using it in 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.’”
Paterno pointed out that Murray has a pattern of not paying to use music in ads and other promos; a pattern the lawyer said the actor shares with the president.
“It seems like the only person who uses our clients’ music without permission more than you do is Donald Trump,” Paterno said.
The hits just kept on coming. Paterno even dragged Murray for his movie choices:
“This is the part where I’m supposed to cite the United State 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. And you already know that you can’t use music in ads without paying for it.”
Paterno suggested the real reason the band was angry may have been for aesthetic reasons.
“We’d be almost OK with it if the shirts weren’t so damn ugly. But it is what it is,” he wrote.
So far, Murray’s camp hasn’t responded, but you can see Paterno’s letter below.
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