Earlier this week Bill Murray received one of the greatest cease and desist letters ever. The Doobie Brothers’ lawyer asked Murray to either pay or stop using their song “Listen to the Music” to promote his golf apparel line, William Murray Golf. More specifically a shirt called “Zero Hucks Given”.
Their lawyer insulted the brand itself as well as Murray’s choices of movies (Garfield).
Bill Murray’s lawyer, Alexander Yoffe, has responded with an equally tongue-in-cheek letter that includes several Doobie Brothers song title puns and offers to outfit the band in William Murray shirts to help make them fans of the brand.
“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.”
Here’s Yoffe’s full letter:
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”.