Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Nation's dads on the brink of war as Bill Murray and The Doobie Brothers feud

Illustration for article titled Nation's dads on the brink of war as Bill Murray and The Doobie Brothers feud
Photo: Rocco Spaziani/Archivio Rocco Spaziani/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Today, in “Lawyers of funny people do not automatically become funny themselves” news: An attorney for Bill Murray—and, specifically, for the William Murray Golf company, through which the beloved actor sells various pieces of athletic gear for that least athletic of sports—has now responded to a letter issued by attorneys for The Doobie Brothers, asking the company to please pay them if it’s going to use the band’s music in their ads. The company’s lawyer, Alexander Yoffe, then wrote back, stating, essentially, that the use of “Listen To The Music” in those same commercials didn’t constitute harm, and so they were, presumably, going to keep on playing the song.


All well and good. (For a “Who will America’s dads choose when warfare inevitably breaks out?” sense, anyway.) Except, Jesus Christ, the adjacency to comedy icon Bill Murray in this fairly normal legal skirmish appears to have done a number on the minds of everyone involved, because, well, okay, just read these fucking letters:

Admittedly, Doobie Brothers attorney Peter T. Paterno definitely starts it, filling his otherwise standard legal request with references to the Garfield movies, trashing the company’s shirts, and drawing parallels to Donald Trump’s frequent use of music by people who cordially hate his guts. But Yoffe really does escalate things to the moon, filling his response with numerous references to Doobie Brothers’ songs, offering the band free shirts in lieu of payment, and just generally trying to manifest a sort of Murray-esque smartassery that not even Bill Murray can typically assay these days. What makes it all weirder is that there’s still some pretty pointed legal bickering going on here, including the suggestion that the Brothers’ law firm is being hypocritical for taking this stance, after one of its members tried to defend Robin Thicke during the “Blurred Lines” case. In other words, this whole thing carries the veiled hostility of a dude gritting his teeth while telling jokes that you’d damn well better fucking laugh at, buddy—and that’s far more of a Chevy Chase energy than a Murray one, now that we think about it.