Bill Murray And The Doobie Brothers Are In A Surprisingly Funny Legal Battle Over ‘Listen To The Music’

As if you didn’t have your fill of unexpected headlines in 2020, we now have the Doobie Brothers and Bill Murray in a legal battle to get us over the top. Bill Murray’s golf clothing company is officially in a legal fight with a lawyer representing the Doobie Brothers over the use of a song, Listen To The Music, in an ad for the company’s clothing.

According to The New York Times, Peter T. Paterno, an attorney for the band, is seeking payment for use of the song while advertising a polo shirt for William Murray Golf. And he even brought up Donald Trump’s infamous unauthorized use of songs in the letter he reportedly sent Murray.

On behalf of the Doobie Brothers, Mr. Paterno accused Mr. Murray of using the song “Listen to the Music,” an upbeat call for world peace that peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard chart in 1972, in an ad for a $50 polo called Zero Hucks Given.

The lawyer also said William Murray had used songs owned by other clients without permission. “It seems like the only person who uses our clients’ music without permission more than you do is Donald Trump,” Mr. Paterno wrote.

The lawyer, a music industry veteran who has taken on Joe Walsh and others on behalf of clients for using music without approval, wrote a fairly pithy filing that also called the shirts “ugly” and cited that as reason the band started the complaint in the first place.

“We’d almost be OK with it if the shirts weren’t so damn ugly,” the lawyer, Peter T. Paterno, wrote in a letter sent to Mr. Murray on Wednesday.

The letter contains a number of jokes and references to Murray’s career, which you can read in full below.

It’s unclear what will happen next with the lawsuit, but it certainly got some attention on Thursday.

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