Bill Murray’s Attorney Offers Golf Shirts, Not Money, to Settle Doobie Bros Music Dispute

The music group threatened to sue actor for using one of the band’s songs in an ad for his line of golf shirts

Last Updated: September 25, 2020 @ 5:40 PM

Bill Murray’s lawyer has responded to a letter from the Doobie Brothers threatening to sue over Murray’s use of one of their songs in an ad for his line of golf shirts — but instead of offering money to settle, the attorneys offered, yes, golf shirts.

“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,” the letter from attorney Alexander Yoffe said. “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.”

The letter continued: “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.”

On Wednesday, the music group’s legal team sent Murray a formal request to get him to “Listen to the Music” and actually pay up for using the band’s song without permission. They said they’d be totally cool with him using the song, if only his shirts weren’t “so damn ugly.”

Murray and his brothers launched a line of golf shirts called Zero Hucks Given, and the lawyers recommended that because commercials for the shirts have used the Doobie Brothers song “Listen to the Music,” as well as other songs, without permission, the line should actually be called “Zero Bucks Given.”

Murray’s attorneys responded with wit as well, first thanking the lawyers on the opposing side for “finding levity in the law at a time when the world and this country certainly could use a laugh.”

However, Murray’s team denies any wrongdoing: “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.”

He signed off with, “At least that’s ‘what this fool believes.'”

See the full letter below.

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”.