In Defense of William (Bill) Murray, who needs no defending

You may have seen the recent story in the New York Times where the lawyer for the Doobie Brothers (kids, this was a really popular band back in the 1970s, and YES you’ve heard their music – indeed the song “Listen to the Music” is a Doobie Brothers jam) publicly called out William Murray for using their song without license.

For those who don’t know, William Murray is a clothing line, mostly for golfers, and William Murray is, of course, Bill Murray. This guy:

He’s long had this clothing company, and while it’s often overpriced, there’s some fun stuff in there. Listen, I think we all agree that Bill Murray is awesome. He is part of a group of films that are just core comedy canon – Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, What About Bob?, Scrooged…not to mention his Wes Anderson renaissance of Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom and others, as well as gems like Lost in Translation and many, many others.

I think we can also agree that his performative nature at the AT&T Pro-Am is exceptionally tired and redundant and … also amusing.

Do you see that plaid? It’s part of a lot of his clothing line. I dig it. And his shirts can be both evocative of his movies (there are Caddyshack and What About Bob? inspired shirts) or just generally fun casual shirts for on or off the course.

Which is why THIS line from the Doobie Brothers’ lawyer hit a bit hard:

“This is the part where I’m supposed to cite the United States 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. We’d almost be OK with it if the shirts weren’t so damn ugly. But it is what it is.”

Peter T. Paterno, in letter published in the New York Times, September 24, 2020.

I mean, how DARE you, good sir? Ugly? I SAY NO.

Look at this gem – those are little highball classes. Some are spilled! What a great shirt to wear to a cocktail party. I should know, I own this and get compliments on it every time.

Do you like Caddyshack? There’s only one correct answer, and this shirt evokes Carl Spackler’s legendary moment where he’s pretending to be winning The Masters:

Statistics say that you, like AC and Bobbycuts, are Cubs fans, like Mr. Bill Murray. Then, how can you NOT like this bad boy?

Actually, that one is pretty gross. And while, honestly, we are not getting paid to hawk this guy’s stuff, look at these shorts. I’m looking at them right now BECAUSE I’M WEARING THEM AS I TYPE THIS:

By the way, I ALSO own that shirt, and those little circles are actually little lime, lemon and orange slices! How adorable! There are even little circles made up of salt shakers? Why? I have no idea. But I’m INTO IT.

Anyway, this was all quite clearly a marketing ploy by the Doobie Brothers lawyer to get some exposure and I’m sure a small check from Mr. Murray. If we can help make that check a little less painful for the multi-millionaire Mr. Murray by sending him some new orders, it’s the least we can do for all the laughs he’s provided along the way.

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