Friday, October 14, 2011

A Moron In Another Hurry, Or: Groucho's Revenge

I'm back with another copyright infringement yarn and I'm really hoping you guys can help me make heads or tails of this one because I'm completely flummoxed.  This one was $ettled recently but I still don't understand what the problem was in the first place.  Admittedly, though, I am a moron and not a lawyer.

Back in the late 70s the Bellamy Brothers wrote and recorded a monster hit called "If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me?"  Before you roll your eyes at the cheesy pick up line, consider that it's a Groucho Marx one liner.  Nobody outwits Groucho, right?  Howard Bellamy talked about Groucho's eyebrow waggling, cigar chomping flirtation in an interview at Songfacts.  It's also been used as a pick up line both in life (gag) and on television in the years since.

In January 2011 Britney $pears released a song called "Hold It Against Me."  That's when the trouble started.  The Bellamy Brothers were really upset that no one remembered them Britney would rip them off.  They issued a statement acknowledging that while Britney is a "talented gal" they felt "completely ripped off."  Just so we're keeping score, the Bellamys used a phrase originated by someone else that had passed into common use but were jacked off that someone else did the same thing with the same phrase.  There was also some insane nonsense about how if you sped up the Bellamy Brothers song it could sound similar.  In any case, they were talking to their lawyer.

Hear that sound?  That's the sound of the karma bus revving it's engine and it sounds suspiciously like Groucho snickering. 

Before the Bellamys had a chance to file suit the songwriting team behind "Hold It Against Me" smacked them with a defamation and libel suit.  The Bellamys apologized and the suit was dropped.  But, again, what wa$ the problem in the fir$t place?  And why are we upset with the singer, Britney $pears?  It's a conundrum. 

Huh.  Coupla typos up there.  Oops...S key not working again.

I'm not a Britney fan so today's song isn't "Hold It Against Me" or anything else she's done.  Today's song, "Cover of the Rolling Stone" by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, has nothing to do with any of this.  Maybe.  Have a good weekend.


  1. Ha ha ha ha ha!
    I love your ironic skewering of the B boys and th B girl. Not to mention the song. Priceless!
    Cheers! Grati

  2. Dr. Hook. Boy, does that bring back memories.

  3. Loved how many covers were of The Beatles (together and solo). Good choice of song but I gotta show my age for a second...the only reason why I am familiar with that song is the movie Almost Famous. Sorry but its the truth! But you still love me anyways, right?

  4. I love Groucho! Nice to know he's still making mischief from beyond the pale. :)

  5. @phylly...kind of a Very Silly Avenging Angel, lol!

    @librachick19777...did we see that together? I remember seeing it in the theatre I just don't remember who was with me.

    @Grati...this one was definitely fun to write! of my favorite memories of my grandfather was the time he had to pull over as he was driving because this song was on and the line "I got a freaky old lady named Cocaine Katie" just cracked him up.


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