By Jessica Kiang | The Playlist June 8, 2012 at 9:57AM
5. "No offense guys, but I've gotta get my own lawyer."
The famous Ray Parker Jr vs Huey Lewis copyright case has an unresolved postscript…
Well, no, we couldn’t get through a post about “Ghostbusters” without mentioning its iconic song. Ray Parker Jr was nominated for an Original Song Oscar for the theme tune, but lost out, in a particularly memorable song category, to Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You” from “The Woman in Red” (seriously though, the other nominees were the two big songs from “Footloose” and Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds” - tough year). Of course, “Original” Song is somewhat ironic, as famously the singer was sued by fellow '80s soundtrack stalwart Huey Lewis for ripping off his band's “I Want a New Drug” for the theme’s main riff. That they then settled out of court, you probably did already know. However waaay later, in 2001, the two were at loggerheads again as Parker filed suit against Lewis over comments Lewis made on a VH1 “Behind the Music” episode. Parker claimed that Huey mentioning the fact that the out of court settlement actually entailed him being paid off, violated the terms of the non-disclosure agreement the antagonists had signed. And you can see his point: settling out of court amicably could mean anything, but that Lewis was given money suggests an admission of culpability on Parker’s part. However, try as we might (and we really have) we cannot find any post-2001 reference to this new lawsuit and have no idea who won -- so we're offering a 35ft-long 600lb twinkie to any of you who can definitively tell us.* In the absence of that information, we going to have to assume that either the suit was dropped by Parker, or settled out of court as well. Which in itself opens up the tantalising prospect that, in the cyclical way of things, in a few years time Parker will shoot his mouth off about that case and Lewis will counter sue… and eventually society will devolve into Lewisites and Parkerites who battle eternally across the blasted wastelands of the planet.
We dunno, anyway - call us tin-eared, but we don’t think these two songs sound anything alike:
Ghostbusters is ranked as the 78th biggest-grossing film (domestically) of all time, one spot above fellow 1984 release “Beverly Hills Cop.” However it is second to the Eddie Murphy vehicle (the shooting of which, coincidentally, meant that Murphy had to turn down the role of Winston Zeddemore which was originally written with him in mind; the role was subsequently rewritten and somewhat reduced) in the 1984 B.O. charts, where “Beverly Hills Cop” actually rides high. How so? It was actually “Ghostbusters”’ rerelease in 1985 that saw it take in the requisite few mil more to boost its gross beyond that of Axel Foley's.
*twinkie offer not real or legally binding.