Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Steel-ing a Name?

OK, I have to start off by saying that I'm a big, HUGE Steely Dan fan. I have been since I was 10 years old and heard "Peg" for the first time. (I'd also heard "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" years earlier, but didn't know it was Steely Dan.) I love their fusion funk-jazz, their esoteric, wry take on the pitfalls of urban life and the way they weave it together with tons of humor. Even violence is classy in a Steely Dan song.

That said, I think they've had just a little too much doobie lately. Apparently, they are upset with Owen Wilson because his title character in the new probable flop "You Me and Dupree" bears too much resemblance to the protagonist of their 2000 Grammy winner "Cousin Dupree."

I've checked the lyrics of the song. Yes, it's about an annoying loser who crashes on his aunt's couch and develops the hots for his young cousin. I've not seen the movie, but I do know it's about a guy who ends up crashing on his newlywed friends' couch and making a pest of himself. Yes, pretty similar.

But let's think about this plot device, shall we? In just about every sitcom ever produced, there's at least one episode about one of the characters falling into the dog house and ending up having to spend a few nights on a buddy's couch before getting back into grace. And how many movies have you seen where this happens? Not such an original plot device.

Apparently, the Dans are really only upset about the use of the name "Dupree." And they want an apology from Owen Wilson. (Why Wilson? Why not Mike LeSieur, who wrote the film?)

This bodes ill for every poor kid who's had a bullfrog named Jeremiah, or a dog named Boo (or Patches, come to that), and even for me for once having a goldfish named Nilsson. (Don't ask.)

Here's the statement that Wilson's publicist should issue Steely Dan:

"Sure, I'll apologize for using the name 'Dupree.' Right after you apologize to William Burroughs' estate for stealing the name of his dildo."

I think the Dans are just bored. Hopefully, they'll drop this crap soon and do what they do best, which is making more great music.


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