We had a "Diamonds on my Windshield" joke all cued up, but we somehow lost the thread when the UPS guy hit the bell. No matter, it was probably less funny than hearing that Tom Waits number sung in Norwegian. What are we on about? Waits is suing General Motors's Opel division and ad agency McCann Erickson for running a series of car commercials in which an impersonator copies Waits's gravelly vocals. Waits had previously refused to participate in the campaign, which was broadcast in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. GM, saying it didn't knowingly seek out Waits for the ads, is passing the buck to McCann, which produced the ads in Germany. Waits, who happened to be cruising down the boulevard looking for the heart of Saturday night, was unavailable for comment. [Update: Big Rick Stuart has the full quote from Tom about his involvement in the suit. Classic Waits poetics after the jump.]
"Apparently," Waits said, "the highest compliment our culture grants artists nowadays is to be in an ad — ideally naked and purring on the hood of a new car. I have adamantly and repeatedly refused this dubious honor. Currently accepting in my absence is my German doppelganger. While the court can't make me active in radio, I am asking it to make me radioactive to advertisers."
Big Rick's blog [KFOG-FM]
Grammy Winner Tom Waits Sues GM [Edmunds]