Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Two Against Owen -or- An Author Fooled
UPDATE: It seems that this was, infact, a joke by a bored Steely Dan. I fell for it and am properly embarressed for writing a very well written piece on it. I am happy to still have my albums. Please read on, but realize this is the work of an author fooled.
The concept of the annoying house guest is nothing new to movies. Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Madhouse, hell, there was even a movie called House Guest. Basically, the concept behind the new movie You, Me, and Dupree is nothing new or original. The entire draw of this movie is to see the cast acting through the situation. I think someone needs to inform Steely Dan of that fact.
On Steely Dan’s website, there is a letter written on July 17, 2006 from the two founding members, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, to Luke Wilson. The letter is in regards to Owen Wilson’s new movie, You, Me, and Dupree, and a resemblance to a song they recorded called “Cousin Dupree”.
“Cousin Dupree” appears on Steely Dan’s 2000 release “Two Against Nature”. The song tells, from what I can gather from the lyrics, the story of a family loser named Dupree who moves in with his Aunt Faye and lives on her couch. While living there, he spots Faye’s daughter, Janine, and falls in lust and spends the rest of the song trying to score with his aunt’s daughter. Incest anyone?
The movie You, Me, and Dupree does have the couch and the name in common, but I am not sure Owen Wilson’s character spends the movie chasing a relative. I think he is more the lovable loser he always plays who shows that he is not a loser after all. The Steely Dan song ends with Dupree still trying to get with his cousin; still a loser.
So far, no big deal, except that Steely Dan feels they have been ripped off and they have posted a letter to Luke Wilson to try and “do something or say something before the scene gets out of control and something even more uncool happens”.
The letter does start off nicely, sort of. The two founders of Steely Dan express that they enjoyed Bottle Rocket, a movie starring both Wilson brothers, and say the problem they have is not Owen’s fault at all. Then the insults start.
First, it is Luke they insult with great lines like: “you’re entitled to have whatever low standards you want in terms of what’s cool to get involved for the, you know, bread or whatever.” Then they go after Owen with threats of lawsuits: “He’s gonna go down hard for selling out like this and for trashing the work of some pretty heavy artists like us in the process.” Then they say they “wouldn’t ever think for a Hollywood minute of getting Owen mixed up” in lawsuits against the studio, but rather just want Owen to “do the right thing and come on down to our Concert in Irvine and apologize to our fans for this travesty.” They even invite him to bring his bongos. The threat comes up if Own refuses to come to the show.
“Otherwise, if this business goes unresolved, there are some pretty heavy people who are upset about this whole thing and we can’t guarantee what kind of heat little Owen may be bringing down on himself”. “Your bro may be creating an extremely retrograde reality mix for himself with his whole sellout moviestar game and there may be some righteous dues to pay, amen”.
The letter closes with a description, just in passing, of some Russian Navy SEAL guy they keep around who is great “to have in a bar fight or some kind of hassle in a foreign country”. He is a fan of Steely Dan’s and has never heard of Bottle Rocket..
All the quotes are straight from the letter. It is too good to bother taking out of context when it is the context that sinks them. I am not looking to sink Steely Dan either. If it is a fake, then I owe Steely Dan an apology. I have always been a fan of their music, but the threat of physical violence goes too far. Yes, physical violence, implied not stated directly, but still clearly there. They ruined any case they may have had by: 1) contacting the wrong Wilson brother; 2) typing this letter (I cannot imagine typing a letter where even the letter sounds stoned); and 3) threatening Owen Wilson with harm. Owen Wilson should feel warned and I will be getting rid of my Steely Dan albums. It's not that I am a major Wilson fan; it’s just that now I cannot listen to "Rikki Don’t Lose My Number" again without thinking of them sending this Russian SEAL after Rikki if she does lose it.
Again, I fell for a joke. I am keeping this up as much as a lesson to me as entertainment for those who want to laugh at me. I deserve it