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Ad Mad

Sonoma County artist Tom Waits has laid the smack down on General Motors with claims that a sound-alike's voice was used in a European advertising campaign for the carmaker's Opel division. Waits issued a warning to GM in April threatening the action, finally putting it forward on Sept. 15 and including the advertising agency McCann-Erickson in the suit. In a release to the press, Waits writes, "Apparently, 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." Waits has in the past successfully sued Frito-Lay over its use of his sound to shill Doritos and has led suits against both Audi and the Lancia Italian carmaker. "Commercials are an unnatural use of my work," Waits said when he first challenged GM in April. "It's like having a cow's udder sewn to the side of my face. Painful and humiliating."

Turn on the Red Light

If it's not Col. Mustard in the library with the wrench, then it could be Matthew Vernon Lakin in American Canyon with the night-vision goggles. Vernon, 38, was arrested at an area construction site "red-eyed" on suspicion of trespassing and prowling. His arrest follows a series of construction-locale burglaries. Not only did Vernon have his nifty James Bond specs with him when he was nabbed, but he also had a red-lens flashlight, according to police. This proves Sting's advice that you don't have to turn on the red light.

Hurricane Catrina

Furry friends who became victims of the devastating Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast are arriving by the hundreds in Marin County and other area shelters. The Marin Humane Society is promoting Operation Orphans of the Storm and expects over 1,000 animals in their shelter alone over the next week. The Humane Society is accepting donations and applications to become animal foster caregivers and is in need of supplies. While the outpouring of animal affection has been overwhelming, an appreciative Humane Society praises local efforts while noting that the need for volunteers at the shelter has been filled—for now. Contributions may be made online at the group's site www.marin-humane.org or via phone at 415.506.6231.

--Chip McAuley

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From the September 21-27, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

Copyright © 2005 Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

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