Sunday, December 13, 2009-For Immediate Release
FURTHUR AND PRICELINE.COM REACH AMICABLE SETTLEMENT
Top level management for Furthur, Incorporated and Priceline.com have reached a settlement avoiding costly litigation for patent and trade infringements. Both the Grateful Dead community and the Online travel consumer market breathed a collective sigh of relief as the negotiated arrangement both resolved current tensions and paved the way for future cooperation between the two mega corporations.
A high level negotiating team for Priceline.com was led by none other than celebrity spokesperson William Shatner. Furthur, Incorporated was represented by musician, Bob Weir. The two met for several hours and were assisted in their discussions by representatives of several related and interested parties, such as: The American Interpretative Hearing Association which provided sign language interpretation of the negotiations, Lee Majors-representing the Bionic Ear, and others.
The main point of contention was the allegation that Bob Weir of Furthur, Inc was utilizing a vocal style copied almost verbatim of Priceline.com's William Shatner. This vocal style is known as "Shatnerizing" or "Shatneresque". Shatnerizing has been described as the use of a monotone, deadpan delivery with inflection meant to leave the listener puzzled and amused. It is characterized by the utilization of awkward pauses and unnatural phrasing between words and sentences. Mr. Shatner had perfected the technique and was perplexed when he learned that Weir was using his method while singing. Shatner stated " When I-------- Shatnerize------on the--------commercials,-------I do it-----as-----a joke. I--------am actually-------making fun------of------myself. I never-------imagined that--------someone would------try------and sing----using that style.". After listening to recordings of the new band Furthur, attorneys for both sides agreed that Weir had appropriated Shatners vocal style.
Attorneys for Furthur, Inc tried to argue that it was not intentional, that Mr. Weir was simply older now, and despite over 40 years in the rock and roll industry he had literally "forgotten how to sing". When deposed however, Mr. Weir admitted that he was "Shatnerizing" on purpose, stating that "these songs, especially the Garcia songs are just too good to sing right anymore. I chop them up on purpose. I mean, if Phil can sing the Jerry songs in his own way, I need a way to destroy those good old tunes too". When pressed, Weir agreed that he was trying to create a new style. He said "Look, we know what Jerry would have wanted and we know what the fans want to hear and we don't give a sh-t. Some folks think Phil and I sing the Garcia songs out of love and respect for Jerry, that's just not true. We trash his tunes cause we can. It's our band now. We are proving that we are just as much creative geniuses as Garcia was".
The deal will allow Weir to continue to "Shatnerize" his vocals with Furthur and will also signal a corporate merging between Priceline.com and Furthur, Inc. Weir has agreed to become the TV pitchman for Priceline.com upon Shatners retirement or death, whichever comes first thus assuring continuity for the travel corporation. Priceline.com has agreed to become the sole strategic partner to Furthur, Inc for fans to purchase flight and lodging arrangments.
The negotiations had some other side benefits as well. Former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart was brought back into the fold and cut a deal allowing him to portray "Mr. Spock" in any new Star Trek Movies that may be on the horizon.
Furthur guitar player and vocalist John Kadlecik had his entire Star Trek action figure collection signed by Shatner in the deal. "Not too many people know that I was a Trekkie first and a Deadhead later" JK stated. "To me, Space is more than a bathroom break during a show. It is the Final Frontier".
Furthur consultant Jill Lesh learned how to perform both the Vulcan "Death Grip" and the "Mindmelt".
(Hat tip: TheDHJ)
Technorati tags: Furthur, Bob Weir, William Shatner, Priceline