Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Ha! this cant be for real? Or can it?

But, it is funny! Found on the TOO Board-

"Richmond Times-Courier
Wednesday, April 23, 200
Page A1

Ratdog Band Leader Weir Named in Lawsuit

RICHMOND — Citing breach of contract and mental anguish, Richmond attorney Harvey Schifflett on behalf of his client, Richmond resident George Quackenbush Smoot, filed suit in Richmond Circuit Court Tuesday. The co-defendants named in the suit are Robert Weir of Mill Valley, California and the Carpenter Center League, Inc. of Richmond.

According to documents filed at the court, Smoot's contract dispute and associated tort claim stem from his contention that Mr. Weir did not provide Smoot and other attendees of the Ratdog concert at the Carpenter Center on Grace Street Monday night with a "signature 'Bobby 'Ha!,'" referring to the falsetto "Ha!" that Mr. Weir routinely flourishes many of his original songs with during live performances. Mr. Smoot contends he felt cheated by the omission Monday night by the entertainer and insists he be made whole.

"Mr. Smoot's ticket — a de facto contract — implicitly entitled him to at least one 'Ha,' and I believe we will be able to prove that in a court of law," said Mr. Schifflett.

When pressed by reporters to elaborate on the suit's genesis, Mr. Smoot stated, "Bobby has provided a 'Bobby 'Ha!' at every one of the 73 shows I've attended," said the 44-year-old Smoot, a 1979 graduate of the University of Virginia. "The closest he came last night, man, was a half-hearted attempt during Estimated, but clearly he just mailed it in," Smoot said.

Smoot continued, "I mean other band members were pouring their souls out. At one point I thought Mark Karan (the band's lead guitar player) was simultaneously channeling Django Reinhardt and Jimi Hendrix, I mean he was just emoting during the second set. I believe he was speaking to people on a molecular level with his playing," Smoot said.

"Even that skinny new guy was working his ass off," Smoot added, referring to relative newcomer to the band, bass player Robin Sylvester.

Mr. Smoot, who lives in his parents' basement and is known to friends as "G.Q.," is employed with an organic agriculture co-op in King George County, and has attended every Grateful Dead concert and every performance of the band members' various side projects since 1976 in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.

"Every show between Hampton and Baltimore," Smoot said proudly.

While agreeing in principle with a reporter when asked if he believed that society is too litigious, Mr. Smoot said he believed this suit is different.

"Seeing Bobby and not getting a "Ha!" is like buying a bag of sacagawea and finding only stems and seeds," said the clearly injured Smoot, "though you probably couldn't sue anyone for that," he pondered. Mr. Schifflett quickly attempted to deflect attention from his client's ill-advised analogy by referencing a beach with no sand.

Asked by a reporter from Richmond Public Radio why the Carpenter Center League was named as a co-defendant, Mr. Smoot said his lawyer came up with the idea after he told him "about how all these uptight West End society-types were volunteering at the show as hostesses and selling slices of cake for charity right next to the Wharf Rats table. It was surreal," Smoot said.

Mr. Schifflett elbowed Mr. Smoot aside to cite the Virginia Code that provides for joint and several liability.

The press conference concluded as quickly as it began following a question from a reporter from WRVA about whether Mr. Smoot had any non-actionable grievances with the Monday evening performance by the Northern California-based rock group.

Mr. Smoot quipped, "well, that Pink Floyd tune they covered started out kinda sounding like 'Sex Farm,' you know, by Spinal Tap. I was really hoping it was going to be. That would have been cool."

Neither Mr. Weir nor a spokesperson for the Carpenter Center League was immediately available for comment on the pending "no 'Ha!' suit.""