Imagine me ‘n’ you ‘n’ surf ‘n’ turf

TurtleRemember that Applebee’s spot that featured a reworked version of the Turtles’ infectious 1967 hit Happy Together?

The original words, true to the era, celebrated love. Applebee’s rendition extolled the virtues of steak and shrimp.

Apparently the Turtles are not amused. Group members Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan are suing the restaurant chain and its ad agency, Foote, Cone & Belding, alleging their reputation was compromised. The musicians claim the commercial changed the lyrics, "from those of a sweet love song to a crass paean to shrimp and combination plates." Well, in a nutshell, yes.

The offending lyrics? The original’s line "Imagine me and you, I do/I think about you day and night, it’s only right" becomes "Imagine steak and shrimp, or shrimp and steak/Imagine both of these on just one plate."

But AdFreak is having a flashback of its own. To the 1980s, when Happy Together was used in a spot for Golden Grahams cereal. In that commercial, the line "I can’t see me loving nobody but you/ For all my life" became "Oooh, that golden honey and graham cracker taste/Of Golden Grahams."

Given the band’s lack of hits since the summer of love, maybe filing lawsuits is the only way they can move those budget-priced compilation CDs up the charts.

—Posted by Lisa van der Pool