The Lakers may have looked terrible in yesterday’s opening round playoff loss to the New Orleans Hornets, but they’re number one with Florida composer Bobby Kent (pictured).
According to an article in the Miami Herald, the Lakers were the only pro sports team to respond to a 2010 letter sent by Kent to roughly 100 U.S. teams, in which he demanded payment for continued stadium use of his 1980-trademarked anthem “Stadium Doodads”. The Lakers coughed up the requested $3,000 for a composition that ends with the familiar sing-a-long chant of “Da-da-da-da-da-da… Charge!” There are several other SoCal connections at play:
Kent, who runs a music publishing business, says he came up with his composition when he was music director for the San Diego Chargers. “We would play that on first and third downs when the Chargers had the ball,” said Kent, who went by the name Ira Brandwein at that time. “The crowd would go nuts.”
There is some dispute over the origin of the piece. The University of Southern California marching band says the true composer is one Tommy Walker who, in a remarkable feat of musicianship and athleticism, served simultaneously as USC’s drum major and field goal kicker.
“The USC band has been playing this (“Trojan Warriors, Charge!”) as a stadium rally cry since the 1950s,” Associate Band Director Tony Fox said. “Everybody in Southern California knows that this is where it comes from.”
The 62-year-old Kent is suing ASCAP, which he claims failed to keep track of sports team use of the song and allowed total annual royalty payments to dwindle to between $30 and $100. He also insists he plans to go after all the U.S. pro sports teams that failed to respond to his letter. Da-da-da-da-da-da… Litigate!