Tom Waits is claiming that his distinctive whiskey-and-cigarettes rasp has been appropriated for a less-then-beneficent cause: he is suing General Motors’ European division for using a Waits sound-alike to hawk its Opel car line in Scandinavia. According to yahoo.com, Waits commented, “Commercials are an unnatural use of my work…It’s like having a cow’s udder sewn to the side of my face. Painful and humiliating.”
Waits has been down this legal road before. Back in the early ’90s, he sued Frito-Lay for ostensibly copying his voice for a Doritos spot. The critical favorite was victorious in that round–Frito-Lay awarded Waits 2.5 million in damages. But ad execs, take heed: Tom Waits recently donated several tracks to a group called War Child Music to raise money for children in post-conflict nations.