Wrestling Over Use of Some Old Wrestling Theme Songs in Dallas Federal Court

Michael Hayes.JPG
Michael Hayes in the Fabulous Freebirds' video for "Badstreet U.S.A."
Wrestling fans 'round these parts remember the song "Badstreet U.S.A." -- and if you don't, you will. Riiiight -- it was the theme song for Michael Hayes (who handles the, um, vocals?) and The Fabulous Freebirds, hated rivals of Kevin, David and Kerry Von Erich back in the glory days of Channel 39 and Jack Adkisson's World Class Championship Wrestling at the old Sportatorium. Long story short: That song, along with the immortal "Freebird Forever," was written by one James Papa, who, turns out, lives in Irving. And BMI confirms: Papa wrote a number of theme songs on behalf of pro wrestlers back in the 1980s. For Ron Simmons, Papa offered "Don't Step to Ron"; for Cactus Jack, "Mr. Bang Bang"; for Rick Rude, "Simply Ravishing"; for Marc Mero, "Johnny B. Badd." There's more, but you get it.

Point is: In Dallas federal court yesterday, Papa filed suit against a North Carolina-based website, HighSpots.com, that specializes in all things wrestling -- including DVDs from the WCCW days, among them a few curious Von Erichs best-ofs. A lot of Papa's music is contained on those old videos, and Papa's unhappy about that: "These matches begin with each wrestler or team of wrestlers entering the ring to their 'introduction' music," says the suit. "Many of Plaintiff's original musical creations were used by these wrestlers for their live performances as well as the televised versions. The videos Defendant is selling contain Plaintiff's original music."

Then there's the other issue: The website's use of the "Badstreet U.S.A." logo, to which Papa says he owns the trademark. Again, not cool -- hence the suit, alleging trademark infringement, copyright infringement and violation of the Lanham Act. James Papa
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10 comments
Chuck G.
Chuck G.

It's Michael P.S. Hayes!

Joe
Joe

That is Jimmy Papa on the drums in the video

just sayin'
just sayin'

"The furthur down the block you went, the badder it got"

I had Badstreet on my last phone. Anytime I was at a Barnes and Noble or any quiet waiting room, I would make it my ringtone and hope that someone would recognize it. It only worked once. The guy gave me a smile and started singing "Tom Sawyer" under his breath. I think I was literally smiling for the rest of the day.

gabbahey
gabbahey

Thanks for getting me to remember that ridiculous song. Thought I forgot about all that nonsense.

Jugg
Jugg

Bad Street, Atlanta GA...The baddest street in the whole USA

Steve
Steve

So is Geddy Lee filing suit against the shotgunned corpse of Kerry Von Erich?

Bob
Bob

Man, I miss the days of fiefdom-era, non-steroid wrestling. Seriously. I loved watching that stuff.

MoronDog
MoronDog

I miss Skandor Akbar.

Chuck G.
Chuck G.

I miss the Missing Link, Bruiser Brody, and countless Von Erich's among others.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Little 10 or 12 yo Josh's broken groin used to jam out to his copy of Badstreet USA..on his record player.

Stay Hard James Papa!

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