Reasons to shake it off

Life can’t be easy when you have the same name as a celebrity:

Taylor Swift, the woman, has shoulder-length blonde hair and blue eyes and receives gushing letters from fans all over the world. As it turns out, so does Taylor Swift the man.

Taylor Swift the man is a professional photographer who lives in Seattle and every day must move through the world shouldering the burden of sharing a name with a famous pop star. His online identity is pretty much ruined: His photography website won’t be surfacing in Google results anytime soon, and he had to stop using his email address ( for obvious reasons. The baristas at Starbucks even make fun of him when he gives them his name!

Nor will “Taylor A. Swift” work: he’s Adam, she’s Alison. And anyway, at thirty, he had the name first. Not that this matters a great deal.

Then there’s the guy suing Ms. Swift for ripping off his song:

An R&B singer named Jesse Braham, who records as Jesse Graham, claims in the suit, reported by multiple media such as CBS News, the Verge, and New York’s Daily News, that Swift stole lyrics for her hit from one of his songs, “Haters Gonna Hate,” in 2013.

The suit asserts that lyrics of Swift’s chorus (“Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate”) are similar to his lyrics, “Haters gonna hate / players gonna play.”

Plaintiff gonna lose the first time the defense plays this song from 2001:

If you ask me, the lawyers should’ve said no.


  1. fillyjonk »

    8 November 2015 · 3:07 pm

    Except for the fact that Taylor Swift (the singer) isn’t, as they say in the TV edit, a CLASS clown, I’d refer to this as being like the Michael Bolton issue from “Office Space.”

    (And I’d suggest the fellow going to Adam Swift, but as you note, he could argue nomenclatural priority.)

    (Never have I been so happy to have an ever-so-slightly unusual name)

  2. CGHill »

    8 November 2015 · 3:21 pm

    Then again, Michael Bolton the singer was originally Michael Bolotin.

  3. Lynn »

    8 November 2015 · 4:40 pm

    I live a little more than a mile from Bob Hope and a couple of decades ago I lived the next street over from Carole King.

  4. McGehee »

    8 November 2015 · 10:38 pm

    There seem to be about a million Kevins in the U.S. alone, and a disturbingly significant percentage of them turn out to be cousins of mine. Yet somehow I seem to be the only person with my surname who uses it online without a first name.

    In the event someone else does, and manages somehow to get more famous than me — by, for example, losing a limb in a freak selfie accident — I have fallbacks.

  5. Chuck »

    9 November 2015 · 11:32 pm

    I suspect the lawyers are doing it for the exposure. I mean, shoot, they even got mentioned in Dustbury. Not by name, sure, but they’re trolling for customers, people who are aggrieved. Most of them will be chum, but eventually if they are lucky they’ll land a prize that might actually turn into money.

  6. Fern »

    11 November 2015 · 10:12 am

    How unfortunate for the poor bloke.

    I wonder if they share the same level of talent too?

  7. CGHill »

    11 November 2015 · 2:02 pm

    That, I couldn’t tell you. (I went through about 15 pages of results trying to find Mr Swift’s photo business before giving up in despair.)

  8. Joseph Hertzlinger »

    11 November 2015 · 10:37 pm

    Mr. Swift should change his name to Tom.

  9. CGHill »

    12 November 2015 · 9:34 pm

    And Mr Braham’s suit has already been dismissed:

    “At present, the Court is not saying that Braham can never, ever, ever get his case back in court. But, for now, we have got problems, and the Court is not sure Braham can solve them.

    “As currently drafted, the Complaint has a blank space — one that requires Braham to do more than write his name. And, upon consideration of the Court’s explanation … Braham may discover that mere pleading BandAids will not fix the bullet holes in his case. At least for the moment, Defendants have shaken off this lawsuit.”

    Excuse me while I giggle.

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