What has two mouse ears, plays Livin’ On A Prayer, gets paid $200,000 for the pleasure and then gets taken to court over it? It’s Deadmau5, duh, with the Canadian DJ finding himself embroiled in a legal fiasco that all started with a simple request for a little bit of Bon Jovi.
The 32-year-old was performing at XS Nightclub in Las Vegas in 2011 when his agent approached him with the request for the 1986 classic. It came from businessman and high-roller Don Johnson, who regularly drops between $100,000 and $500,000 at the venue, and was delivered by the club’s co-owner Jesse Waits, who said Johnson was willing to pay Deadmau5 $200,000 to play the track.
Deadmau5, or Joel Zimmerman to his mama, dropped the rather unlikely single into his set, during which Johnson jumped on stage and had a little cuddle with the DJ while the club screens flashed “Don Motherfucking Johnson” (below). But when his agent and the club owner tried to collect the moolah from Johnson at a casino after the show, he reportedly wasn’t doing so well at the blackjack table and had his personal security team yell at them, with no cashola changing hands.
Obviously Deadmau5 doesn’t play Bon Jovi for free, so Waits paid him $50,000, while his agent and his agency, William Morris Endeavor, coughed up the other $150,000. But this is where things get complicated – Waits then launched a lawsuit against WME, claiming that the $50,000 was merely a loan which has never been repaid.
WME countersued and the whole situation now appears to have been settled out of court, but the golden rule of “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” has been broken and footage of the $200,000 song request has made its way online. Grab some popcorn and enjoy this cautionary five minutes worth of another old adage – “money can’t buy you cred in da club”.
Watch: Deadmau5 – Livin’ On A Prayer
(via Live For Live Music)