For many people addicted to TV in the 1960s or just addicted to classic re-runs, the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song is sure to ignite some kind of nostalgia.
The classic theme song was written by Sherwood Schwartz and George Wyle. It is considered one of the most recognized TV theme songs in the history of television. The song was also recorded by The Wellingtons during season one and then The Eligibles rerecorded it for season two.
“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale / A tale of a fateful trip / That started from this tropic port / Aboard this tiny ship.”
While some sing along happily to the lyrics, one couple was once terrorized by the classic theme song.
‘Gilligan’s Island’ Theme Song Annoys Neighbors
According to Entertainment Weekly, in 2020 a feud was in full display in a rich Southern California town. Rather than being a visible battle between neighbors, it was audible to anyone nearby.
A billionaire investor named Bill Gross would blast the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song at all hours. He’s currently dating former tennis professional Amy Schwartz. It wasn’t because he was a super fan. Rather, the billionaire was actively trying to annoy the couple next door.
His neighbors were tech entrepreneur Mark Towfiq and Carol Nakahara. The couple had complained about an “eyesore” on the Gross’ property, which had upset Bill Gross. Gross has a $1 million lawn sculpture on his property. This isn’t the eyesore, however. Instead, he had to install protective netting to protect the sculpture because vandals were throwing rocks at it. His neighbors said it blocked their view.
After reporting it, the city found no permits for the sculpture or protective netting. To top it all off, Gross was also said to not adhere to “good neighbor lighting rules.”
Theme Song Causes Emotional Distress
Rather than talking to them, Gross annoyed his neighbors in an act of revenge enough for them to eventually sue. The lawsuit claims harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress from having to listen to the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song on repeat.
The couples went as far as getting restraining orders against the others. They were forced to stay 50 yards away until the hearing on Oct. 30. It was all like a scene from “Neighbors” with Zac Efron and Seth Rogen. Except for the two rich neighbors, there was nothing funny or entertaining about the situation.
When Sherwood Schwartz wrote the lyrics for “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Island,” he likely didn’t expect it to be considered a form of emotional distress. However, its quirky and catchy tune could be enough to drive someone mad if blasted in the middle of the night over and over.