The four-song EP Barnes & Barnes released in 1982 goes by the name of its best-known track, “I Had Sex with E.T.,” and is distinguished in Steven Spielberg’s biography as “perhaps the most egregious unauthorized product” related to the sci-fi blockbuster. Adding insult to injury, one half of the group that wrote and recorded the song was Bill Mumy, who had played Will Robinson on Lost in Space as a child actor. Had he no respect for the sacred fraternity of showfolk?
Barnes & Barnes’ erotic outer-space adventure in intellectual property rights was over almost as soon as it began. It is alleged that, when the duo had sold just 73 copies of the EP’s limited run of 200, they received a stern warning from Spielberg’s or Universal’s lawyers that compelled them to delete the release. (This Barnes & Barnes discography quotes Mumy’s allusion to “serious bigtime showbiz legal problems.”)
If Barnes & Barnes don’t sound familiar, their novelty hit “Fish Heads” will. As Art and Artie Barnes, Mumy and his partner Robert Haimer recorded a string of albums and singles for Rhino and their own Lumania label, and they collaborated on LPs with Wild Man Fischer and Crispin Glover. This number was just one in their series of kiss-and-tell songs, all of them set to the same one-minute-and-twenty-second backing track: “I Had Sex with Pac-Man” (on the same EP as “I Had Sex with E.T.”), “I Had Sex on TV,” “I Had Sex with Santa,” and the still-unreleased “I Had Sex with Madonna” and “I Had Sex with Your Mother.”
Speaking of the sacred fraternity of showbiz, Mumy and Haimer have a bunch of writing credits on records by the band America, and Mumy used to play with the late Miguel Ferrer of Twin Peaks fame in a blues band called the Jenerators. On the sole release by their previous band, Seduction of the Innocent, you can hear Ferrer sing “Sunshine Superman.”