Don Henley already had a grudge against Frank Ocean because of Ocean’s incorporation of “Hotel California” into the Nostalgia, Ultra track “American Wedding.” After that, Henley claimed Ocean doesn’t understand copyright law, but I’d claim that Henley doesn’t understand post-modern culture or how powerful an artistic allusion can be.
Anyway, Henley is yelling at clouds again in a new interview with The Guardian, making some even more pointed comments about Ocean. So what did Henley say this time? He’s still ranting about Ocean’s interpolation of “Hotel California,” for one thing:
Some of these young kids have grown up in a world that doesn’t understand or respect copyright material or intellectual property. They look at songs as interactive playthings. I didn’t think he was cool. I thought he was a talentless little prick. And I still do.
Of course, these comments about one of our generation’s foremost R&B stars comes right after some background about how Henley grew up listening to “black music,” and picked up his rasp by performing in Texas R&B dives. He seems incapable of acknowledging the deep influence R&B had on the Eagles and his own music, even while he skewers Ocean for something that amounts to an homage.
Henley goes on from there, though, saying he would’ve been just as mad if Kanye West had done the same thing, and adding that he doesn’t support the Yeezy presidential campaign:
I’d be just as pissed off. I don’t like him, either. He won’t be president. He’s either incredibly arrogant or incredibly insecure, or some combination of the two.
These two pointed critiques stick out in an article that paints 68-year-old Henley as shy and reserved, and has him quipping about how growing old is nice because it mellows you out:
You finally bury the hatchet with so many people from the past that you had a tenuous or competitive relationship with — it feels good.
Huh. Maybe he’ll mature enough in the next couple of years to re-think his hostility toward Ocean and Kanye.