Don Henley Threatens To Sue Frank Ocean, Says Frank Ocean
Up top is a screenshot of a Frank Ocean Tumblr post claiming that the Eagles’ Don Henley is trying to sue him for his use of “Hotel California,” which Ocean heavily samples on last year’s excellent Nostalgia, Ultra mixtape. Pitchfork points out that the YouTube clips of Ocean performing the song no longer have sound, so apparently some action has been taken. I just Googled if wolves and eagles are natural rivals, and the first video it pulled up was some gory footage of an eagle hunting competition (!!!!) which I won’t link, but it would suggest that they aren’t exactly buddies.
UPDATE: Don Henley’s spokesperson, Larry Solters, has released a statement:
Frank Ocean did not merely “sample” a portion of the Eagles’ Hotel California; he took the whole master track, plus the song’s existing melody, and replaced the lyrics with his own. This is not creative, let alone “intimidating.” It’s illegal. For the record, Don Henley has not threatened or instituted any legal action against Frank Ocean, although the Eagles are now considering whether they should. Any further questions regarding this matter should be directed to Warner Music Group as it is the entity that currently owns the master recording and made the contact with Frank Ocean’s representatives concerning his infringement of the master recording. -Larry Solters
UPDATE: Frank fires back in an updated Tumblr post:
Don henley(’s label—Rhino) is apparently intimidated by my rendition of Hotel California..
He (They) threatened to sue if I perform it again. I think that’s fuckin awesome. I guess if I play it at coachella it’ll cost me a couple hundred racks. If I don’t show up to court, it’ll be a judgement against me & will probably show up on my credit report. Oh well. I try to buy my shit cash anyway. They also asked that I release a statement expressing my admiration for Mr. Henley, along with my assistance pulling it off the web as much as possible. Shit’s weird. Ain’t this guy rich as fuck? Why sue the new guy? I didn’t make a dime off that song. I released it for free. If anything I’m paying homage.