The burgeoning feud between Don Henley and Frank Ocean enters its second act today: Despite reports yesterday that the Eagles frontman had threatened to sue Ocean for sampling “Hotel California” in his song “American Wedding,” a spokesman for the band said today that Henley never did anything of the sort—but, uh... now that you mention it, that might not be a bad idea.
In a statement to Spin, Eagles representative Larry Solters clarified that Henley himself never threatened to sue Ocean. Instead, Solters said, it was Warner Music Group (who owns the track) that raised the legal issue. “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,” Solters added. “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.”
Warning shots fired? Perhaps. Ocean, however, isn't having it. The singer-songwriter repeated on his Tumblr yesterday that it was “fuckin’ awesome” that Henley (or his management) had threatened to sue. “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 [sic] against me & will probably show up on my credit report. Oh well,” he wrote. “I try to buy my shit cash anyway.”
“They 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,” Ocean continued. “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.” [via Pitchfork]
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