Don Henley Fires Back at Frank Ocean Over 'Hotel California' Sample
After Frank Ocean’s claim that Don Henley was “intimated” by his cover of “Hotel California,” the Eagles founder has issued a stern response, calling out the Odd Future singer for his unauthorized use of the song.
“Don Henley is apparently intimidated by my rendition of ‘Hotel California,'” wrote Ocean, who sampled the 1977 classic on “American Wedding” off his debut Nostalgia, Ultra. “He threatened to sue if I perform it again. I think that’s fuckin awesome.”
Henley, who has yet to pursue legal action, responded to Ocean’s claims in 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,” said Henley via his spokesperson, Larry Solters.
“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.”
If he performs the song, it will reportedly cost him a pretty penny. “I guess if I play it at coachella it’ll cost me a couple hundred racks,” said the “Novacane” singer. “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.”
Ocean maintains that he was just paying homage and didn’t profit off the song’s release. “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,” he wrote. “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.”