In their travels, Odd Future have rubbed more than a few people the wrong way, and now they seem to have ruffled the feathers of iconic rockers the Eagles. OF singer/songwriter Frank
Ocean took to his Tumblr to vent that founding Eagles member Don Henley has taken exception to Ocean’s “American Wedding,” a song that samples the band’s 1977 hit “Hotel California.”
“Don Henley’s label Rhino is apparently intimidated by my rendition of Hotel California,” Ocean wrote. “He
(they) threatened to sue if I perform it again.”
Henley’s spokesperson Larry Solters reached out to MTV News to clarify the matter. “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,” he said in a written statement. “This is not creative, let alone ’intimidating.’ It’s illegal.”
Ocean’s “American Wedding” is a standout from his free 2011 album Nostalgia, Ultra. Over the original Eagles track, Frank sings of a whirlwind romance that ends in heartbreak, employing some of the same harmonies that exist on the original record. During his live concerts, Ocean sings the song with graphics from the popular “Guitar Hero” video game playing in the background. It is one of the highlights of his live show, but according to the 24-year-old, he will face legal action if he continues to perform the song.
Solters says that isn’t the case — yet. “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,” he wrote.
On his Tumblr, Ocean wondered what all the fuss was about. “Sh–’s weird. Ain’t this guy rich as f—? Why sue the new guy,” he wrote. “I didn’t make a dime off that song. I released it for free. If anything I’m paying homage.”
Should the Eagles allow Frank Ocean to continue to perform “American Wedding”? Tell us what you think in the comments!