The Eagles’ Don Henley makes fresh attack on Frank Ocean for ‘song theft’

Ocean sampled 'Hotel California' on his 2011 mixtape track 'American Wedding'

The Eagles‘ Don Henley has made a fresh attack on Frank Ocean for alleged ‘song theft’, regarding the Odd Future cohort’s 2011 track ‘American Wedding’, which saw him singing new lyrics over ‘Hotel California’.

Two years after The Eagles threatened to sue Ocean, Henley has accussed Ocean of being “arrogant” over the matter. Speaking to The Sydney Daily Telegraph, Henley commented:

“Mr Ocean doesn’t seem to understand US copyright law. Anyone who knows anything should know you cannot take a master track of a recording and write another song over the top of it. You just can’t do that. You can call it a tribute or whatever you want to call it, but it’s against the law. That’s a problem with some of the younger generation, they don’t understand the concept of intellectual property and copyright.”


‘American Wedding’ featured on Ocean’s debut mixtape ‘Nostalgia, Ultra’. It has since been taken off the release, however, it is still possible to stream the song online. Henley went on to say that Ocean “was quite arrogant about it. We tried to approach him calmly to talk reason to him via his managers and his attorneys and he wouldn’t listen. So finally we threatened to bring legal action against him. He was clearly in the wrong. I wouldn’t dream of doing something like that. What kind of ego is that? I don’t understand it.”

Ocean previously insisted that he was “paying homage” to The Eagles‘ Don Henley on his track ‘American Wedding’ and didn’t deserve to be sued. Writing online he said: “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.”