Frank Ocean is facing a lawsuit over his use of Eagles’ classic “Hotel California” on “American Wedding,” a cut included on his breakout mixtape Nostalgia/Ultra.
In a post on his Tumblr page, the OFWGKTA member said that Don Henley threatened to sue him if he performed the song again. “Don henley is apparently intimidated by my rendition of Hotel California..,” he wrote. “He threatened to sue if I perform it again. I think that’s fuckin awesome.”
Last year, FO performed the track during several performances on a mini-tour. During the track, he cued up Guitar Hero and performed the guitar solo on a giant screen mid-concert.
UPDATE: Eagles’ rep has responded to Frank Ocean’s comments, claiming that he took the entire original track and deemed it “illegal.” Read the full statement below (via LA Times).
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.