Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Don Henley is still pissed at Frank Ocean, Okkervil River for “stealing” his songs

Back in 2012, Don Henley and/or The Eagles made news by reportedly almost suing Frank Ocean for sampling “Hotel California” in his song “American Wedding.” For his part, Ocean thought it was “fucking awesome” that the Eagles would be so up in arms. But Warner Music Group, who owns the track, said Ocean’s use of the track was “not creative” but “illegal.”


Fast-forward two years, and Henley’s still pissed about the whole thing. In an interview with Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, Henley said Ocean’s homage is illegal, as is an Okkervil River cover of “The End Of The Innocence.” Henley likened these musicians to street toughs who “go into a museum and paint a mustache on someone else’s painting,” saying, “The younger generation… don’t understand the concept of intellectual property and copyright.”

Though Henley argues that it’s not cool to “rewrite the lyrics to somebody else’s songs and record it and put it on the Internet,” Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff says he doesn’t understand what the big deal is, considering the band just released the track online for free as part of its Golden Opportunities 3 mixtape. Sheff told Music that Henley’s actions were “a real dick move,” saying he’s “an old-fashioned guy who doesn’t understand.” He also tweeted that he’d “be honored if Don Henley took one of my songs and rewrote the lyrics and recorded it,” saying, “That’s how folk music works.”

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