Don Henley vs. Frank Ocean & Okkervil River

Don Henley Isn't Happy That People Are Using His Songs Without Permission

Frank Ocean, Don Henley and Okkervil River; three artists you usually don’t hear in the same breath. Now all that has changed. Some words have been exchanged and it would appear that The Eagles’ Don Henley is sick of not being compensated for the use of his songs.

A few years ago Frank Ocean was nearly sued by Henley over the song “American Wedding” which was a part of his mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra. The song included a sample of arguably the most well known Eagles song, “Hotel California”. When this was brought to Ocean’s attention, he took to Tumblr to voice his opinion saying, “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.”

Henley then spoke about the incident in a recent interview accusing Mr. Ocean of stealing. Don Henley went on to say, “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.”

Okkervil River appear to be the latest target in Henley’s crosshairs, being forced to remove a cover of “The End of the Innocence” from their website, but then released it as a part of their free mixtape Golden Opportunites 3. In this cover, Okkervil River actually altered the lyrics of the original song and Don Henley had this to say: “You can’t re-write the lyrics to somebody else’s songs and record it and put it on the internet. I’m sorry, but it wasn’t an improvement. We were not impressed. So we simply had our legal team tell them to take it down and they got all huffy about it.”

Will Sheff of Okervill River took to the group’s Twitter to vent his frustrations.