Frank Ocean spats with Don Henley over ‘Hotel California’ sample


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You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave the reach of copyright law.

So says the Odd Future R&B savant Frank Ocean, who today took to his Tumblr page to say that his song ‘American Wedding,’ which sampled the bar-karaoke staple ‘Hotel California,’ had apparently ruffled the feathers of Eagles singer-songwriter Don Henley.


Ocean’s debut album is due this year, and it is much anticipated after his collaborations with Jay-Z and Kanye West on their ‘Watch the Throne’ album.

‘American Wedding’ originally appeared on Ocean’s debut mixtape, ‘nostalgia,ULTRA’, which last year was re-released by Def Jam, and Ocean has frequently performed it live. But on his blog today, Ocean said:

‘Don henley is apparently intimidated by my rendition of Hotel California..He threatened to sue if I perform it again. I think that’s...awesome.’

Right now, YouTube clips of the track have the audio muted, with the standard notice that ‘This video contains an audio track that has not been authorized by all copyright holders. The audio has been disabled.’

We’ve reached out to representatives of Henley for comment and confirmation, and will update this post with any new information. But for now, it looks as if the steely knives are out between two era-defining L.A. voices.


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-- August Brown