Frank Ocean May Face Eagles Lawsuit Over ‘Hotel California’ Sample

Eagles reps say "American Wedding" did far more than sample their song - he used the whole master track.

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud

Odd Future have made their share of enemies with misogynous lyrics, violence towards the media and beyond, but in a new development one of their own has drawn the ire – and possibly litigation – from iconic rockers The Eagles. 

Founding Eagles member Don Henley has taken exception to Ocean's "American Wedding," a song that samples the band's 1977 hit "Hotel California". The term "samples" is a bit generous, however, as it appears that almost all but the vocal track was used in the new song.

Larry Solters, a representative for The Eagles (specifically Henley) has responded to Frank Ocean's claims that the band's drummer/singer is 'intimidated' by the song use without the group's permission. "Don Henley's label Rhino is apparently intimidated by my rendition of Hotel California," Ocean wrote. "He (they) threatened to sue if I perform it again."

The rep blasts Ocean in a full statement and clarifies Henley and the Eagles' position:

"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," the rep said in a written statement. "This is not creative, let alone 'intimidating.' It's illegal."

As for claims of a lawsuit, Solters says that isn't the case – yet, anyway. "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," he wrote.

Ocean's "American Wedding" is among the highlight tracks from his free 2011 album Nostalgia, Ultra. On his Tumblr, Ocean lamented the old guard holding their product so tightly. "Sh–'s weird. Ain't this guy rich as f—? Why sue the new guy," he wrote. "I didn't make a dime off that song. I released it for free. If anything I'm paying homage."