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The Post  
 
The Eagles consider pursuing legal action against Frank Ocean
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 03/02/12 5:47 pm | updated: 03/02/12 5:47 pm
 
The Eagles are considering legal options against Odd Future vocalist Frank Ocean because of his "Hotel California" rip off track "American Wedding". The track appears on Ocean's 2011 mix tape "Nostalgia, Ultra". The tracks liberally borrows from the melody of The Eagles signature song and is unmistakable, although the lyrics are completely different.

Don Henley of The Eagles reached out to Frank Ocean this week to explain their concerns and legal possibilities. Here is Ocean's initial response that was posted on his target="_blank">tumblr: "He (They) threatened to sue if I perform it again. I think that’s fuckin awesome. I guess if I play it at coachella it’ll cost me a couple hundred racks. If I don’t show up to court, it’ll be a judgement against me & will probably show up on my credit report. Oh well. I try to buy my shit cash anyway. They also asked that I release a statement expressing my admiration for Mr. Henley, along with my assistance pulling it off the web as much as possible. Shit’s weird. 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."

Seems that Frank Ocean is missing the point. If he thinks he is paying homage, it's now only in retrospect because he got caught. There was no credit given originally nor mechanicals for the original sample/song to indicate he gave respect to The Eagles. He just took the melody. He might not have made any direct money off the free mix tape he released, but he makes money off of the promotion and publicity it gives him to sell other albums and tickets to shows etc. "Nostalgia, Ultra" was #24 on Rolling Stones Best 50 of 2011. That track inspired countless youtube karaoke videos as well, so it will be near impossible to remove it from the internet.

The Eagles responded just as sternly on Thursday through band spokesman Larry Solters:

"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."

Listen to Frank Ocean's American Wedding here
 
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