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Don Henley Allegedly Wipes Out Indie Band’s ‘End of the Innocence’ Cover

Don Henley
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Eagles co-founder Don Henley is famous for a lot of things — he’s a fine songwriter, a gifted singer, and a darn good drummer, too. It seems he can also be pretty quick to round up his legal team when someone ticks him off.

Just ask the guys in Okkervil River, who say they recently found themselves on the wrong end of a cease-and-desist letter from Henley’s lawyers after recording a cover of Henley’s ‘The End of the Innocence’ as part of a free online mixtape. Assembled as a sort of companion piece to the band’s ‘Silver Gymnasium’ album, the mixtape finds the band offering their versions of the ’80s hits that Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff loved in his youth.

This batch of songs is actually the third installment in the group’s ongoing ‘Golden Opportunities‘ mixtape series, which includes covers of songs by Randy Newman, Jimmy Webb, Joni Mitchell, and others; on ‘Golden Opportunities 3,’ Okkervil River covered Wang Chung, Rosanne Cash, George Benson, Cyndi Lauper, and Henley — until Henley made them take the song down, anyway.

“I really love ‘The End of the Innocence’ sincerely, and it’s a real dick move, man,” Sheff told Australia’s the Music. “I guess he’s an old-fashioned guy who doesn’t understand. I mean, the f—ing thing was free! I don’t really get what his issue with it was, it’s not like I was making money: I figure that’s all he f—ing cares about anyway, know what I mean? It’s not like I was making money off it, but he still made me take it down.”

Two years ago, the Eagles threatened legal action against R&B singer Frank Ocean for distributing a free mixtape featuring a song called ‘American Wedding,’ in which Ocean sang over the backing track of ‘Hotel California.’ The song was taken down.

Note: We have reached out to Mr. Henley’s representatives for a statement on this matter. If one becomes available we will update this report accordingly.

Next: Top 10 Don Henley Songs

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