Don Henley Not Taking It Easy on Pun-Loving Clothing Company

Don Henley, 1980s
LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Don Henley on stage in the late 1980s.

Don Henley is suing a Duluth Trading Company over an email advertisement that the Wisconsin-based clothing company might have figured was a harmless pun, but the singer sees as an unauthorized use of his name, trademarks and publicity rights. 

The Eagles front-man takes issue with marketing that reads, “Don A Henley and Take It Easy,” seemingly a reference to the band’s breakthrough song “Take It Easy” co-written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey.

Henley, who is quite protective of his intellectual property, has sued the clothing manufacturer in a California district court. He's alleging that the company's advertisement takes advantage of his celebrity and is likely to cause confusion among consumers about the source of sponsorship. He's represented by Melanie Howard and Thomas Jirgal at Loeb & Loeb.

A spokesperson for Henley told THR, "This kind of thing happens with some degree of frequency and the members of the Eagles always defend their rights, often at great expense. One would think that the people in charge of marketing for these corporations would have learned by now that U.S. law forbids trading on the name of a celebrity without permission from that celebrity.

"Both Mr. Henley and the Eagles have worked hard, for over 40 years, to build their names and goodwill in the world community. They pride themselves on the fact that they have never allowed their names, likenesses or music – individually or as a group – to be used to sell products. Their names are their trademarks and, therefore, they take offense when an individual or a business tries to piggyback and capitalize on their art, their hard work and their goodwill in the public arena," the spokesperson continued.

Here's Henley's complaint. The objectionable advertisement can be found on the fifth page.

This article was first published by The Hollywood Reporter