“Don a henley and take it easy,” recommended the Duluth Trading Co. in a recent e-mail advertisement touting its henley shirts. Maybe Don Henley hears a lot of henley jokes, because he was not amused by this one: he’s suing the company for “damages and other appropriate relief.” He’s also demanding the company stop making any reference, however oblique or punny, to his name and songs—despite the fact that the Eagles song “Take It Easy” was sung by Glenn Frey and co-written by Frey with Jackson Browne.
“Both Mr. Henley and the Eagles have worked hard, for over 40 years, to build their names and goodwill in the world community,” a Henley spokesman told the Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
“We are aware of the claims made by Mr. Henley,” a spokesperson for the Duluth Trading Co. told Rolling Stone. “Our policy is to not comment on the specifics regarding matters of litigation.”
The Duluth Trading Co. was founded in 1989 by two brothers in Duluth to manufacture and market their newly-invented “Bucket Boss,” a canvas tool organizer that hangs on a five-gallon bucket. The company has since greatly expanded and changed ownership, and is now based in Belleville, Wisconsin. In addition to mail-order sales, they operate six retail stores including an outlet store in Belleville and a Fridley store that just opened this week.