Three men have faced a Manhattan court charged with conspiring to sell stolen lyrics, handwritten by Eagles’ Don Henley for their iconic 1976 album, Hotel California. The notes, totalling nearly 100 pages, are valued at over $1 million.
According to court documents, the pages include handwritten workings to seminal classic rock anthems like Hotel California and Life In The Fast Lane and were stolen from Henley in the late 1970s by an author conducting research for a biography on the Eagles. Craig Inciardi, who is a curator for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Glenn Horowitz and Edward Kosinski are now accused of trying to sell the items through auction houses, despite knowing they were stolen.
As Variety reports, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., said in a statement, “These defendants attempted to keep and sell these unique and valuable manuscripts, despite knowing they had no right to do so. They made up stories about the origin of the documents and their right to possess them so they could turn a profit.”
All three men have been charged with conspiracy in the fourth degree and face up to up to a four-year prison sentence if found guilty. Additionally, Inciardi and Kosinski were charged with criminal possession, while Horowitz faces a string of charges that includes two counts of hindering prosecution. All three men have pleaded not guilty.
According to Rolling Stone, the author who originally stole the Eagles documents sold them to Horowitz – a rare book dealer – back in 2005. Horowitz then allegedly recruited Inciardi – curator and director of acquisitions at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and former employee of Sotheby’s auction house – and Kosinski in an conspiracy to “sell off the documents to various auction houses, as well as trying to ‘coerce’ Henley into buying back the property that rightfully belonged to him.”
The wild tale of espionage also involved attempts to fabricate ownership of the documents with a plan that would fraudulently identify fellow Eagles founder, Glenn Frey as the source to “make this go away once and for all.”
The defendants’ attorney’s issued a statement pertaining to the innocence of all three men, saying, “The DA’s office alleges criminality where none exists and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of well-respected professionals. We will fight these unjustified charges vigorously. These men are innocent.”
Elsewhere, Rolling Stone reports that Eagles manager, Irving Azoff has expressed how the indictments expose "the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a facade of legitimacy.”
“No one has the right to sell illegally obtained property or profit from the outright theft of irreplaceable pieces of musical history,” Azoff said. “These handwritten lyrics are an integral part of the legacy Don Henley has created over the course of his 50-plus-year career.”
‘Life In The Fast Lane’
Let’s hope these valuable items find their way back to Don Henley soon!
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