Three men charged with conspiring to illegally sell lyrics from Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ album

Three men charged with conspiring to illegally sell lyrics from Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ album
Elektra/Asylum/Warner Music Group

Three men were arraigned Tuesday on charges they conspired to illegally possess and sell 100 pages of notes and lyrics from the Eagles album Hotel California, including Don Henley‘s lyrics to the songs “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid in Town.”

A biographer of the band stole the handwritten manuscripts in the 1970s. In 2005 he sold them to Glenn Horowitz, a rare books dealer and one of the three people charged Tuesday. Horowitz then sold them to Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

The charges include conspiracy, criminal possession of stolen property and hindering prosecution.

“There is no room for those who would seek to ignore the basic expectations of fair dealing and undermine the public’s confidence and trust in our cultural trade for their own ends,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

After learning Inciardi and Kosinski were trying to sell portions of the manuscripts, Henley filed police reports, told the defendants the materials were stolen and demanded the return of his property. The defendants responded by engaging in a yearslong campaign to prevent Henley from recovering the manuscripts, prosecutors said.

According to the indictment, Horowitz and Inciardi worked to fabricate the manuscripts’ provenance. Between 2012 and 2017, Inciardi and Kosinski attempted to use that false statement of provenance to coerce Henley into buying back his stolen property.

The men also sought to sell the manuscripts through Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses, and requested that Sotheby’s hide Henley’s claims from potential buyers prior to offering the manuscripts for sale at public auction in 2016.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office retrieved Henley’s stolen manuscripts from Sotheby’s and from Kosinski’s New Jersey residence, including 84 pages to songs from Hotel California.

Shortly thereafter, Horowitz attempted to exploit the recent death of founding Eagles member Glenn Frey to prevent criminal prosecution, claiming that the material originated from Frey.

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