With knowledge that the handwritten lyrics from the Eagles album Hotel California had been stolen, three men are accused of planning to sell them. Don Henley owned the band’s popular 1976 album’s lyrics and notes, which are now valued at more than $1 million (£840,000). The individuals, according to the prosecution, misled the police, possible buyers, and auction houses about the origins of the material. The accusations are refuted by Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi, and Edward Kosinski.
According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Inciardi is a “employee with curator responsibilities.” The three were involved in a “years-long campaign to stop Henley from recovering the manuscripts,” according to the New York District Attorney’s office. According to the district attorney, a person hired to write a biography of the group originally stole the lyrics to songs like Hotel California, Life in the Fast Lane, and New Kid in Town in the late 1970s.
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The biographer allegedly sold them to rare book dealer Mr. Horowitz in 2005. Mr. Horowitz allegedly sold the items to Mr. Inciardi in Brooklyn and Mr. Kosinski in New Jersey. Henley filed police reports after learning that the latter two were attempting to sell some of the 100 pages of manuscripts, requesting the return of his property, but the men allegedly refused to do so. The defendants “attempted to keep and sell these unique and valuable manuscripts, despite knowing they had no right to do so,” according to district attorney Bragg.
Hotel California by the American rock band The Eagles peaked at number one on the US Billboard album chart for three years in the early 1970s. For financial gain, he continued, “they fabricated up stories regarding the origin of the documents and their right to possess them. In New York, all three defendants have entered not-guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy and criminal possession, as well as Mr. Horowitz’s charge of obstructing justice.
Their attorneys said the district attorney’s office “alleges wrongdoing where none exists and wrongfully tarnishes the reputations of well-respected experts” in a joint statement to the news agency Reuters. Added was: “We’ll fight back against these false accusations with zeal. These dudes are good guys.” The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame said that Mr. Inciardi had been suspended and that an internal inquiry was being carried out.
The Eagles’ fifth studio album, Hotel California, spent eight weeks at the top of the US Billboard chart, and its title single was named record of the year at the Grammy Awards. With 26 million copies sold, it is the third best-selling album of all time in the US, behind the band’s Greatest Hits, which has sold 38 million copies. Over the years, Henley’s late bandmate Glenn Frey has spoken about how the Hotel California album broke up the Eagles. He once told The Independent, “We, Don in especially, talked a mouthful on Hotel California, and a huge part of the problem was, what do we talk about now?