Instead of booking themselves into the Hotel California, three men have been charged on Tuesday for allegedly crafting a plot to sell handwritten notes and lyrics stolen from Eagles’ co-founder Don Henley, reports the L.A. Times.
Valued at around $1 million by New York officials, nearly 100 poached documents included notes and lyrics from the songs “Hotel California,” “New Kid In Town,” and “Life in the Fast Lane,” all from the Eagles’ hit 1976 album, Hotel California.
The trio of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame curator Craig Inciardi, Glenn Horowitz, and Edward Kosinski were allegedly involved in trying to sell Henley’s handwritten notes to auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s, going on a “years-long campaign to prevent Henley from recovering the manuscripts,” says the press release from the New York County D.A.’s office.
Origins of the lost notes stem back to the late 1970s when court documents say that the manuscripts were first stolen by an author that had been hired to write a biography of the rock group. According to the press release, the biographer went on to sell the documents in 2005 to rare books dealer Horowitz, who then sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski.
After looking for the notes for years, Henley filed a police report once he heard Inciardi and Kosiniski were trying to sell them. He told them they were stolen and demanded that the items be returned. Instead, Horowitz and Inciardi allegedly attempted to create false ownership records for the documents, using those false records to lure Henley into buying back his own notes.
The District Attorney’s Office retrieved the papers from Kosinski’s home with a search warrant in 2016, when Horowitz also allegedly claimed a new false statement of provenance that stated the documents had come from Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey, who had recently died in January 2016.
All three men have been charged with one count of fourth-degree conspiracy and first-degree criminal possession of stolen property, with Horowitz additionally being charged with two second-degree counts of hindering prosecution. Via Rolling Stone, Inciardi has been suspended from his role at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“This action exposes the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a façade of legitimacy,” said Henley’s manager Irving Azoff in a statement.
“These handwritten lyrics are an integral part of the legacy Don Henley has created over the course of his 50-plus-year career. We look forward to the return of Don’s property, for him and his family to enjoy and preserve for posterity,” added Azoff.