3 indicted for selling stolen lyrics to ‘Hotel California’
NEW YORK (AP) — A rock memorabilia dealer and two other men are accused of conspiring to sell allegedly ill-gotten handwritten lyrics to “Hotel California” and other Eagles hits.
The men pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges which, between them, include conspiracy, criminal possession of stolen property and attempted criminal possession of stolen property.
The men were released without bail.
“New York is a world-class hub for art and culture, and those who sell cultural artifacts must strictly follow the law. There is no place for those who would seek to ignore basic expectations of fair use and to undermine public confidence in our cultural commerce for their own ends,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a press release. “These defendants attempted to preserve and sell these manuscripts unique and valuable, even though they knew they had no right to do so, they made up stories about where the documents came from and their right to own them so they could profit from them.
Their lawyers insist the three are innocent, calling it a “civil dispute” over the property.
The trove of documents included Henley’s liner notes and lyrics for “Hotel California” as well as two others from that 1976 Grammy-winning album: “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid In Town.”
Prosecutors say the items are valued at more than $1 million.
The longtime Eagles manager thanked prosecutors for bringing the case.
According to prosecutors and court documents, an anonymous author who was hired to write a book by the rock band stole the manuscripts in the late 1970s, officials said.
Prosecutors said that in 2005 the anonymous writer sold them to Glenn Horowitz, who then resold them to Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski.
After learning that Inciardi and Kosinski were trying to sell some of the documents, Eagles co-founder Don Henley filed police reports, told the men the items were stolen and demanded they return the money to him. property, prosecutors said.
“Rather than make any effort to ensure they did indeed have rightful ownership, the defendants responded by engaging in a years-long campaign to prevent Henley from recovering the manuscripts,” officials said.