A scheme to sell stolen handwritten lyrics to some of the Eagles’ most iconic songs from “Hotel California” has been uncovered and three men have been charged in connection with the same. New York prosecutors have revealed that the manuscripts were originally stolen in the 1970s by an author who was allegedly hired to write a biography of the band.
The music industry can be very tricky when it comes to lyrics, copyrights, and legal issues. In April 2021, Cardi B came under fire after Nicki Minaj fans slammed the rapper for allegedly copying Minaj’s rhyme scheme and lyrics on the song “Big Paper” featuring DJ Khaled. In September 2021, Billie Eilish was accused by singer Diamond White of stealing music from her. In January 2020, Ariana Grande was sued for copyright on “7 Rings” by Josh “Dot” for stealing lyrics and musical elements. Most recently, Mariah Carey was sued for $20 million over her single “All I Want for Christmas is You” after a man named Andy Stone claimed he had a song with the same title.
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Three men charged with possession of stolen lyrics
According to TMZ, three men identified as Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski have been criminally charged after they were found with 100 stolen pages of singer Don Henley’s handwritten notes and lyrics for the rock band’s hit 1976 album. Hotel California. The men allegedly tried to trick auction houses into buying the memorabilia despite knowing they had been stolen.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg spilled the beans on the case saying the men made false stories about the origin of the documents and their right to possess them with the intention of profiting from them. They were apparently also involved in a years-long campaign to prevent Don from recovering the stolen manuscripts. The manuscripts are said to be valued at over a million dollars.
There’s more to their scheme as EW reports that prosecutors say Horowitz even attempted to evade criminal prosecution by claiming the documents were released by deceased band member Glenn Frey, hoping to make Frey a scapegoat, who died in 2016. . Horowitz reportedly said in an email, “[Frey] alas, is dead and identifying him as the source would make that go away once and for all. Frey, 67, was also a singer, songwriter, actor and founding member of the rock band Eagles. Frey was co-lead vocalist and frontman for the Eagles, something he shared with Henley, with whom he wrote most of the Eagles material. Frey played guitar and keyboards as well as lead vocals on songs such as “Take It Easy”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, “Tequila Sunrise”, “Already Gone”, ” James Dean”, “Lyin’ Eyes”, “New Kid in Town” and “Heartache Tonight”.
The manuscripts were originally stolen in the 1970s
Reportedly, the manuscripts were originally stolen in the 1970s by an author hired to write a biography of the band. He then sold them to bookseller Horowitz, who in turn resold them to Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski. The DA revealed that the crooner Henley had filed police reports after discovering that Inciardi and Kosinski allegedly tried to sell parts of the manuscripts.
The three men have been charged with one count of conspiracy in the fourth degree. According to TMZ, Inciardi and Kosinski were also charged with first-degree criminal possession of stolen property as well as two counts of second-degree obstruction of prosecution.
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Henley’s manager spoke about the case with TMZ saying, “This action exposes the truth about musical memorabilia sales of highly personal stolen items hidden behind a facade of legitimacy. No one has the right to sell illegally obtained goods or profit from the outright theft of irreplaceable pieces of musical history.” He added: “These handwritten lyrics are an integral part of the legacy that Don Henley has created during his 50 years. We look forward to the return of Don’s property, so that he and his family can enjoy it and preserve it for posterity.