Three men charged with trying to sell stolen ‘Hotel California’ notes and lyrics | Smart News

Don Henley and Glenn Frey of the Eagles performing at Madison Square Garden in 2008
Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage via Getty Images

Life in the fast lane came back to bite three men charged with trying to sell stolen lyrics to the Eagles Hotel California. Don Henley’s nearly 100 pages of handwritten liner notes for songs including “Hotel California,” “New Kid In Town” and “Life in the Fast Lane” are valued at more than $1 million, according to a statement from the New York District Attorney. Desk.

Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski were charged with fourth-degree conspiracy; other charges included criminal possession of stolen property and obstruction of prosecution. Prosecutors say that in addition to trying to sell the materials, the trio also allegedly engaged in a ‘year-long campaign’ to prevent Henley from buying them back, even after Henley filed police reports and informed the men that the materials had been stolen.

“They made up stories about where the documents came from and their right to possess them so they could profit from them,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in the statement.

Hotel California is one of the best-selling albums in history, selling over 26 million copies since its release in 1976. Its title track, of the same name, is known for its haunting lyrics that have intrigued generations of listeners. listeners, as well as one of the most iconic guitar solos of his time.

“It’s not really about California; it’s about America,” Henley told CBS News in 2016. “It’s about the dark underbelly of the American dream.

Prosecutors say the documents were originally stolen in the late 1970s by an unidentified writer who was working on an Eagles biography. This writer sold them to Horowitz, a rare book dealer, in 2005, reports the Washington Postby Maria Luisa Paul. Horowitz then sold them to Kosinski, a rock auctioneer, and Inciardi, a curator at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. (The organization has since suspended him, per rolling stoneis Cheyenne Roundtree.)

Inciardi and Kosinski attempted to sell the materials through Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses; they also tried to persuade Henley to buy out others.

“Don Henley still wants this back,” reads an email Kosinski allegedly sent to Sotheby’s in 2016, according to CNN’s Sonia Moghe. “Please do not tell any potential bidder that [Henley’s] the lawyers inquire about the lyrics.

In late 2016, the district attorney’s office executed multiple search warrants, seizing documents from Kosinski’s residence and Sotheby’s, the statement said. But the men still tried to avoid prosecution: In a 2017 email, Horowitz suggested using the recent death of Eagles member Glenn Frey to their advantage:[Frey] alas, is dead and identifying him as the source would make that go away once and for all.

According rolling stone, the men risk up to four years in prison. And, in the meantime, Henley will collect the papers.

“These handwritten lyrics are an integral part of the legacy Don Henley has created over his 50-plus-year career,” Henley manager Irving Azoff said in a statement to Billboardis Bill Donahue. “We look forward to the return of Don’s property, so that he and his family can enjoy it and preserve it for posterity.”

Nicholas E. Crittendon