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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Curator Charged in Conspiracy to Sell Don Henley’s Stolen Handwritten “Hotel California” Lyrics

Two other men were also charged with conspiracy, criminal possession of stolen property, and hindering prosecution

hotel california stolen lyrics
Don Henley, photo by Derek Russell
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    Three men, including a curator for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, were charged on Tuesday, July 12th in an alleged conspiracy to sell Don Henley’s stolen lyrics to multiple Eagles classics, including “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane,” and “New Kid In Town.”

    According to TMZ, over 100 pages of Henley’s notes were stolen in the 1970s by an author hired to write a biography on The Eagles. In 2005, the author sold the notes, which were valued at more than $1 million, to rare books dealer Glenn Horowitz, who then sold them to Rock Hall curator Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski. The three men subsequently attempted to sell the manuscripts through Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses, and even worked to fabricate ownership records in order to “coerce” Henley, who reported them stolen, into buying them back.

    According to Rolling Stoneafter the DA’s office began investigating the matter back in 2016, Horowitz hatched a plan to claim Henley’s documents actually began to founding member Glenn Frey, allegedly writing in an email that “identifying [Frey] as the source would make this go away once and for all.” All three men were charged with one count of conspiracy in the fourth degree and first degree counts of criminal possession of stolen property, while Horowitz also faces two counts of hindering prosecution. The men pleaded not guilty at the arraignment and were released without bail, while Inciardi was suspended from his position at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame “pending the resolution of the third party internal investigation,” President and CEO Joel Peresman wrote to the board.

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    “The DA’s office alleges criminality where none exists and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of well-respected professionals,” the men’s attorneys said in a statement. “We will fight these unjustified charges vigorously. These men are innocent.” Meanwhile, Henley’s manager, Irving Azoff, told TMZ, “This action exposes the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a façade of legitimacy. No one has the right to sell illegally obtained property or profit from the outright theft of irreplaceable pieces of musical history.”

    Come September, The Eagles will take their “Hotel California Tour” to Canada, where they’ll perform the 1976 album in its entirety with an accompanying orchestra and choir before performing a second set of greatest hits. Tickets to those shows go on sale Friday, July 15th at 10:00 a.m. local time, but if you use code ELECTRIC on Ticketmaster, you can score seats a day early.

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