Eagles 'Hotel California': Trio tried to blame late Glenn Frey in plot to sell $1M worth STOLEN lyrics, notes
The men reportedly tried to fool the auction houses into buying the memorabilia despite them knowing it was stolen
A scheme to sell stolen handwritten lyrics from some of the Eagles’ most iconic songs from ‘Hotel California’ was discovered and three men were indicted in relation to the same. Prosecutors in New York revealed that the manuscripts were originally stolen back in the 1970s by an author who was reportedly 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' with 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 over '7 Rings' by Josh 'Dot' over stealing lyrics and musical elements. Most recently, Mariah Carey was sued for a whopping $20 million for her hit 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 possessing 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 from handwritten notes and lyrics by singer Don Henley for the rock band’s blockbuster 1976 album ‘Hotel California’. The men reportedly tried to fool the auction houses into buying the memorabilia despite them knowing it was stolen.
Alvin Bragg, Manhattan District Attorney spilled the beans on the case saying the men made fake stories about the origin of the documents, and their right to possess them with an intention to churn profits from the same. They were apparently also involved in a years-long campaign to stop Don from recovering the stolen manuscripts. The manuscripts are reportedly valued at over $1 million.
There is more to their scheme as EW reports that prosecutors say, Horowitz even tried to wriggle out of criminal prosecution by claiming that the materials were given off by deceased band member Glenn Frey, hoping to make a scapegoat out of Frey, who died in 2016. Horowitz allegedly said in an email, "[Frey] alas, is dead and identifying him as the source would make this go away once and for all." Frey, 67, was also a singer, songwriter, actor and founding member of the rock band Eagles. Frey was the co-lead singer 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 singing 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".
Manuscripts were originally stolen back in the 1970s
According to reports, the say the manuscripts were originally stolen back in the 1970s by an author who was hired to pen a biography of the band. He then sold them to books dealer Horowitz, who in turn sold them to Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski. The DA revealed that crooner Henley filed police reports after he found out Inciardi and Kosinski were allegedly trying to sell portions of the manuscripts.
The three men have been charged with one count of fourth-degree conspiracy. According to TMZ, Inciardi and Kosinski have also been slapped with charges of first-degree criminal possession of stolen property along with two counts of second-degree hindering prosecution.
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Henley’s manager spoke about the case with TMZ saying, “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." He further added, “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."