Going to need a true crime docu-series on this one.
In a bizarre turn of events, three men were charged on Tuesday in New York for attempting to sell $1 million in stolen Eagles lyrics. The documents in question originally belonged to band member Don Henley, and are handwritten notes from creating the iconic 1976 album Hotel California. One of the accused is the curator for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Craig Inciardi, along with Glenn Horowitz, and Edward Kosinski. Attorneys Jonathan Bach, Stacey Richman, and Antonia Apps representing the indictees released a statement that read, “The DA’s office alleges criminality where none exists and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of well-respected professionals. We will fight these unjustified charges vigorously. These men are innocent.”
Henley alleges that the lyrics were first stolen by a wayward biographer in the 1970s, but were sold to Horowitz in 2005. Officials, who’ve been investigating the matter since 2016, say that the men were both trying to sell the stolen property to auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby's, while also attempting to get Henley to purchase back his property. A website for Horowitz describes him as, “an agent in the sale and placement of culturally significant archives to research institutions nationwide,” and credits him as having worked with Bob Dylan, Norman Mailer, David Foster Wallace, and Vladimir Nabokov.
Court documents reveal that the DA believes that Horowitz was conspiring to lie to officials about the lyrics having belonged to the late Glenn Frey, another member of the band, which would have harmed the legitimacy of the investigation. All three men are charged with conspiracy in the fourth degree and attempted criminal possession of stolen property, while Horowitz also faces two counts of hindering prosecution. Rolling Stone reports that Inciardi has been suspended from his role at the Hall of Fame pending an internal third-party investigation.
Eagles manager Irving Azoff told Rolling Stone, “This action exposes the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a facade of legitimacy. No one has the right to sell illegally obtained property or profit from the outright theft of irreplaceable pieces of musical history. These handwritten lyrics are an integral part of the legacy Don Henley has created over the course of his 50-plus-year career.”
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg released a statement as well. “New York is a world-class hub for art and culture, and those who deal cultural artifacts must scrupulously follow the law. These defendants attempted to keep and sell these unique and valuable manuscripts, despite knowing they had no right to do so. They made up stories about the origin of the documents and their right to possess them so they could turn a profit.”