Stolen Eagles memorabilia is at the center of an indictment from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. that involves a curator for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and two other men who allegedly tried to sell the memorabilia.
Per a press release from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the three men engaged in a “…conspiracy involving the possession of approximately 100 pages of Don Henley’s handwritten notes and lyrics for the Eagles album ‘Hotel California,’ including lyrics to the songs ‘Hotel California,’ ‘Life in the Fast Lane’ and ‘New Kid In Town.'” The total value of these pages is estimated at over $1 million.
The three men indicted include Glenn Horowitz, Edward Kosinski and Craig Inciardi, the latter of whom was a curator for the Rock Hall. Rolling Stone would report following the news of the indictment that Inciardi has been suspended from the Rock Hall with President and CEO Joel Peresman sharing in a letter to board members, “At this time we do not know whether Craig engaged in any wrongdoing. He will remain on leave pending the resolution of the third party internal investigation and the extent of the charges once the indictment is unsealed.”
The press release from the Manhattan DA would add, “According to court documents, the manuscripts were originally stolen in the late 1970’s by an author who had been hired to write a biography of the band. The biographer eventually sold the manuscripts in 2005 to Horowitz, a rare books dealer, who in turn sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski. When Don Henley learned that Inciardi and Kosinski were trying to sell portions of the manuscripts, he filed police reports, told the defendants that the materials were stolen, and demanded the return of his property. Rather than making any effort to ensure they actually had rightful ownership, the defendants responded by engaging in a years-long campaign to prevent Henley from recovering the manuscripts.”
The press release would add regarding the handwritten notes and lyrics, “Beginning in December 2016, the District Attorney’s Office executed a series of search warrants and retrieved Don Henley’s stolen manuscripts from Sotheby’s and from Kosinski’s New Jersey residence, including 84 pages to songs from the album ‘Hotel California.’ Shortly thereafter, Horowitz attempted to exploit the recent death of founding Eagles member Glenn Frey to prevent criminal prosecution; he produced a new false statement of provenance, this time claiming that the materials originated from the now-deceased Frey. In one email message, Horowitz observed that ‘[Frey] alas, is dead and identifying him as the source would make this go away once and for all.'”
Horowitz, Kosinski and Inciardi each face a number of charges. All three men face one count of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, and that charge alone could result in up to four years in prison. Inciardi and Kosinski face one count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree. Horowitz, meanwhile, faces one count of Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree and two counts of Hindering Prosecution in the Second Degree.
Following news of the indicted, Eagles manager Irving Azoff said in a statement to 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.”