3 Men Accused Of Stealing, Selling Handwritten ‘Hotel California’ Lyrics Go To Trial

Don Henley
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Eagles founder Don Henley is expected to take the stand as the criminal trial begins on Wednesday for three men accused of stealing and attempting to sell handwritten lyrics to classic rock songs, including the iconic “Hotel California.”

The manuscripts, including more than 80 pages, are collectively valued at more than $1 million, per the Manhattan District Attorney, as Fox News reported

Defendant Ed Sanders is accused of stealing notepads from The Eagles while working on a biography about the band in the ’70s. The book never made it to print. Sanders reportedly kept the manuscripts and sold the documents to rare book dealer Glenn Horowitz for $50,000.

Horowitz next sold some of the documents to former Rock & Roll Hall of Fame curator Craig Inciardi and collector Edward Kosinski.

The three men pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and other charges. Their lawyers said the case “alleges criminality where none exists and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of well-respected professionals,” per the Associated Press.

Sanders made different claims about how he came to have the pages in his possession, saying at different points that he found them in a backstage dressing room and that he got them from Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey, who died in 2016.

Henley discovered what was going on and purchased the handwritten “Hotel California” lyrics for $8,500 in 2012, the indictment says, while simultaneously reporting the pages as stolen.

Later, Koskinski tried to sell written lyrics for “New Kid in Town” to Sotheby’s in 2014. He and Inciardi continued trying to sell other pages the following year. In 2016, the DA recovered some of the pages from Sotheby’s and Kosinski’s New Jersey residence.

“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,” a statement from the DA’s office said. “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.”


“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,” the statement continued. “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.”

The three defendants opted to forgo a jury, meaning Judge Curtis Farber will decide the verdict.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  3 Men Accused Of Stealing, Selling Handwritten ‘Hotel California’ Lyrics Go To Trial