The trio was charged with conspiring to sell stolen papers with Eagles lyrics

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It was the late 1970s, and the world was jumping into the golden age of rock-and-roll. The Eagles rode the wave of fame It reached its peak with the release of “Hotel California” in December 1976.

The album cemented the Eagles’ place on the American music scene and the band’s status as rock royalty. But the pages of handwritten lyrics and notes behind some of its chart-topping songs mysteriously disappeared after a while — resurfacing nearly five decades later as the front of a New York State Supreme Court indictment.

Three men were charged Tuesday with trying to sell a cache of documents — though not exactly — including about 100 pages filled with lyrics to songs like “New Kid in Town,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and the iconic “Hotel California.” Goods rights.

Rock auctioneer Edward Kosinski, rare book dealer Glenn Horowitz and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame director of acquisitions Craig Inciardi are accused of conspiring to sell the stolen pages — valued at more than $1 million — by lying to authorities and fabricating stories that the items arrived and their owner, Eagles founding member Don Henley. prevent them from receiving

“These defendants attempted to possess and sell these unique and valuable manuscripts, knowing they had no right to do so. They fabricated stories about the origin of the documents and their right to possess them so they could profit,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg said. Press release.

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Attorneys for Kosinski, Horowitz and Inciardi, who pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday, did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s requests for comment. However, in a joint statement, they termed the charges as unjustified, illegal and criminal reported.

“The DA’s office places blame where none exists and unfairly tarnishes the reputation of well-respected professionals,” the men’s lawyers said in a statement to the outlet. “We will vigorously fight these unjustified charges. These men are innocent.”

The story of how the papers ended up in the hands of three collectors — and almost sold by auction giants Sotheby’s and Christie’s — is a story that begins with former Eagles guitarist Dan Felder. He started writing songs After he joined the group in 1974 “Hotel California”.

Now in federal court is Eagles v. Hotel California

Felder shared a demo reminiscent of “Mexican reggae” with deceased Eagles frontman Henley and Glenn Frey in 2016, and they came up with the concept and cinematic lyrics for the song, which would eventually propel the eponymous album to No.1. In 1977. Since then, “Hotel California”—which draws inspiration from life in hotels and “the dark underbelly of the American dream,” Henley said CBS News – Incited Conspiracy theories Kudos to its lyrics and its haunting guitar arpeggio.

Henley documented the song’s creation process in pages that disappeared after catching up with a writer working on a book about the band. The writer — who was not identified in the indictment — later sold the items in 2005 to Horowitz, who in turn sold them to two others, according to court documents.

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When Henley realized Inciardi and Kosinki were trying to sell the long-lost manuscripts, he told them they were stolen goods, demanded their return, and filed a police complaint. Nevertheless, the prosecutors allege that “rather than making any effort to confirm that they actually have rights, the defendants have engaged in a years-long campaign to prevent Henley from retrieving the manuscripts.”

Although prosecutors contend the unnamed writer stole the documents, in communications with the accused trio, the writer recalled “finding discarded items in a backstage dressing room at an Eagles concert” in 2012. Later, he said, he received them through Henley’s assistant after staying at the musician’s Malibu home. In 2016, the author again changed his story, saying that Frey secretly gave him the documents — a convenient way to ensure ownership of the items after Frey’s death, and the account could not be disputed.

Horowitz wrote in an email that year that Frey “is dead, identifying him as evidence, this will disappear once and for all,” court documents state.

Don Henley says the Eagles are done. It was always Glenn Frey’s band.

The changing stories were part of a five-year effort to auction off the items, the indictment alleges. Although Sotheby’s and Christie’s were initially interested in selling the papers, they did not auction the items; Beginning in December 2016, authorities began executing search warrants to retrieve items from Sotheby’s and Kosinski’s New Jersey home.

Now, 100 pages of letters, notes and lyrics seem to return to Henley.

Henley’s manager Irving Assaf said, “No one has the right to sell ill-gotten property or profit from the outright theft of irreplaceable musical history. advertisement board. “These handwritten lyrics are an integral part of the legacy that Don Henley has created over his 50-plus year career. We look forward to returning Don’s property for him and his family to enjoy and preserve for posterity.

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