What We Learned So Far In The Eagles Stolen Lyrics Trial

What We Learned So Far In The Eagles Stolen Lyrics Trial | Society Of Rock Videos

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The trial commences for three individuals accused of trying to sell around 100 pages of purportedly stolen Eagles lyrics from the iconic Hotel California album. Set in Manhattan, the trial involves defendants Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi, and Edward Kosinki, who are charged with conspiracy to possess stolen property. These materials are said to contain early drafts of Don Henley’s handwritten notes and lyrics for hits like “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane,” and “New Kid in Town,” collectively valued at over $1 million.

Henley may provide testimony during the trial, which is being adjudicated by a judge rather than a jury. As proceedings get underway, here’s an overview of the case:

Alleged Theft Timeline

According to court documents, author and Fugs band member Ed Sanders purportedly pilfered Eagles’ song lyrics in the late 1970s while working on an unauthorized biography of the band, a project that never materialized. It’s alleged that Sanders sold these papers in 2005 to Horowitz, who subsequently passed them on to Inciardi and Kosinski.

When Henley discovered that Inciardi and Kosinski were attempting to sell portions of these pages to an auction house in 2016, he filed police reports and demanded the documents’ return. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office intervened, seizing the papers, and subsequently indicting Horowitz, Inciardi, and Kosinski in 2022.

Legal Proceedings

The trio faced charges including conspiracy to possess stolen property. Additionally, Inciardi and Kosinski were charged with criminal possession, while Horowitz faced attempted criminal possession and hindering prosecution charges. All three initially pleaded not guilty.

In response, Kosinski’s attorney, Antonia Marie Apps, contended that the charges were beyond the statute of limitations for a criminal case. She also argued that the DA failed to clarify how the lyrics were stolen, citing a contract signed by the Eagles in 1979 permitting them to provide material to Sanders for his unpublished book.

Industry Reaction

Following the indictments, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame placed Inciardi on leave pending further investigation. Eagles manager Irving Azoff expressed satisfaction with the legal actions, emphasizing the importance of preserving musical history and preventing the sale of unlawfully obtained memorabilia.

Azoff stated:

“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.”

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