Rock Hall Curator Charged with Conspiracy to Sell Don Henley's Handwritten Eagles Lyrics

Craig Inciardi is one of three men indicted for conspiracy to peddle nearly 100 missing manuscript pages worth over $1 million USD

Photo: Derek Russell

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jul 13, 2022

The year remains 2022, yet we somehow keep hearing a lot about the Eagles lately. Following the brawl that broke out during a performance of "Take It Easy" and the band adding Canadian dates to their tour, the enduring soft rockers have potentially recovered some long-lost manuscripts from 1976's Hotel California.

Three men, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame curator Craig Inciardi, were charged yesterday (July 12) over alleged possession of stolen notes and lyrics to "Hotel California," "Life in the Fast Lane" and "New Kid in Town" handwritten by co-founding member Don Henley. The memorabilia is worth over $1 million USD, as per New York officials' estimate.

Inciardi, Glenn Horowitz and Edward Kosinski are all accused of involvement in a conspiracy that sought to sell nearly 100 pages of Henley's documents to potential buyers. The manuscripts have been missing since the 1970s, when they were allegedly stolen by an unnamed biographer — who then pawned them off to Horowitz in 2005, according to the court.

Horowitz then allegedly brought Inciardi and Kosinski in, and they began working to sell off the lyrics and notes to assorted auction houses, including Christie's and Sotheby's. The trio were also allegedly attempting to "coerce" the songwriter into buying back his rightful property.

The New York District Attorney's investigation began shortly after band co-founder Glenn Frey's death in January 2016, after Horowitz allegedly planned to claim the documents had belonged to Frey instead.

All three men are being charged with one count of conspiracy in the fourth degree and could serve up to four years in prison. Horowitz faces additional charges of attempted criminal possession of stolen property in the first degree and two counts of hindering prosecution, while Inciardi and Kosinski were also each charged with counts of criminal possession in the first degree.

"The DA's office alleges criminality where none exists and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of well-respected professionals," the indicted's defence attorneys Antonia Apps, Jonathan Bach and Stacey Richman said in a statement [via SFGATE], where they also vowed to "fight these unjustified charges vigorously."

As reported by Rolling Stone, Inciardi has since been suspended from his role at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"This action exposes the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a facade of legitimacy," the Eagles' manager Irving Azoff told the publication. "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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