A Criminal Case Involving The Eagles Lyrics to “Hotel California” is Going to Trial

Photo of Glenn FREY and Joe WALSH and Don HENLEY and Don FELDER and EAGLES and Randy MEISNER; L-R: Don Felder, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner - posed, studio, group shot - Hotel California era
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“Hotel California” is a tune that twists on a strange journey through a lovely place that quickly turns grim. The six-plus minute song is perhaps The Eagles‘ most well-known hit and now it is going to be in the middle of a courtroom. An odd criminal case involving The Eagles is going to trial in New York very soon. Reportedly, three men big in the memorabilia world are being accused of stealing handwritten lyrics to Eagles’ songs such as “Hotel California” and “Life in the Fast Lane.”

Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi, and Edward Kosinski allegedly stole over 80 pages of drafts of songs from the Eagles’ famous album. They are being accused of making up a scheme so that Eagles co-founder Don Henley could not reclaim these documents.

March 1972 --- The rock band The Eagles rest in a desert valley. The Eagles were the most popular band of the seventies and their reunion tour in the nineties was also very successful. L-R: Bernie Leadon, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Randy Meisner

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However, the men have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and other charges. Their lawyers said that this case “alleges criminality where none exists and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of well-respected professionals.” The case began in 2022, almost a decade after Henley began noticing the pages going up for auction and tried to get them back. He purchased some of them for $8,500 but then said that the documents were stolen from him.

Horowitz purchased the documents from writer Ed Sanders in 2005. Sanders worked on a biography with the Eagles in the ’80s that was never published. Then, Kosinski and Inciardi purchased them from Horowitz. Perhaps the case is going to trial because there are so many different stories floating around as to how the men received the documents in the first place. There are several different stories about how Sanders got the pages.

Don Henley of the Eagles performs at MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada

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The confusing case is now going to trial and opening statements are set for Wednesday. Henley is expected to testify at some point. What do you think about this case? We will keep you posted on its updates!

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February 2024

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