Eagles singer sues for ‘Hotel California’ handwritten lyrics

Don Henley filed a lawsuit Friday demanding the return of his handwritten lyrics to the critically acclaimed hit, “Hotel California,” according to The Associated Press.

Henley maintained the 100 pages were stolen from him, and vowed to pursue legal action in March when his criminal case against three men attempting to sell the developmental lyrics was dropped by a New York court.

“These 100 pages of personal lyric sheets belong to Mr. Henley and his family, and he has never authorized defendants or anyone else to peddle them for profit,” Henley’s lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, said.

Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski, were initially charged with conspiracy in the fourth degree for allegedly attempting to sell manuscripts which included “developmental lyrics to the Eagles song ‘Hotel California,'” according to the original indictment filed by the New York District Attorney’s office in 2022.


In March, prosecutors dropped the criminal case mid-trial citing newly available emails that defense lawyers said raised questions about the trial’s fairness. The emails emerged when Henley apparently decided last week to waive attorney-client privilege, after he and other prosecution witnesses had already testified. 

Dan Petrocelli, Henley’s newly hired attorney, told Fox News Digital in a statement via Henley’s representatives, “The attorney-client privilege is a foundational guardrail in our justice system, and rarely, if ever, should you have to forsake it to prosecute or defend a case. As the victim in this case, Mr. Henley has once again been victimized by this unjust outcome. He will pursue all his rights in the civil courts.”


The manuscripts are collectively valued at over $1 million, according to the district attorney.

Eagles singer Don Henley in court hallway
Donley Henley in a New York courtroom

Decades ago, Ed Sanders allegedly stole notepads from The Eagles while working on an authorized book about the band in the ’70s. The biography was never published, but Sanders reportedly kept the handwritten work and later sold the pages to Horowitz, a rare-book dealer, for $50,000.

Horowitz then sold pages to Inciardi, a former Rock & Roll Hall of Fame curator, and memorabilia collector Kosinski. Inciardi and Kosinski attempted to sell pages of the lyrics through Kosinski’s company, Gotta Have Rock and Roll, but were caught by Henley in 2012.

Henley then purchased the “original handwritten lyrics for the Eagles song ‘Hotel California’ written in Don Henley’s hand,” for $8,500 on April 25, 2012, according to the indictment.


Two years later, Koskinski attempted to contact Sotheby’s and sell “Eagles handwritten lyrics in Don Henley [sic] hand for New Kid In Town.” Shortly after, Inciardi sent a similar email notifying the auction house that developmental lyrics for “Life in the Fast Lane” were also available for sale.

The Eagles pictured in 1976

“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,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., said in a statement released with the charges in 2022. 

“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.”

Throughout 2015, Kosinski and Inciardi continued their attempts to sell 13 pages of developmental lyrics to “Hotel California.” In December 2016, the DA’s office executed search warrants and retrieved Henley’s stolen manuscripts from both Sotheby’s and Kosinski’s New Jersey residence, according to the DA. 

The Eagles Bernie Leadon, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Randy Meisner

“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 DA shared in a statement. “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.”

Read the full article here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button