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'Hotel California' Trial



Three men accused of attempting to sell hand-written lyrics from the Eagles' album, “Hotel California,” begin a criminal trial in New York today. Rare book dealer Glenn Horowitz, former Rock & Roll Hall of Fame curator Craig Inciardi, and memorabilia seller Edward Kosinski face charges of conspiracy and criminal possession of stolen property. Horowitz faces two additional charges of hindering prosecution.


The nonjury trial involves over 80 pages of lyrics—worth over $1M—including "Hotel California" and “Life in the Fast Lane.” A biographer of the band allegedly stole the manuscripts in the 1970s and sold them to Horowitz in 2005, who then sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski.


The defendants are accused of lying to authorities about the origins of ownership and attempting to sell the content without permission from Eagles' founding member Don Henley. No one is charged with stealing the documents; however, prosecutors must establish the documents were stolen. Henley claims the manuscripts should be returned to him; the defendants argue they acquired them legally. 


“Hotel California” remains an all-time bestselling album, with over 26 million copies sold in the US. See how the title track was written here.

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