Rock Hall of Fame Curator Charged With Trying to Sell $1 Million of Stolen Eagles Lyrics
According to a new report, a curator from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and two associates have been charged as part of an alleged scheme to try to sell $1 million worth of Eagles founding member Don Henley's handwritten lyrics and notes, which were allegedly stolen.
Rolling Stone reports that Hall of Fame curator Craig Inciardi, Glenn Horowitz and Edward Kosinski are all facing charges in connection with their alleged involvement in a conspiracy in which they sought to sell nearly 100 pages of Henley’s handwritten notes and lyrics from two of the Eagles' biggest hits, “Hotel California” and “Life in the Fast Lane,” to potential buyers.
Officials in New York allege that Henley has been trying to recover the pages in question for many years after an unidentified biographer stole the handwritten lyrics and notes in the 1970s. That person allegedly transferred them to Horowitz in 2005, according to officials, who place the value of the documents in question at roughly $1 million.
Officials allege that Horowitz brought Inciardi and Kosinski into the scheme, and they began trying to sell off the documents to auction houses that included elites Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Authorities charge that they also tried to “coerce” Henley into re-purchasing his own rightful property.
The New York District Attorney's office began investigating the documents not long before Eagles founding member Glenn Frey died in January of 2016. The DA's office alleged that Horowitz planned to claim that the documents had belonged to Frey, which would void the criminal investigation against the three men. Allegedly, Horowitz wrote in an email that “identifying [Frey] as the source would make this go away once and for all.”
According to Rolling Stone, Craig Inciardi, Glenn Horowitz and Edward Kosinski have all been charged with one count of conspiracy in the fourth degree, which carries a prison sentence of up to four years. Horowitz faces an additional first-degree charge for attempted criminal possession of stolen property, as well as two counts of hindering prosecution. Inciardi and Kosinski also face first degree charges of criminal possession.
Rolling Stone reports that Inciardi has been suspended from his role at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. President and CEO Joel Peresman issued a statement to board members just before news of the indictment became public.
“At this time, we do not know whether Craig engaged in any wrongdoing,” Peresman writes. “He will remain on leave pending the resolution of the third-party internal investigation and the extent of the charges once the indictment is unsealed."
Eagles manager Irving Azoff tells Rolling Stone that the band was "pleased" with the indictments, adding that Henley is looking forward to the return of the allegedly stolen materials.
“This action exposes the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a facade of legitimacy,” Azoff says. “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."
“New York is a world-class hub for art and culture, and those who deal cultural artifacts must scrupulously follow the law,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg states. “These defendants attempted to keep and sell these unique and valuable manuscripts, despite knowing they had no right to do so. They made up stories about the origin of the documents and their right to possess them so they could turn a profit.”
Attorneys for Inciardi, Horowitz and Kosinski claim their clients are innocent, adding that they will “fight these unjustified charges vigorously.”
Glenn Frey died in January of 2016 at the age of 67 from complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia, and fans and even the band members assumed the Eagles were finished. But on July 15, 2017, they regrouped in a new lineup that included Frey's son, Deacon, and Vince Gill, playing their first show together at Classic West at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. That lineup continued to tour on and off until 2022, when the younger Frey announced he was departing the band.
The Eagles have continued to tour in 2022 on their extensive Hotel California Tour, which features them re-creating that landmark album in its entirety, accompanied by an orchestra. Gill has assumed vocal duties for most of Frey's classic songs in their set.
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