• July 19, 2024

Don Henley Sues for Return of Stolen ‘Hotel California’ Lyrics After Criminal Trial Dead End

Don Henley is suing two men who he alleges stole handwritten lyric sheets for the songs on The Eagles’ “Hotel California” album in an ongoing saga for the ’70s rocker to reclaim his property.

The men named in the suit are Rock & Roll Hall of Fame curator Craig Inciardi and rock memorabilia dealer Edward Kosinski; previous criminal charges against both were dropped in a separate trial in March.

Henley’s lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, said in a Friday media statement, “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.”

In the civil suit, obtained by TheWrap, the two defendants are facing charges of conspiring to possess stolen property after trying to auction off the pages.

Glenn Frey dead

Inciardi and Kosinski, along with rare-books dealer Glenn Horowitz (who is not named in the new suit) obtained the lyrics from author Ed Sanders, who was hired by the iconic Southern California band to write a book about them. The book was never finished and he never returned the lyrics to Henley or the late Glenn Frey, who died in 2016.

Defendants, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame curator Craig Inciardi and memorabilia seller Edward Kosinski, at Manhattan Criminal Court on February 26, 2024 in New York. (CREDIT: Adam Gray/Getty Images)

The musician is also asking for the return of the lyric sheets, which are still in the custody of the District Attorney’s Office in New York (DANY). Per the lawsuit, Henley did not realize that the lyrics, which were written across five legal pads, were missing until he saw four pages listed for auction on a site operated by Kosinski.

The lawsuit alleges that “throughout his career, Kosinski has trafficked in music memorabilia of dubious provenance” and that he an Inciardi began a nearly
five-year campaign to profit from Henley’s lyric sheets by selling or auctioning them off song by song, forcing Henley to intervene each time, including by notifying law enforcement.”

Henley is asking for a jury trial “for all issues so triable.”

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

Don Henley

Rolling Stone first reported this story.

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