Stolen Hotel California Lyrics May Finally Return to Eagles’ Don Henley

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for SiriusXM/2017 Kevin Mazur

It turns out the night man in “Hotel California” was probably a robber. After decades of trying to get his original lyrics back, Don Henley of the Eagles may finally be reunited with the documents containing his handwritten notes to Hotel California tracks. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. announced the indictment of three people, including a curator for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for a conspiracy involving the possession of Henley’s stolen handwritten notes and lyrics for Hotel California. Collectively valued at over $1 million, the documents contained lyrics to songs like “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane,” and “New Kid in Town.” The trio (Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi, and Edward Kosinski) allegedly attempted to resell the stolen documents to auction houses, lying about the documents’ origins.

A press release from the New York District Attorney Office revealed that the lyrics were reportedly stolen in the 1970s by an author attempting to write a biography on the Eagles, who eventually sold it to Horowitz in 2005. Horowitz then allegedly sold the documents to Kosinski and Inciardi, the latter being a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame curator. Henley, upon learning of the stolen documents, filed a police report to attempt to get them back. In an attempt to stop Henley from getting the documents returned, Kosinski and Inciardi claimed that they received the notes from deceased Eagles member Glenn Frey.

In addition to all three being charged with conspiracy in the fourth degree and criminal possession of stolen property, Horowitz was charged with hindering prosecution in the second degree. Rolling Stone reported that Inciardi has been suspended from his role at the Rock Hall.

Below is a statement from Don Henley’s representatives.

“We are thankful to New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his staff for pursuing this case and have faith that justice will be served. This action exposes the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a facade of legitimacy. 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. We look forward to the return of Don’s property, for him and his family to enjoy and preserve for posterity.”

Stolen Hotel California Lyrics May Return to Don Henley