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Eagles’ Don Henley Files Lawsuit for Return of Handwritten ‘Hotel California’ Lyrics

The civil complaint was filed in Manhattan federal court on Friday (June 28).

Don Henley of The Eagles leaves Manhattan Criminal Court on Feb. 26, 2024 in New York City.

Don Henley of The Eagles leaves Manhattan Criminal Court on Feb. 26, 2024 in New York City.

Adam Gray/Getty Images

Eagles singer Don Henley filed a lawsuit in New York on Friday (June 28) seeking the return of his handwritten notes and song lyrics from the band’s 1976 album Hotel California.

The civil complaint filed in Manhattan federal court comes after prosecutors in March abruptly dropped criminal charges midway through a trial against three collectibles experts accused of scheming to sell the documents.


The Eagles co-founder has maintained the pages were stolen and had vowed to pursue a lawsuit when the criminal case was dropped against rare books dealer Glenn Horowitz, former Rock & Roll Hall of Fame curator Craig Inciardi and rock memorabilia seller Edward Kosinski.

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“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,” Daniel Petrocelli, Henley’s lawyer, said in an emailed statement Friday.

According to the lawsuit, the handwritten pages remain in the custody of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, which declined to comment Friday on the litigation.

Lawyers for Kosinski and Inciardi dismissed the legal action as baseless, noting the criminal case was dropped after it was determined that Henley misled prosecutors by withholding critical information.

“Don Henley is desperate to rewrite history,” Shawn Crowley, Kosinski’s lawyer, said in an emailed statement. “We look forward to litigating this case and bringing a lawsuit against Henley to hold him accountable for his repeated lies and misuse of the justice system.”

Inciardi’s lawyer, Stacey Richman, said in a separate statement that the lawsuit attempts to “bully” and “perpetuate a false narrative.”

A lawyer for Horowitz, who isn’t named as a defendant as he doesn’t claim ownership of the materials, didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

During the trial, the men’s lawyers argued that Henley gave the lyrics pages decades ago to a writer who worked on a never-published Eagles biography and later sold the handwritten sheets to Horowitz. He, in turn, sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski, who started putting some of the pages up for auction in 2012.

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The criminal case was abruptly dropped after prosecutors agreed that defense lawyers had essentially been blindsided by 6,000 pages of communications involving Henley and his attorneys and associates.

Prosecutors and the defense said they received the material only after Henley and his lawyers made a last-minute decision to waive their attorney-client privilege shielding legal discussions.

Judge Curtis Farber, who presided over the nonjury trial that opened in late February, said witnesses and their lawyers used attorney-client privilege “to obfuscate and hide information that they believed would be damaging” and that prosecutors “were apparently manipulated.”

This article was originally published by Billboard U.S.

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Steve Albini in the 'A' control room of his studio, Electrical Audio, Chicago, Illinois, June 24, 2005.
Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Steve Albini in the 'A' control room of his studio, Electrical Audio, Chicago, Illinois, June 24, 2005.

Rock

Steve Albini’s Legacy to Be Honored With Viral #ThankYouSteveAlbini Campaign

Organizers ask fans to upload photos and stories on July 22 to honor the late musician on what would have been his 62nd birthday.

Just months after his shocking death at 61, legendary producer/engineer/band leader Steve Albini will be honored with a global celebration of his noisy legacy. Touch and Go Records announced on Thursday (July 18) that it is turning what would have been Albini’s 62nd birthday on Monday (July 22) into a chance to share memories about the late rock rabblerouser known for creating righteously riotous music as well as for his vicious wit.

“Though we tragically lost Steve Albini on May 7, 2024, his indelible influence on music remains. Let’s turn his birthday, July 22nd, into a worldwide celebration to honor his life and legacy,” the label said in a statement announcing their request that fans and friends flood Instagram on Monday with “stories and photos that capture the essence of Steve’s impact. Share pictures of his albums that shaped you, concert memories, or even handwritten notes that resonated deeply. If you were lucky enough to meet him, let’s see those photos!”

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