NEW YORK (AP) — Three people were charged Tuesday in an alleged conspiracy involving the handwritten lyrics to the classic rock juggernaut “Hotel California.”
The defendants, despite knowing the material was stolen, lied to auction houses and buyers about the manuscripts’ origins, prosecutors said.
An indictment filed in state court in Manhattan accuses Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski of plotting to possess Don Henley’s notes and lyrics for the song and other hits like “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid In Town,” altogether valued at more than $1 million.
The men pleaded not guilty through their lawyers at the arraignment. They were released without bail.
“The DA’s office alleges criminality where none exists and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of well-respected professionals,” the attorneys said in a statement. “We will fight these unjustified charges vigorously. These men are innocent.”
According to court documents, an author hired to write a biography of the band originally stole the manuscripts in the late 1970s. The papers detail email correspondence between the defendants and a person claiming he found the material discarded decades ago in a dressing room backstage at an Eagles concert.
“It was about 35 years ago and my memory is foggy!” the person wrote.
The chart-topping title song and the eponymous “Hotel California” album both won Grammy Awards. The album has sold more than 26 million copies since its release in 1976, making it one of the bestselling albums in history.
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