Reports have emerged stating that three people have been charged in an alleged conspiracy involving the handwritten lyrics to multiple hits by the Eagles. One of those charged is Craig Inciardi, a curator and director of acquisitions for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation based in New York.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation director charged after stolen Eagles lyrics
Inciardi is one of the Rock Hall Foundation’s longest tenured members. Prosecutors said the defendants, including Inciardi, lied to auction houses and buyers about the origins of manuscripts featuring original Eagles lyrics handwritten by Don Henley.
An indictment that was filed in state court in Manhattan accuses Inciardi, Glenn Horowitz, and Edward Kosinski of plotting to possess Don Henley’s notes and lyrics for songs from the blockbuster “Hotel California” album that includes “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid In Town.” The lyrics are valued at more than $1 million. It has been also noted that the men pleaded not guilty through their lawyers at the arraignment and 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.”
The Eagles were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and they thanked prosecutors for bringing a case that exposes “the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a facade of legitimacy.”
As per the 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.
Prosecutors noted that between 2012 and 2017 the defendants tried to reach Henley to buy back the stolen manuscripts, while at the same time seeking to peddle them to other potential buyers through Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses.
Horowitz tried to claim that the source of the property was another founding Eagles member, Glenn Frey, after Frey’s death in 2016, prosecutors said. In one email, he wrote that Frey “alas, is dead and identifying him as the source would make this go away once and for all,” they alleged. Authorities were armed with search warrants and managed to finally retrieve the materials from Sotheby’s and from Kosinski’s New Jersey home.