Music News

Scandal involving stolen Eagles lyrics reaches court

Three men have been charged in a conspiracy to sell some stolen Eagles lyrics. This requires some explanation.

Back in the late 70s, an unnamed author acquired a sheaf of documents (84 pages!) as part of a deal to write a biography of the band. Among the pages were handwritten lyrics to songs like “Hotel California” and “Life in the Fast Lane.” They were never returned to the band, ergo they were stolen.

In 2005, the writer sold the documents to Glenn Horowitz, a rare book dealer. He then sold then to Craig Horowitz (a curator and the director of acquisitions for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation) and Edward Kosinski. They then tried to sell off parts of the collection to both Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses.

When Don Henley heard about this, he demanded that this stolen property be returned. They refused. “Want them? Buy them back!” is the claim.

There’s also the charge that Horowitz faked the provenance of the documents, claiming that Glenn Frey (a member of The Eagles who died in 2016) was the actual original owner.

Henley, never one to shy away from being litigious, filed a police report and has continued to press for justice, hence the charges and the court appearance this week.

All three member have pleaded not guilty and are currently free on bail. If convicted, they could get up to four years in jail.

Additional detail here, here, here, and here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38293 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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