Eagles Co-Founder Sues Over Handwritten ‘Hotel California’ Lyrics

Former Eagles singer Don Henley filed a civil complaint on June 28 in a Manhattan federal court seeking the return of his handwritten song lyrics and notes from the hit album “Hotel California.”

Manhattan prosecutors in March dropped criminal charges against three collectibles experts accused of plotting to sell the handwritten documents after the trial was already underway. Henley, who has insisted that the notes and lyrics were stolen, vowed to bring a civil lawsuit against the men – rare books dealer Glenn Horowitz, rock memorabilia deal Edward Kosinski, and former Rock & Roll Hall of Fame curator Craig Inciardi.

In a June 28 statement, Henley’s attorney Daniel Petrocelli said the 100 pages of handwritten sheets belong to Henley and his family and that the singer never authorized anyone to “peddle them for profit.”

The 1977 Eagles album is the third-bestselling album in the United States.

The documents remain in the custody of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which initially brought the criminal case against Horowitz, Kosinski, and Inciardi.

Attorneys for Inciardi and Kosinski dismissed the civil complaint as “baseless,” arguing that the criminal case against their clients was dropped after prosecutors determined that Henley had withheld crucial information.

Shawn Crowley, who represented Edward Kosinski, said in a statement that the Eagles co-founder was “desperate to rewrite history.” He said his client looked forward to holding Henley accountable for his “misuse of the justice system” and “repeated lies.”

During the aborted trial, the defendants argued that Henley had given the handwritten documents to an author who was working on a never-published book about the Eagles decades ago. The author then sold the notes to Glenn Horowitz who sold them to Kosinski and Inciardi. They then began placing some of the pages up for auction in 2012.

The case was dropped after prosecutors admitted that the defense had been blindsided by the introduction of 6,000 pages of communications between Henley, his associates, and his attorneys. The judge in the case said the prosecution had been “manipulated” by witnesses who used attorney-client privilege “to obfuscate and hide” damaging information.