Don Henley Testifies in Trial Over Stolen Eagles Lyrics, Denies Giving Away Personal Pages

New York City – Don Henley, co-founder of the Eagles and a Grammy-winning musician, took the stand on Monday as the star witness in a criminal trial involving stolen handwritten pages of draft lyrics to Eagles hits, including the iconic “Hotel California.” Henley vehemently denied ever giving away these personal and private documents, which were stolen from his barn in Malibu, California. The trial centers around rare-book dealer Glenn Horowitz and rock memorabilia specialists Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski, who purchased the stolen pages through writer Ed Sanders.

Henley, 76, testified that he was appalled when he discovered the stolen material appearing at auctions in 2012. He emphasized that the lyrics-in-the-making for multiple songs on the “Hotel California” album were never intended for public viewing. The album, known for its enduring popularity and poetic lyrics, remains one of the most successful rock albums in history.

The defendants have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to criminally possess stolen property. Their lawyers argue that Henley willingly gave the pages to Sanders and that no criminal activity occurred. Defense attorney Jonathan Bach played phone call recordings from 1980 between Sanders and Henley, suggesting that Henley had given the writer access to his legal pads full of lyrics drafts. However, Henley maintained that he only allowed Sanders to examine the documents and did not grant him possession.

Henley’s memory of the conversations with Sanders was called into question during the trial. To address this, a prosecutor brought up Henley’s 1980 arrest, where he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Henley admitted to making a poor decision during that time but asserted that he could recall specific details from his career, such as performances at Wembley Stadium in 1975.

Henley also provided insights into the Eagles’ creative process, including where he purchased his legal pads and why he alternated between cursive script and block lettering. He testified that he and the late Glenn Frey, Eagles co-founder, rented a house to brainstorm song titles and concepts, each armed with a guitar and a legal pad.

The stolen documents were sold to Horowitz’s company in 2005, who then sold them to Kosinski and Inciardi. Henley reported the theft after the pages began appearing at auctions in 2012. He even repurchased four pages for $8,500 in an effort to remove them from the auction listings. Kosinski’s lawyers argue that this transaction implies recognition of his ownership.

Throughout his career, Henley has been a vocal advocate for artists’ rights. He has fought against unauthorized use of his songs and has spoken out on issues such as online file-sharing. Despite settling previous legal cases, Henley remains committed to protecting artists’ rights.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. It is truly unfortunate to hear about Don Henley’s stolen handwritten draft lyrics. This incident highlights the importance of protecting personal and private documents, especially for individuals in the music industry. It serves as a reminder for artists and musicians to take necessary precautions to safeguard their creative work. Implementing secure storage systems, such as digital backups or secure physical storage, can help prevent such thefts and preserve the integrity of their artistic process. Additionally, this case also emphasizes the significance of copyright laws in protecting intellectual property

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