In the late Nineteen Seventies, as Southern California’s Eagles sailed into rock superstardom, one of many band’s predominant songwriters generated reams of handwritten lyrics and notes — amongst them, the phrases to such FM-radio staples as “Hotel California.”
And then, the papers vanished.
Nearly 5 many years later, Glenn Horowitz, a New York rare-book vendor, and two different males had been charged on Tuesday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan with conspiring to promote about 100 pages of the stolen notes written by the songwriter, Don Henley, mendacity to regulation enforcement authorities and fabricating tales concerning the provenance of the papers, that are valued at round $1 million.
“This action exposes the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a facade of legitimacy,” Irving Azoff, Mr. Henley’s supervisor, mentioned. “No one has the right to sell illegally obtained property or profit from the outright theft of irreplaceable pieces of musical history.”
Those charged embrace Mr. Horowitz, 66, who helped create a frothy market in writers’ archives, curating submitting cupboards’ price of manuscripts, drafts, letters and ephemera right into a coherent and sellable complete. He positioned the papers of Norman Mailer, Gabriel García Márquez, Tom Wolfe, Alice Walker and others in main college libraries, and brokered main offers with musicians: In 2016, he bought Bob Dylan’s huge archive to two establishments in Oklahoma for a sum estimated to be as excessive as $20 million.
Lawyers for Mr. Horowitz and the opposite defendants, Craig Inciardi, 58, and Edward Kosinski, 59, denied the fees.
“The D.A.’s office alleges criminality where none exists and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of well-respected professionals,” the legal professionals mentioned in an announcement. “These men are innocent.”
A lawyer for Mr. Inciardi added that the boys had turned themselves in and had been launched on their very own recognizance.
The indictment is a surprising flip for Mr. Horowitz, a mainstay of New York City’s uncommon e book and manuscript market who is understood for mixing a eager enterprise sense with deep literary studying and a showman’s aptitude.
A go to to his Midtown Manhattan workplace with its terrace overlooking the Museum of Modern Art sculpture backyard would possibly provide a glimpse of a alternative historic letter or a jaw-dropping literary artifact — accompanied by a remark that the viewing was off the report.
“As Glenn himself says, he’s a terrific combination of a scholar and a grifter,” Rick Gekoski, a e book vendor in London who repeatedly did enterprise with Horowitz, advised The New York Times in 2007.
The notes on the coronary heart of the case introduced on Tuesday are the lyrical backbone of what would develop into one of the recognizable, ubiquitous albums of the Nineteen Seventies. The Eagles made music that drew on blues and nation rock however that was suffused with the actual malaise of Southern California in its post-hippie, pre-punk interval.
Half a century since its 1976 launch, the “Hotel California” album and Mr. Henley’s gnomic musings — “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave” — have fueled never-ending speculation amongst followers concerning the lyrics’ that means. The band’s steady world tour, on which it performs the album entrance to again with a full orchestra, has crammed arenas for greater than two years.
Mr. Horowitz obtained Mr. Henley’s notes in 2005, in accordance to a information launch from Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district legal professional. The manuscripts had been initially stolen from the songwriter within the late Nineteen Seventies by a author engaged on a e book concerning the band, the discharge mentioned. The notes embrace handwritten lyrics to “Hotel California,” the albums’s title observe.
Mr. Henley turned conscious of the notes’ reappearance when Mr. Horowitz bought them to Mr. Inciardi and Mr. Kosinski, fellow collectors who tried to market them additional. According to the district legal professional’s workplace, Mr. Henley filed police reviews and advised the collectors the notes had been stolen.
“Rather than making any effort to ensure they actually had rightful ownership, the defendants responded by engaging in a yearslong campaign to prevent Henley from recovering the manuscripts,” the district legal professional’s launch mentioned.
The males sought to launder the notes by way of Sotheby’s public sale homes and engaged in a five-year effort to cover the place the paperwork had come from, the district legal professional’s workplace mentioned. Mr. Horowitz later tried to leverage the 2016 loss of life of Glenn Frey, the Eagles’ different frontman, as potential cowl, suggesting that Mr. Frey was the preliminary supply for the papers, in accordance to the information launch.
Mr. Frey “alas, is dead, and identifying him as the source would make this go away once and for all,” Mr. Horowitz mentioned in a fabricated assertion of provenance after the notes had been seized by investigators from a Sotheby’s warehouse, the district legal professional’s workplace mentioned.
Mr. Horowitz was charged with conspiracy, tried prison possession of stolen property and hindering prosecution. Mr. Inciardi and Mr. Kosinski had been charged with possessing stolen property and conspiracy.
Alex Traub and Jennifer Schuessler contributed reporting.