Eagles Manager Takes The Stand At Stolen Lyrics Trial

Renowned Eagles manager Irving Azoff took the stand in a New York City courtroom, providing pivotal testimony in a criminal trial revolving around nearly 100 pages of allegedly pilfered Eagles lyrics from the iconic “Hotel California” album.

Facing charges of conspiracy in the fourth degree are three individuals: rare-books collector Glenn Horowitz, former Rock & Roll Hall of Fame curator Craig Inciardi, and rock auctioneer Edward Kosinki. The charges carry a maximum penalty of four years in prison. Additionally, Horowitz is charged with first-degree attempted criminal possession of stolen property and two counts of hindering prosecution. Inciardi and Kosinski face first-degree counts of criminal possession.

The handwritten lyrics, penned by Eagles’ drummer and vocalist Don Henley, are valued at over $1 million. Originally entrusted to writer Ed Sanders for an authorized Eagles biography, the book was never published after being rejected.

In 2005, Horowitz acquired five legal pads containing the lyrics for $50,000, later selling them to Inciardi and Kosinski for $65,000.

Henley discovered the sale in 2012, repurchasing several pages for $8,500 and filing a police report for stolen property that same year. Azoff revealed during the trial that Henley viewed the situation as potential extortion, fearing an open-ended financial burden if more lyrics surfaced on the market.

Azoff emphasized that Sanders had permission to shop the biography to other publishers, but stressed that the content of the documents remained under the Eagles’ control. Describing it as “the lesser of two evils,” Azoff acknowledged uncertainty regarding whether anyone within the Eagles’ team had informed Sanders that selling the pages violated the contract.

In their opening arguments, the prosecution depicted Horowitz, Inciardi, and Kosinski as criminal actors who deceived and manipulated to thwart Henley’s efforts to recover his stolen property. In contrast, the defense contended that Sanders had not faced charges, and their clients were unaware of any impropriety regarding the documents.

Azoff is expected to return to the stand later this week, coinciding with the presentation of a recently unearthed tape recording between himself and Sanders. Henley is scheduled to testify in the following week as both sides continue to present evidence and witnesses in this intricate legal dispute over the stolen lyrics and the relentless efforts to reclaim them.

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