You can’t hawk the Eagles.
Three collectors allegedly tried to sell hundreds of pages of stolen handwritten lyrics and notes from the Eagles’ seminal “Hotel California” album worth more than $1 million, Manhattan prosecutors said Tuesday.
The trio stands accused of attempting to hawk the manuscripts through Sotheby’s and Christie’s and lying about how they got the memorabilia — with one claiming the items came from founding band member Glenn Frey, who died in 2016, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Rare book collector Glenn Horowitz, 66, allegedly said in an email message, “[Frey] alas, is dead and identifying him as the source would make this go away once and for all,” prosecutors claimed.
About 100 pages of manuscripts by drummer-singer Don Henley were allegedly stolen in the 1970s by a biographer of the band, who sold them to Horowitz in 2005, court records claimed.
Horowitz then sold them to Craig Inciardi, 58, and Edward Kosinski, 59, who tried to hawk portions of the rock’n’roll treasure trove, prosecutors said.
When Henley got wind of the pending sales, he filed a police report and demanded the records be returned, court records said.
Horowitz and Inciardi allegedly tried to falsify a “statement of provenance” outlining how they got the documents and tried between 2012 and 2018 to get Henley to buy the papers back from them, according to prosecutors.
Henley’s manager Irving Azoff thanked District Attorney Alvin Bragg for pursuing the case and said they have faith “justice will be served” in a statement provided to The Post.
“This action exposes the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a facade of legitimacy,” Azoff said, calling he lyrics “an integral part” of the rocker’s legacy.
“No one has the right to sell illegally obtained property or profit from the outright theft of irreplaceable pieces of musical history … We look forward to the return of Don’s property, for him and his family to enjoy and preserve for posterity.”
The accused turned themselves in voluntarily on a warrant and pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges in court Tuesday. The three denied any wrongdoing in a joint statement from their attorneys.
“The DA’s office alleges criminality where none exists and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of well-respected professionals,” the statement said. “We will fight these unjustified charges vigorously. These men are innocent.”
The defendants are each well-known in the world of collectors, with Manhattan resident Horowitz having been profiled by the New York Times and Inciardi, of Brooklyn, listed as a curator and director of acquisitions at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
Kosinski is the CEO of the auction house Gotta Have Rock and Roll, and previously clashed with Madonna over selling the pop icon’s personal items, including a breakup letter from her former boyfriend, late rapper Tupac Shakur, according to NBC News.
When Inciardi allegedly tried to get Christie’s to sell the Eagles manuscripts, he is said to have withheld the information about Henley’s claims. Both he and Kosinski also requested that Sotheby’s hide the claims from potential buyers, the DA’s office alleged.
As authorities closed in on the trio in 2016, Horowitz allegedly worked on the new statement of provenance claiming the then-recently deceased Frey was the source.
The items recovered by investigators included lyrics to the songs “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane,” and “New Kid on Town,” prosecutors said.
“New York is a world-class hub for art and culture, and those who deal cultural artifacts must scrupulously follow the law,” Bragg said in a statement.
“There is no room for those who would seek to ignore the basic expectations of fair dealing and undermine the public’s confidence and trust in our cultural trade for their own ends.”
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