May 26, 2024

Within the mid-Nineteen Seventies, the Eagles had been engaged on a spooky, cryptic new music.

On a lined yellow pad, Don Henley, with enter from band co-founder Glenn Frey, jotted ideas about “a darkish desert freeway” and “a beautiful place” with an opulent floor and ominous undertones. And one thing on ice, maybe caviar or Taittinger — or pink Champagne?

The music, “Resort California,” grew to become one in all rock’s most indelible singles. And practically a half-century later, these handwritten pages of lyrics-in-the-making have grow to be the middle of an uncommon prison trial.

Uncommon-book seller Glenn Horowitz, former Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame curator Craig Inciardi and memorabilia vendor Edward Kosinski are charged with conspiring to personal and attempt to promote manuscripts of “Resort California” and different Eagles hits with out the fitting to take action.

The three have pleaded not responsible, and their legal professionals have mentioned the lads dedicated no crime with the papers, which they acquired by way of a author who’d labored with the Eagles. However the Manhattan district lawyer’s workplace says the defendants connived to obscure the paperwork’ disputed possession, regardless of understanding that Henley mentioned the pages had been stolen.

Clashes over priceless collectibles abound, however prison trials like this are uncommon. Many fights are resolved in personal, in lawsuits or with agreements to return the objects.

“Should you can keep away from a prosecution by handing over the factor, most individuals simply hand it over,” mentioned Travis McDade, a College of Illinois regulation professor who research uncommon doc disputes.

After all, the case of the Eagles manuscripts is distinctive in different methods, too.

The prosecutors’ star witness is certainly that: Henley is anticipated to testify between Eagles tour stops. The non-jury trial may supply a peek into the band’s inventive course of and life within the quick lane of ’70s stardom.

At difficulty are over 80 pages of draft lyrics from the blockbuster 1976 “Resort California” album, together with phrases to the chart-topping, Grammy-winning title lower. It options one in all basic rock’s most recognizable riffs, best-known solos and most oft-quoted — arguably overquoted — strains: “You’ll be able to take a look at any time you want, however you may by no means depart.”

The pages additionally embrace lyrics from songs together with “Life within the Quick Lane” and “New Child in City.” Eagles supervisor Irving Azoff has known as the paperwork “irreplaceable items of musical historical past.”

Horowitz, Inciardi and Kosinki are charged with conspiracy to own stolen property and varied different offenses.

They’re not charged with truly stealing paperwork. Neither is anybody else, however prosecutors will nonetheless have to determine that the paperwork had been stolen. The protection maintains that is not true.

A lot activates the Eagles’ interactions with Ed Sanders, a author who additionally co-founded the Sixties counterculture rock band the Fugs. He labored within the late ‘70s and early ’80s on a licensed Eagles biography that was by no means revealed.

Sanders isn’t charged within the case. However He offered the pages to Horowitz, who then offered them to Inciardi and Kosinski.

Horowitz has dealt with big uncommon e book and archive offers, and he is been entangled in some possession spats earlier than. One concerned papers linked to “Gone With the Wind″ writer Margaret Mitchell. It was settled.

Henley advised a grand jury he by no means gave the biographer the lyrics, in line with court docket filings from Kosinski’s legal professionals. However protection legal professionals have signaled that they plan to probe Henley’s reminiscence of the time.

Sanders advised Horowitz in 2005 that whereas engaged on the Eagles e book, he was despatched no matter papers he needed from Henley’s dwelling in Malibu, California, in line with the indictment.

Then Kosinski’s enterprise supplied some pages at public sale in 2012. Henley’s attorneys got here knocking. And Horowitz, Inciardi and Sanders, in various mixtures, started batting round alternate variations of the manuscripts’ provenance, the indictment says.

In a single story, Sanders discovered the pages discarded in a backstage dressing room. In others, he received them from a stage assistant or whereas amassing “numerous materials associated to the Eagles from completely different individuals.” In one more, he obtained them from Frey — an account that “would make this go away as soon as and for all,” Horowitz instructed in 2017. Frey had died the yr earlier than.

“He merely wants light dealing with and reassurance that he isn’t going to the can,” Horowitz emailed Inciardi throughout a 2012 change about getting Sanders’ “‘clarification’ formed right into a communication” to auctioneers, the indictment says.

Sanders equipped or signed off on among the various explanations, in line with the indictment, and it’s unclear what he might have conveyed verbally. However he apparently rejected at the very least the dressing-room story.

Kosinki forwarded one clarification, accepted by Sanders, to Henley’s lawyer. Kosinski additionally assured Sotheby’s public sale home that the musician had “no declare” to the paperwork and requested to maintain potential bidders at midnight about Henley’s complaints, the indictment says.

Sotheby’s listed the “Resort California” music lyrics in a 2016 public sale however withdrew them after studying the possession was in query. Sotheby’s is not charged within the case and declined to remark.

Henley purchased some draft lyrics privately from Gotta Have It! for $8,500 in 2012, when he additionally started submitting police studies, in line with court docket filings.

Protection legal professionals declare Henley discovered starstruck prosecutors to take up his trigger as an alternative of pursuing a civil go well with himself.

The DA’s workplace labored carefully with Henley’s authorized staff, and an investigator even yearned for backstage passes for an Eagles present — till a prosecutor mentioned the concept was “fully inappropriate,” Kosinki’s legal professionals mentioned in court docket papers.

Prosecutors have rebuffed questions on their motivations as “a conspiracy principle slightly than a authorized protection.”

Final yr, they wrote in court docket papers, “It’s the defendants, not the prosecutors, who’re on trial.”

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