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3 charged in scheme to sell stolen lyrics from the Eagles hit 'Hotel California'

Hotel California Manuscript
Posted at 6:25 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 21:25:37-04

A rock memorabilia dealer and two other men are charged with scheming to sell allegedly ill-gotten, handwritten lyrics to "Hotel California" and other hits by the Eagles.

The three men pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges including conspiracy and criminal possession of the stolen property. Their lawyers insist the three are innocent, characterizing it as a "civil dispute" over ownership.

The trove of documents included Henley's notes and lyrics for "Hotel California" plus two others from that Grammy-winning 1976 album: "Life in the Fast Lane" and "New Kid In Town." The Eagles' longtime manager thanked prosecutors for bringing the case.

FILE - Members of The Eagles, from left, Timothy B. Schmit, Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh pose with an autographed guitar after a news conference at the Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah, Jan. 19, 2013. Three people were charged Tuesday, July 12, 2022, in an alleged conspiracy involving the handwritten lyrics to the classic rock juggernaut "Hotel California." (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

“The DA’s office alleges criminality where none exists and unfairly tarnishes the reputations of well-respected professionals,” the attorneys said in a statement. “We will fight these unjustified charges vigorously. These men are innocent.”

A statement from the band called the items “an integral part of the legacy Don Henley has created over the course of his 50-plus-year career” that need to be returned “for him and his family to enjoy and preserve for posterity.”