Don Henley resumes testifying in trial over ‘Hotel California’ draft lyrics

NEW YORK — Don Henley resumed his testimony Tuesday in a trial over handwritten lyrics to some of the Eagles’ biggest hits, including “Hotel California,” and his decade-long effort to reclaim the pages.

After telling a New York court on Monday about topics ranging from writing Eagles songs to his past personal problems, the Eagles co-founder was further questioned on Tuesday by lawyers for the three men on trial in the case.

Edward Kosinski, Craig Inciardi and Glenn Horowitz are accused of plotting to hide disputed ownership of the pages and sell them, despite knowing that Henley claimed they had no right to them. The defendants have pleaded not guilty to charges including conspiracy to criminally possess stolen property.

They are not accused of actually stealing the roughly 100 legal-pad sheets from the development of the Eagles’ 1976 release “Hotel California,” the third best-selling album ever in the US. The sheets contained drafts of the words to the song “Hotel California,” one of rock’s most enduring hits.

Horowitz purchased the pages in 2005 from writer Ed Sanders, who decades earlier worked with the Eagles on a band biography that was never published. Horowitz later sold the documents to Inciardi and Kosinski, who then put some pages up for auction.

Sanders is not accused of any crime. He has not responded to messages about the case.

Henley bought back four pages of lyrics from “Hotel California” in 2012. He also went to the authorities at the time, and again when more pages – some from the hit ‘Life in the Fast Lane’ – came up for sale in 2014 and 2016. .

At trial, Henley testified that Sanders did not have permission to keep or sell the pages, although he was allowed to view them while writing the book.

“I believed my property had been stolen. Mr. Sanders kept it in his home, in his garage, for thirty years, and then it was for sale on the Internet. I thought that was a crime,” Henley told the court Tuesday.

He testified Monday that he did not give permission for the “very personal, very private” lyrics to be removed from his Malibu, California, property, although he acknowledged that he could not remember the entirety of his conversations with the writer in the US. late 1970s and early 1980s.

In a tape recording of a 1980 phone conversation played in court Monday, Henley said he would “try to sift through his texts” to support Sanders’ book.

When asked about the recording, Henley said he was talking about giving the writer “access.” It is not giving, it is not giving.”