‘Hotel California’ Trial Centers on Handwritten Eagles Lyrics

In the late 1970s, a writer working on a book about the Eagles that would never be published obtained 100-odd pages of notes and lyrics related to the multiplatinum album “Hotel California.”

The papers included handwritten drafts of lyrics by the band’s songwriter and drummer, Don Henley.

Decades later, according to court documents, the writer, Ed Sanders, sold the trove to a prominent dealer in rare manuscripts who had placed the papers of Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe in university libraries and had worked to sell Bob Dylan’s archive for a sum estimated at up to $20 million.

In 2022, prosecutors in Manhattan said that the manuscript dealer, Glenn Horowitz, and two other men had been charged with conspiring to possess stolen property valued at over $1 million that included embryonic versions of hits like “Hotel California,” “New Kid in Town” and “Life in the Fast Lane.”

On Wednesday, the three men are scheduled to go on trial in an unusual proceeding that may feature testimony from Mr. Henley, who told a grand jury the material was stolen. The trial will be decided by the judge, not a jury.

Before being arrested, Mr. Horowitz had installed himself at the confluence of literature and finance in New York, dealing in huge sums and equally huge reputations.

After working in the rare book room at the Greenwich Village bookstore the Strand, he struck out on his own at 23 and built a flourishing business with offices in Manhattan and East Hampton, N.Y., bringing gallery-style glitz to the musty world of archives and antiquarian volumes.

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