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Trial begins over the Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ handwritten lyrics

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 25:  (L-R) Musicians  Don Henley, Glenn Frey,  Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit of The Eagles attend "History Of The Eagles Part One" screening during Sundance London Film And Music Festival 2013 at Sky Superscreen O2 on April 25, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images for Sundance London)

The trial over handwritten papers that included a classic track from the band, the Eagles, was set to start Wednesday.

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The papers included drafts of lyrics handwritten by the drummer and songwriter, Don Henley, The New York Times reported.

Ed Sanders, was working on a book about the band in the 1970s and he reportedly got 100 or so pages of notes and lyrics that were associated with their album, “Hotel California,” the Times reported. However, that book was never published.

The pages included handwritten lyrics from the Eagles album “Hotel California” that came out in 1976. The handwritten notes were estimated to be worth about $1 million, Rolling Stone reported.

According to court documents obtained by the Times, Sanders sold the notes and lyrics to a rare manuscript dealer who was identified as Glenn Horowitz. Craig Inciardi who curated previously for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Edward Kosinski who owns a memorabilia store. Court records indicated that Horowitz, Inciardi and Kosinski were involved, according to Rolling Stone.

Three men - Horowitz, Inciardi and Kosinski - were arrested in July 2020, according to Rolling Stone. They were charged with a count of conspiracy which comes with an up to four-year sentence. Horowitz was charged additionally with first-degree attempted criminal possession of stolen property and two counts of hindering prosecution. Inciardi and Kosinski were additionally charged with first-degree counts of criminal possession.

The three men pleaded not guilty, according to The Associated Press.

“We believe that Mr. Henley voluntarily provided the lyrics to Mr. Sanders,” attorney Scott Edelman said in court, according to the AP. Sanders has not been charged in the case.

Henley is also expected to testify in the trial while on tour with the Eagles, the AP reported.

The “Hotel California” album sold about 26 million copies across the country.

The trial is expected to be decided by a judge rather than a jury, the Times reported. It was supposed to originally go on trial last fall but was moved until Wednesday.