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Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

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NEW YORK — In the mid-1970s, the Eagles worked on a mysterious new song.

Don Henley, with the help of band co-founder Glenn Frey, wrote down ideas on a lined yellow pad about “a dark desert highway” and “a lovely place” with a luxury surface and frightening undertones. And something on ice, like caviar, Taittinger, or pink champagne?

The hit “Hotel California” became one of rock’s most memorable. Nearly a half-century later, those scribbled pages of lyrics-in-the-making have become the focus of an unusual criminal prosecution, which begins Wednesday.

Glenn Horowitz, a rare book dealer, Craig Inciardi, a former Rock and Roll Hall of Fame curator, and Edward Kosinski, a memorabilia seller, are accused of conspiring to own and sell manuscripts for “Hotel California” and other Eagles classics without permission.

The three have pled not guilty, and their lawyers have stated that the men did not commit any crimes with the materials they obtained from a writer who had worked with the Eagles. However, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office claims the defendants conspired to conceal the documents’ disputed ownership, even knowing Henley claimed the pages were stolen.

Clashes over precious items are frequent, but criminal trials like these are uncommon. Many disagreements are addressed privately through lawsuits or agreements to return items.

“If you can avoid prosecution by handing over the thing, most people just hand it over,” said Travis McDade, a University of Illinois law professor who specialises in unusual document disputes.

Of course, the Eagle’s texts stand apart in other ways.

eagles

Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

The prosecutors’ primary witness is Henley, who is set to testify between Eagles tour stops. The non-jury trial could provide insight into the band’s creative process and life on the fast track to ’70s glory.

Over 80 pages of draft lyrics from the hit 1976 album “Hotel California” are at stake, including the words to the chart-topping, Grammy-winning title track. It boasts one of classic rock’s most recognisable riffs, best-known solos, and most oft-quoted — maybe overquoted — lines: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

Henley said the song is about “the dark underbelly of the American dream.”

It was streamed over 220 million times and received 136,000 radio airplay in the United States alone last year, according to entertainment data company Luminate. Over the years, the “Hotel California” album has sold 26 million copies nationwide, trailing only the Eagles’ greatest hits album and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

The pages also contain lyrics to songs like “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid in Town.” Eagles manager Irving Azoff has described the manuscripts as “irreplaceable pieces of musical history.”

Horowitz, Inciardi, and Kosinski are accused of conspiracy to possess stolen property, among other offences.

They are not charged with actually stealing documents. Nor is anyone else, but prosecutors must still prove that the documents were taken. The defence claims that is not true.

Much is dependent on the Eagles’ connections with Ed Sanders, a writer who also co-founded the 1960s counterculture rock band the Fugs. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he worked on an authorised Eagles biography, which was never published.

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Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

Sanders is not charged in this case. He received a phone message requesting a comment.

He sold the pages to Horowitz, who then sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski.

Horowitz has handled large rare book and archive deals and has previously been involved in ownership disputes. One featured papers related to Margaret Mitchell, the author of “Gone With the Wind.” It was settled.

Inciardi worked on several notable exhibitions for Cleveland’s Rock Hall of Fame. Kosinski is a principal of Gotta Have It! Collectables, infamous for auctioning celebrities’ personal belongings, including Madonna’s latex underpants, which she unsuccessfully tried to prevent from being sold.

According to court documents filed by Kosinski’s lawyers, Henley informed a grand jury that he never delivered the lyrics to the biographer. However, defence attorneys have indicated they want to investigate Henley’s memory of the events.

“We believe that Mr. Henley voluntarily provided the lyrics to Mr. Sanders,” attorney Scott Edelman stated in court last week.

Sanders told Horowitz in 2005 that while working on the Eagles book, he was sent whatever papers he wanted from Henley’s residence in Malibu, California, according to the indictment.

Then, in 2012, Kosinski’s business auctioned off several pages. Henley’s lawyers came knocking. According to the indictment, Horowitz, Inciardi, and Sanders began bouncing around various accounts of the manuscripts’ provenance.

Sanders discovered the pages dumped in a backstage dressing area in one story. In others, he obtained them from a stage assistant or while collecting “a lot of material related to the Eagles from different people.” In another, he got them from Frey — an account that “would make this go away once and for all,” Horowitz said in 2017. Frey had died a year ago.

“He merely needs gentle handling and reassurance that he’s not going to the can,” Horowitz emailed Inciardi during a 2012 interaction about getting Sanders’ “‘explanation’ shaped into a communication” to auctioneers, the indictment states.

According to the indictment, Sanders offered or signed off on some of the various justifications, but what he said verbally is unclear. However, he appears to have disputed at least the dressing-room tale.

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Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

Kosinski sent one explanation, approved by Sanders, to Henley’s counsel. According to the prosecution, Kosinski also told Sotheby’s auction company that the musician had “no claim” to the records and requested that possible bidders remain unaware of Henley’s objections.

Sotheby’s listed the song “Hotel California” lyrics in a 2016 auction but deleted them after learning of the ownership dispute. Sotheby’s is not charged in the case and has declined to comment.

According to court documents, Henley paid $8,500 for some draft lyrics from Gotta Have It! in 2012, when he began submitting police reports.

Henley’s defence counsel argues he hired starstruck prosecutors to take up his cause rather than pursuing a civil suit himself.

The DA’s office collaborated extensively with Henley’s legal team, and an investigator even wished for backstage passes to an Eagles concert — until a prosecutor declared it was “completely inappropriate,” according to Kosinki’s lawyers in court papers.

Prosecutors dismissed inquiries about their motivations as “a conspiracy theory rather than a legal defence.”

Last year, they stated in court documents, “It is the defendants, not the prosecutors, who are on trial.”

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Man Set Himself Afire in New York Leaves Shocking Manifesto

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Man Set Himself Afire: Getty Image

In an online manifesto, the man set himself on fire outside a New York courthouse where former President Donald Trump was on trial, citing political motivations. The individual, Max Azzarello, is alive but badly injured. Police observed him dousing himself with fluids before lighting.

Responders on the scene contributed to the fire’s extinguishment. Azzarello’s pamphlets and social media posts suggest conspiracy ideas, but officials do not believe he targeted anyone specifically.

According to accounts, a recently released manifesto ascribed to the man who set himself on fire outside the lower Manhattan courthouse where Trump’s hush money trial is taking place appears to be motivated only by political reasons.

Identified as Max Azzarello, he supposedly runs a Substack page called “The Ponzi Papers,” with his most recent entry headlined “I have set myself on fire outside the Trump Trial.”

In the first lines, Azzarello reveals his extreme act to highlight a critical revelation: “My name is Max Azzarello, and I am an investigative researcher who has set himself on fire outside of the Trump trial in Manhattan. The purpose of this severe protest is to call attention to an urgent and significant finding.”

He went on to say, “We are victims of a totalitarian con, and our government (along with many of their allies) is about to hit us with an apocalyptic fascist world coup.”

The manifesto references a complicated conspiracy involving cryptocurrencies and government collaboration, reflecting themes from Azzarello’s recent social media activities.

Authorities in New York have confirmed that Azzarello is alive but in critical condition.

Man on Fire New York

Man on Fire New York: Getty Image

During an afternoon press briefing following the incident, New York Police Department Chief Jeffrey Maddrey explained: “At 1.30 this afternoon, we observed a male walk into the center of the park, he starts shuffling around his clothes, he opens up a book bag, takes numerous pieces of paper, he throws the pamphlets throughout the park, and then he pulls out a canister and puts some kind of liquid on himself, and he lights himself on fire.”

“New York citizens, court officers, and representatives of the police department rush into the park and try to put him out with their coats and fire extinguishers. Eventually, New York firefighters were able to extinguish the fire,” Maddrey said.

The New York Fire Department eventually extinguished the fire, and Azzarello was reported to be “alive and intubated” at Cornell Medical Center’s burn center.

“I hope you understand how powerful you are. “I wish you much more than luck,” he said at the end of his lengthy manifesto.

The altercation occurred just as Judge Juan Merchan was about to adjourn for lunch on the third day of Trump’s fraud trial. It occurred in a portion of the plaza where small groups of protestors had been gathered every day since Monday, except Wednesday.

Azzarello was seen kneeling on the ground, his arms gesturing madly as flames devoured him. Television commentators described the harrowing scenario as many police officers and a civilian raced towards him.

Amidst the confusion, one person tried smattering the flames with a coat or blanket, while another used a fire extinguisher. Azzarello remained motionless after the fire was extinguished and was later treated by paramedics.

People in New York Horrified

A spectator who witnessed the incident expressed disbelief, saying, “He made a noise and flung all those brochures. It is shocking. A few folks are crying in the park. “There is nothing you can do.”

The NYPD’s chief of detectives, Joseph Kenny, stated that Azzarello’s pamphlets and social media posts indicated that the trial acted as a backdrop rather than a direct reason for his conduct.

Kenny viewed the pamphlet as propaganda-driven, stating: “The pamphlet appears to be propaganda-based, almost like a conspiracy-theory-type of pamphlet, with some information about Ponzi schemes and the fact that some of our local educational institutes are a front for the mob.”

Kenny discovered that Azzarello, from St. Augustine, Florida, has no criminal history in New York and was unknown to officials.

The NYPD’s deputy commissioner, Tarik Sheppard, stated that detectives did not perceive Azzarello’s conduct as targeting any single people or group, including Trump or his supporters.

“We just right now labeled him as a sort of conspiracy theorist, and we’ll go from there, but the investigation will continue,” he said.

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Man Set Himself Ablaze Outside New York Courthouse

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The smell of smoke lingered: Getty Image

A man set himself on fire outside the New York courthouse where former President Donald Trump’s historic hush-money trial was taking place, but officials said he did not appear to be targeting Trump.

The man burned for many minutes in full front of television cameras stationed outside the courthouse, which is hosting the first-ever criminal prosecution of a former United States president.

“He was on fire for quite a while,” one witness told reporters, declining to provide his name. “It was pretty horrifying.”

Officials said the man, who is in his late thirties, survived and was in critical condition at a hospital.

According to witnesses, the man removed leaflets from a rucksack and hurled them into the air before dousing himself with liquid and setting himself on fire. One of the booklets mentioned “evil billionaires,” but the portions accessible to a Reuters witness did not mention Trump.

According to the New York Police Department, Max Azzarello of St. Augustine, Florida, did not appear to target Trump or any other trial participants.

“Right now, we are labeling him as a conspiracy theorist, and we will proceed from there,” Tarik Sheppard, a deputy commissioner of the Police Department, said at a news conference.

In an online manifesto, a man using that name admitted to setting himself on fire and apologized to friends, bystanders, and first responders. The message warns of “an apocalyptic fascist coup” and condemns Bitcoin and US politicians but does not mention Trump specifically.

A Reuters witness reported that smoke persisted in the plaza shortly after the incident and that a police officer sprayed a fire extinguisher on the ground. A flaming rucksack and a gas can were both visible.

US Truckers Boycott New York, Rally Behind Trump

US Truckers Boycott Corrupt New York, Rally Behind Trump

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G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

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AP - VOR News Image

Paris police find no weapons on a man detained at Iran’s consulate.

Police said Friday that they discovered no weapons on a man held at the Iranian consulate in Paris after responding to a report of a suspicious man carrying a grenade and an explosives vest.

A Paris police spokesperson told The Associated Press that authorities were verifying the man’s identity but discovered no such weapons on him or in his car.

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AP News – VOR News Image

G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not permitted to be publicly identified under police procedure.

Some of the police, special agents, and firefighters who rushed to the situation at the consulate were later spotted leaving the area after being arrested. A police cordon remained in place, although traffic had resumed in the area.

According to the official, the individual was observed late Friday morning, and police initiated a special operation as soon as they were notified.

The event occurred at a time of heightened tensions in the Middle East, as Paris prepares to host the summer Olympics.

The director of the United Nations’ nuclear inspector says there was no damage to the Isfahan nuclear facility following a purported Israeli drone attack on a major air base near the Iranian city.

When asked about the nuclear facility on Sky News, International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi stated, “There hasn’t been any damage at the site or anything that would indicate that (there) were hits nearby or something that could lead you to believe that there was an intention to reach these places.”

The Isfahan facility has three small research reactors supplied by China, as well as fuel production and other activities for Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

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G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

Isfahan also contains locations related with Iran’s nuclear program, such as the subterranean Natanz enrichment facility, which has been frequently attacked by suspected Israeli sabotage strikes.

Iranian authorities claim that air defenses fired on a key air base in Isfahan, which has long housed Iran’s fleet of American-made F-14 Tomcats, purchased prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Missile remnants were discovered Friday near Latifiya, southwest of Baghdad.

An official with an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with journalists, said the missile was shot down due to jamming efforts. The Iraqi army lacks jamming systems similar to those used to destroy the rocket, but Iran has handed such gear to its allied militias.

It was unclear whether the rocket was part of an Israeli attack on Iran or last weekend’s Iranian attack on Israel. Local media images of the site showed what seemed to be an air-to-surface missile. There were no reports of Iran firing air-to-surface missiles during Saturday’s onslaught, which comprised over 300 drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles.

iran

G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

Tehran launched the attack in response to a purported Israeli strike in Syria on April 1, which killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consulate building.

SOURCE (AP)

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