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Rock Hall curator charged after trying to sell Eagles' lyrics

Hotel California.jpg
Kabir Bhatia
Ideastream Public Media
Most of the lyrics allegedly stolen are from the Eagles' 1976 LP "Hotel California," which was certified as the third best-selling album. In second place is the band's "Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)," released earlier that same year.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s lead curator has been charged after attempting to sell nearly 100 pages of handwritten lyrics belonging to the Eagles.

Craig Inciardi has been with the Rock Hall since it opened in 1995. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office said he worked with two others to sell Eagles’ lyrics to Christie's and Sotheby’s auction houses. The investigation was sparked by Eagles leader Don Henley. He alleged that the pages were stolen nearly 20 years ago by an unnamed author who had been working on a book about the ‘70s rockers.

The Rock Hall is not named in the indictment, and in a statement Wednesday said there is no indication that the pages were ever part of the Rock Hall’s archives. Inciardi is alleged to have been working independently of his role at the museum and has been suspended. He most recently curated an exhibit on the Beatles' "Get Back" sessions.

Most of the lyrics and notes in question are from the Eagles’ 1976 “Hotel California” LP, which has been certified as the third best-selling album of all time behind Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the Eagles’ own greatest hits album. Producer Bill Szymczyk worked on both albums, and spoke with Ideastream last year.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.