“Lodge California” lyrics trial reveals Eagles supervisor cited “God Henley” in telephone name

Photo of author

By Calvin S. Nelson

Handwritten “Lodge California” lyrics at heart of lawsuit

Handwritten “Lodge California” lyrics at heart of lawsuit


The Eagles’ supervisor as soon as advised their licensed biographer that his guide wasn’t getting revealed due to friction from “a pampered rock star,” in line with a recording performed in court docket Thursday.

“It is gonna come out when God Henley says it may well,” Irving Azoff stated in the identical years-old telephone name, apparently referring to band co-founder Don Henley. “Now it is as much as God.”

The recording emerged on the legal trial of three collectibles consultants charged with conspiring to hold onto and promote sheets of handwritten, draft lyrics to the megahit “Lodge California” and different Eagles favorites.

The biographer, Ed Sanders, is not charged within the case, however he elements in it as a result of he bought the roughly 100 pages to one of many defendants. Henley and prosecutors contend that the paperwork have been stolen, saying Sanders obtained them from Henley’s dwelling to analysis the guide and was obligated to return them to the Eagles.

Defendants Edward Kosinski, Craig Inciardi and Glenn Horowitz have pleaded not responsible.

Hotel California Lyrics-Trial
Former Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame curator Craig Inciardi, left, memorabilia vendor Edward Kosinski, heart, and rare-book supplier Glenn Horowitz take their locations on the defendants’ desk in court docket on Feb. 21, 2024, in New York.

Mary Altaffer / AP

The never-published guide is a aspect participant within the authorized case. However testimony in regards to the guide has make clear the Eagles’ interpersonal dynamics and reputational goals across the time of the group’s 1980 breakup.

And Thursday supplied a behind-the-scenes take a look at music-business wheeling and dealing, and on the longtime supervisor whom Henley as soon as referred to as – affectionately – “our Devil.”

Azoff has been the private supervisor of the Eagles, probably the most profitable bands in rock historical past, since about 1973. He is managed many different big-name musicians, produced the traditional 1982 teen comedy “Quick Occasions at Ridgemont Excessive” and was CEO of Ticketmaster for a time.

In 1979, because the Eagles have been closing out the last decade that introduced them superstardom, they employed Sanders to pen a biography. The author, who additionally co-founded the ’60s counterculture rock band the Fugs, had authored a famous guide about murderous cult chief Charles Manson.

“Pampered rock star”

Azoff testified Wednesday that when Sanders turned within the Eagles manuscript within the early Nineteen Eighties, Henley and Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey have been “very disillusioned.” Azoff stated he discovered the draft’s dialogue of the Eagles’ breakup “unacceptable” and the band by no means licensed publication as a result of the guide “wasn’t excellent.”

“It did not, to me, seize the essence of the enjoyment of the story,” Azoff added on the witness stand Thursday, elaborating in regards to the Eagles “chasing the American dream and the way vital they have been to establishing Southern California as a mecca of music.”

“Anyone else may need thought it was excellent,” he stated, however “we did not assume it was good for the Eagles.”

Hotel California Lyrics Trial
Eagles supervisor Irving Azoff leaves supreme court docket after testifying, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, in New York. 

Mary Altaffer / AP

Then one among Kosinski’s attorneys performed a recording of Azoff proclaiming he was “phenomenally, completely comfortable” with the guide.

The recording, of a name between Azoff and Sanders, was undated however apparently from the Nineteen Eighties. The protection stated the author taped it.

At different factors within the name, Azoff indicated that Frey did not have an issue with the manuscript and that “offers are executed,” however there nonetheless was an impediment.

“Ed, you have been fantastic. The guide is gonna come out – it is simply that I’ve a pampered rock star right here,” Azoff stated.

Requested on the witness stand who the “pampered rock star” was, Azoff stated: “Most likely all of them.”

“You’d agree that you simply advised Mr. Sanders that the guide was going to come back out when ‘God Henley’ says it may well?” lawyer Scott Edelman requested at one other level.

“It was both me or Devil that advised him that,” Azoff quipped.

Henley stated within the Eagles’ 1998 Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame induction speech that Azoff “could also be Devil, however he is our Devil.″ Requested throughout testimony Wednesday in regards to the comment, Azoff shot again: “Have you ever ever heard of humor, sir?”

However the taped telephone name, Azoff stated Thursday that he did not keep in mind any publishing deal for the Eagles biography, and he stated years of rewriting by no means produced a guide the band was keen to approve.

“There have been a whole lot of altering positions, however on the finish of the day, I consider it was Mr. Frey who pulled the plug,” the supervisor stated. Frey died in 2016.

Horowitz, Inciardi and Kosinski are accused of deceiving public sale homes, and attempting to fend off Henley, by crafting bogus explanations of how Sanders obtained the paperwork.

Horowitz, a rare-book vendor who has brokered offers to put main archives at establishments, purchased the Eagles lyrics drafts from Sanders for $50,000 in 2005.

Horowitz later bought them for $65,000 to Inciardi, who was then a rock Corridor of Fame curator, and Kosinski, who owns a rock memorabilia public sale website.

After Kosinski’s website supplied 4 pages of the “Lodge California” lyrics in 2012, Henley reported them stolen however in the end purchased them for $8,500. After extra sheets from that track and “Life within the Quick Lane” went up for public sale in 2014 and 2016, Henley refused to barter extra buybacks and turned to authorities once more, in line with prosecutors and Azoff.

Protection attorneys say Henley gave Sanders the paperwork. The protection argues that the author was the rightful proprietor when he bought them, and so have been the defendants as soon as they purchased the pages.

Sanders hasn’t testified, and it seems unlikely he’ll. He hasn’t responded to a message looking for touch upon the case, and emails despatched to him bounced again.

“Lodge California” lyrics and that means

Frey and Henley wrote the lyrics to  1976’s “Lodge California” in a Beverly Hills home rented for the aim, for the reason that tidy Henley’s tendency to select up after Frey “would drive them loopy” in the event that they labored in their very own houses, Azoff testified.

Henley did many of the writing, he added, with Frey leaning in to make ideas such because the phrase “Life within the Quick Lane,” which grew to become the title of successful single.

In 2016, “CBS Mornings” co-host Gayle King requested Henley in regards to the that means of “Lodge California.”

“Properly, I at all times say, it is a journey from innocence to expertise. It is probably not about California; it is about America,” Henley stated. “It is in regards to the darkish underbelly of the American dream. It is about extra, it is about narcissism. It is in regards to the music enterprise. It is about a whole lot of totally different…. It may have one million interpretations.”

The Grammy-winning track remains to be a touchstone on traditional rock radio and lots of private playlists. The leisure information firm Luminate counted greater than 220 million streams and 136,000 radio performs of “Lodge California” within the U.S. final yr.

Henley is anticipated to testify. Protection attorneys have indicated that they plan to query how clearly he remembers his dealings with Sanders and the lyric sheets at a time when the rock star was dwelling “life within the quick lane” himself.

In 2016, Henley advised Gayle King that the band was certainly dwelling that way of life within the Seventies.

“Yeah… All people was doing it. It was the ’70s,” Henley stated. “It was what all people was doing, which does not make it proper essentially. And you realize, wanting again on it, there’s some regrets about that. We in all probability may have been extra productive … though we have been fairly productive, contemplating.”

Don Felder performs “Lodge California” on the Met


Leave a Comment