07 July 2008

Monday, July 07, 2008 - 5 comments

New Music Monday

Welcome back! What is the first thing that came to mind when you heard this song playing? For me it's driving down Highway 101 along the coast of California with all the windows down and watching the ocean as I go by. Oh those were the days. Every time I drive to Southern California or home from I love to drive down the 101, it's beautiful, historic and relaxing and this song is always played.

Hotel California is the title song from the Eagles' album of the same name and was released as a single in early 1977. It is one of the best-known songs of the rock and roll era. Writing credits for the song are shared by Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Don Felder. And in 1978 a Grammy was won for record of the year, unfortunately the band did not show up to accept the award, as Don Henley did not believe in contests.

There are MANY interpretations of this song so I'm not going to go into everyone's thoughts, but I did find this from Wikipedia (and I must say it answers some of my own questions I've had for years).
The song's lyrics describe the title establishment as a luxury resort where "you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave." On the surface, the song tells the tale of a weary traveler who becomes trapped in a nightmarish hotel that at first appeared inviting and tempting. The song is generally understood to be an allegory about hedonism and self-destruction in the Southern California music industry of the late 1970s; Don Henley called it "our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles" and later reiterated "it's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream and about excess in America, which is something we knew a lot about."

The term "colitas" in the first stanza of the song is a desert flower, also known as Antelope sage or Colita de Rata. Both Don Henley and Don Felder have repeatedly and publicly stated that Colitas are "heady desert flowers."

The use of the word "steely" in the lyric (referring to knives) was a playful nod to band Steely Dan, who had included the lyric "Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening" in their song Everything You Did, according to Glenn Frey's liner notes for The Very Best of the Eagles.

Some fun facts about Hotel California...

*The Hotel California album is #37 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Albums of all time. According to the magazine, Don Henley said that the band was in pursuit of a note perfect song. The Eagles spent 8 months in the studio polishing take after take after take. Henley also said, "We just locked ourselves in. We had a refrigerator, a ping pong table, roller skates and a couple cots. We would go in and stay for 2 or 3 days at a time."

*Glenn Frey compares this song to an episode of The Twilight Zone, where it jumps from one scene to the next and doesn't necessarily make sense.

*The hotel on the album cover is the Beverly Hills Hotel, known as the Pink Palace. It is often frequented by Hollywood stars. I'm not sure of this info, as there are several other thoughts as to where the hotel really is. Some even say it is a psychiatric hospital near Los Angeles.

While there is SO much more out there about this song and many stupid thoughts that I will not give credit to here, I will say that Hotel California has been a song I have listened to since I was 4 years old and all of my children know the words, word for word. I am sure that my grandchildren and great grandchildren will also sing this song as much as we do.

So as we prepare to depart for our next camping adventure along the California Coast, I am positive that this song will be played at top volume while my feet are hanging out of the open window and all of us will be singing along...
Welcome to the hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the hotel California
Any time of year, you can find it here


I wanna come! But, it sounds like a Corona with lime or two to go with this song.


I grew up with my mom listening to the Eagles, too. I love them and know all the words to most of their popular stuff. This album is on my I-pod.

Weird coincidence but I was flipping thru channels last night and found their reunion concert they'd done years ago on TV. I watched it.

Love them....

Oh my God, I have the exact same memories when hearing this song. Every year when we go to big sur, this is the record(do people still call them that?) we listen to. Usually we just play this song as loud as it will go, over and over and over as we go up the highway. Good times. Can't wait till next time. Sigh.

Have fun! This song will be playing in my head for days. :-)

We love the Eagles (and Steely Dan) too!
Enjoy the sounds of summer!

Alyson LID 01/27/06