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The Eagles 'Hotel California' is about Excess in America...Don Henley

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posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 05:30 PM
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Have to admit, I never would have thought...

I remember this from my teen years and as a teen, we all thought it was about either some mythical hotel in hell or a real hotel with a dark history.

It was always the last song at a school dance (or sometimes 'Stairway to Heaven') and the last chance to get real close to that special someone.


Having come across the real meaning...well let's just say that while the song is still one of the all time classics, it lost a little mystique for me.

During an interview on 60 Minutes, Don Henley gives the real meaning:


"You can check out any time you like / But you can never leave." Hmm. There are many urban legends surrounding the 1976 Eagles hit "Hotel California," most insisting that there really is a Hotel California. Could it be occultist Aleister Crowley's mansion on the shores of Loch Ness? A church taken over by devil worshippers? Perhaps it's the Playboy mansion. Nothing so exotic, insists singer Don Henley, who told "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft in 2007 that the explanation is "so boring. It's a song about the dark underbelly of the American Dream and about excess in America which was something we knew about.'"


entertainment.ca.msn.com...

Here is the classic in all it's glory. Love that double neck!





posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 05:37 PM
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Well, as far as I have known for at least 10 years, it was a song about drug addiction. As soon as I was told that, the next time I heard it the song made oh so much more sense to me. I think thats what he means when referring to excess here.



posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 05:37 PM
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They just don't make em like they used to anymore, great track and an even better concept. What happened to the thought and creativity that went into music? Wait, I've been on ATS long enough to answer that....sad times we need better musicians!



posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by Qumulys
 


I agree. I always thought it was about drug addiction...and they make several drug references as well in the song. Although songs can be interpreted many ways...I think it all depends on the listener. "eye of the beholder" type thing.



posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 05:43 PM
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Originally posted by raiders247
They just don't make em like they used to anymore, great track and an even better concept. What happened to the thought and creativity that went into music? Wait, I've been on ATS long enough to answer that....sad times we need better musicians!


The other question is what ever happened to the lead guitar? It was always the thing we listened for.

But wait, that takes more than a few months of learning.



posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 05:43 PM
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reply to post by jude11
 


I have heard many so called different meanings of this from drug use to satanism. Good the record has been set straight.

The clip is a classic and is real "Guitar Porn". The twin guitar solo sound is magic. Love the facial expressions Joe Walsh pulls .... lol. Sorry to say but the Telecaster has a better sound than the SG Twin neck! All same great tones on both!



posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 05:45 PM
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Originally posted by Qumulys
Well, as far as I have known for at least 10 years, it was a song about drug addiction. As soon as I was told that, the next time I heard it the song made oh so much more sense to me. I think thats what he means when referring to excess here.


And the dark underbelly could be drug dealers etc.

But there is no reason for Henley to not tell like it is tho. Curiouser.



posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 05:49 PM
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Originally posted by phatpackage
reply to post by jude11
 


I have heard many so called different meanings of this from drug use to satanism. Good the record has been set straight.

The clip is a classic and is real "Guitar Porn". The twin guitar solo sound is magic. Love the facial expressions Joe Walsh pulls .... lol. Sorry to say but the Telecaster has a better sound than the SG Twin neck! All same great tones on both!


Never got that classic sound from a twin neck myself. Had a custom made dual neck Ovation acoustic made for me years back when I lived in Korea. 12 string up and a 5 string bass down. Loved that thang!

Fell off stage one night...drunk of course, and well...you know the rest.



posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 05:54 PM
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reply to post by jude11
 




Fell off stage one night...drunk of course, and well...you know the rest.


been there done that lol! I always seemed to collect the lead singer in the head with my axe on the way down being 6 foot 2 and him being 5 foot 6 lol I would be dangerous with a twin neck!



posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 05:58 PM
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Originally posted by phatpackage
reply to post by jude11
 




Fell off stage one night...drunk of course, and well...you know the rest.


been there done that lol! I always seemed to collect the lead singer in the head with my axe on the way down being 6 foot 2 and him being 5 foot 6 lol I would be dangerous with a twin neck!


Hey! It's a classic move. Real show stopper.


Anything worth doing well...hurts like hell. lol

Do it in Korea tho and the audience goes silent. They don't know how to react.
Here, they cheer and laugh. There, they seem embarrassed.

It's only Rock and Roll...but I like it!



posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 06:10 PM
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reply to post by phatpackage
 

Jimmy Page preferred the Tele in the studio to the double SG live for Stairway too.

BTW I made up a way of playing Hotel like Stairway:

e|-------7-9-----9-7-----7-4-----4-3-----3-2-------------0-------2-| B|-----7-----7-------5-------5-------3-------3---------0-------2---| G|---7---------6-------6-------4-------4-------2~~---0-------3-----| D|-9-------8-------7-------6-------5-------4-------2-------4-------| A|-----------------------------------------------------------------| E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
Bm F# Aadd9 E G D Em F#



posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 06:15 PM
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reply to post by jude11
 

Hmmm, interesting - but it really is a song that transcends one meaning. I have always associated it with situations in which people have gotten into willingly, but then found it difficult to get out of. Addictions (of any sort) would certainly qualify and chasing Money could be one of those...


edit on 26-4-2011 by LadySkadi because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 06:56 PM
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Originally posted by LadySkadi
reply to post by jude11
 

Hmmm, interesting - but it really is a song that transcends one meaning. I have always associated it with situations in which people have gotten into willingly, but then found it difficult to get out of. Addictions (of any sort) would certainly qualify and chasing Money could be one of those...


edit on 26-4-2011 by LadySkadi because: (no reason given)


Interesting take on this indeed.

Very spiritual...IMO



posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 07:32 PM
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From the first time I heard it, I guess I always knew it was about excess. I've heard Don, Glenn and Don Felder all talk about this before, and it always points to excess.

As for the drug references, colitas...was a slang term they used for marijuana. But aside from that, how much more to excess is there than drug references/use? I always put it more in excess in the music industry, but again, most of the industry at the time was in America where the excess was occurring.

Either way, this song has had more of an impact across the board for me than any other song ever written. The lyrics, the main guitar riff, the solo's. And the Gibson EDS-1275. It wasn't Jimmy Page that inspired me to buy one myself. It were Don Felder and Alex Lifeson but I heard Felder before Lifeson on one, so I'll give credit to him in this thread!


This is the best song ever written. Hands down....
... And the allegory is unreal. And while there might be references to drug use or even some other things in the song., or even the album liner..combined they all represent the excess the band was seeing at the time.


edit on 26-4-2011 by webpirate because: (no reason given)




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