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Hotel California

Hotel California

Hotel California is a fictional hotel and the main focus of the famous song of the same from the Eagles' album (also named "Hotel California") and was released as a single in February 1977. It is one of the best-known songs of the album-oriented rock era.

The Story

The lyrics describe the titular establishment as a luxury resort where "you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave." On the surface, it tells the tale of a weary traveler who becomes trapped in a nightmarish luxury hotel that at first appears inviting and tempting. The song is 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." In 2008, Don Felder described the origins of the lyrics:

"Don Henley and Glenn wrote most of the words. All of us kind of drove into LA at night. Nobody was from California, and if you drive into LA at night... you can just see this glow on the horizon of lights, and the images that start running through your head of Hollywood and all the dreams that you have, and so it was kind of about that... what we started writing the song about. Coming into LA... and from that 'Life in the Fast Lane' came out of it, and 'Wasted Time' and a bunch of other songs."

The abstract nature of the lyrics has led listeners to their own interpretations over the years. In the 1980s, some Christian evangelists alleged that "Hotel California" referred to a San Francisco hotel purchased by Anton Szandor LaVey and converted into the Church of Satan. Other rumors suggested that the Hotel California was the Camarillo State Mental Hospital. These claims have been consistently denied by the band.

Lyrics

</poem>

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
"This could be Heaven or this could be Hell"
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say...
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (Any time of year)
You can find it here
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget
So I called up the Captain,
"Please bring me my wine"
He said, "We haven't had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine"
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say...
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
They livin' it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)
Bring your alibis
Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device"
And in the master's chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can't kill the beast
Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax, " said the night man,
"We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave!"

</poem>

Trivia

  • "Hotel California" - despite being symbolic, is often quoted as an example of the "Hotel Of Horror" archetype - which can also be found in films such as The Shining and (to an extent) Hostel as well as the iconic Psycho movies.
  • "Hotel California" is also the name of a 2008 crime film centering around a group of criminals in Los Angeles.

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