Song of the Day: Hotel California (by The Eagles)


hotelcalifornia

Time for the latest “Song of the Day” and this one has grown on me with each passing year: “Hotel California” by The Eagles. It also continues an impromptu mini-series of songs with some of the greatest guitar solos. The previous entry, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird”, gave us an extended triple guitar solo that never seems to end.

I must admit that the group was never a favorite of mine growing up. I rarely listened to them and when they came on the radio I used to change the station. But as the years passed I began to give them more of a chance. I think part of it comes from the fact that this band is one of my Dad’s favorites. So, I gave them a chance in my advancing years. I guess with age does come wisdom since I began to really dig the band that I’ve dismissed as typical “adult contemporary” music in my youth. This just goes to show that the adage that sometimes “youth is wasted on the young” has some truth to it. My Dad’s probably looking down at me right now wherever he is and giving me that smirking smile that says “I told you so.”

“Hotel California” is my favorite of all the songs The Eagles have ever made. It’s not just catchy but the song also plays out like some sort of tale being sung by bards of old. Well, bards of old until we get to the dueling guitar solos by Don Felder and Joe Walsh which forms the climactic finish to the song. Guitar solos that I must say earns its place in rock pantheon as one of the best. That’s fact and not hyperbole.

FACT.

Another reason why this song of The Eagles is a favorite of mine is just the sense of the ominous just below the surface of the song. The lyrics does play out like a story, but a story tinged with a sense of malice and just a hint of the supernatural. It’s no wonder some of the more religious-minded fans of the song consider “Hotel California” as a song that details a time spent inside the Anton LeVay purchased San Francisco hotel called Hotel California which was converted into what would become the Church of Satan.

Lastly, I just plain love this song for the fact it paints my home state of California as something more than just a place to live and work in, but a place half in and out of reality. Maybe the song will convince Lisa Marie that California isn’t that bad of a state to be in.

Hotel California

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 face
Plenty of room at the hotel california
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, that 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 face
They livin’ it up at the hotel california
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
The 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 checkout any time you like,
But you can never leave!

(guitar solos)

Great Guitar Solos Series

16 responses to “Song of the Day: Hotel California (by The Eagles)

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