Friday, August 10, 2012

Hotel California: few facts - more fiction

The opening animation movie on my FIRST SPIDERSWEB PAGES was accompanied by the Eagles' classic song HOTEL CALIFORNIA .
For me it is by far the most appropriate music while driving my open 124 Spider. Therefore it is my favourite music on my new re-designed Spidersweb pages again...

The 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, 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, self-destruction, and greed in the music industry of the late 1970s.

Don Henley - singer, songwriter, drummer and the founding member of the Eagles - 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 - lead guitarist of the Eagles - described the origins of the lyrics:

"Don Henley and Glenn wrote most of the words. All of us kind of drove into L.A. at night. Nobody was from California, and if you drive into L.A. 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 L.A.... 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 LaVey and converted into the CHURCH OF SATAN . Other rumors suggested that the Hotel California was the CAMARILLO STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL .

Sometime in the mid to late 1980's the word got out that TODOS SANTOS in MEXICO was home to 'the' Hotel California made famous by the Eagles' song.
In the 1990's, the rumor had reached "hipper" journalists in the US and the first articles started appearing in major newspapers, like the Detroit Free Press article in 1996. As other journalists heard of the rumor, momentum increased and the story soon became a full fledged URBAN LEGEND .

New writers used the original articles to justify and support their conclusions.
Journalists would come to Todos Santos and do "research", but they already knew what they wanted to write and so they sought out people who would verify what they had already accepted as fact. No real investigative reporting ever occurred.
Anyhow, there might be a Mexican parallel with the term "colitas" in the first strophe of the song. It is a Spanish term for "little tails" and in Mexican slang it is a reference to the buds of the Cannabis plant.

BBC NEWS wrote an article about the hotel that was for sale in 2001.