What is the song meaning of Hotel California?
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Originally Answered: What is the song Hotel California about?
Ah, one of my favorite songs from the 70s.
Life in LA, is the interpretation I most often hear.
I suppose people will interpret the song as they will (nothing wrong with that), but Rolling Stone published:
“Hotel California” was rumored to be about heroin addiction or Satan worship, but Henley  had more prosaic things on his mind: “We were all middle-class kids from the Midwest,” he said. “‘Hotel California’ was our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles.” (That doesn’t preclude heroin or Satan, of course.)
Recording the six-and-a-half-minute song posed its share of problems: Working in Miami, the Eagles were initially unable to re-create Felder’s 12-string intro and elaborate twin-guitar coda. Panicked, Felder called his housekeeper in L.A. and sent her digging through a pile of tapes in his home studio so she could play his demo back over the phone.
 Hotel California was written by Don Felder, Glenn Frey, Don Henley and released as a single in February, 1977.
Written Jan 13, 2014 • View Upvotes
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Glenard Munson, ASE-Certified Technician since 1971 (one of the first group)
Originally Answered: Whats the meaning behind “Hotel California”?
It is symbolic: From http://www.Page on snopes.com/music/songs/hotel.asp
The truth proves far less satisfying than the myriad rumors that have sprung up around this song.
Hotel California is an allegory about hedonism and greed in Southern California in the 1970s. At the time of its release, the Eagles were riding high in the music world, experiencing material success on a frightening level. Though they thoroughly enjoyed the money, drugs, and women fame threw their way, they were disquieted by it all and sought to pour that sense of unease into their music and to warn others about the dark underside of such adulation.
In a 1995 interview, Don Henley said the song “sort of captured the zeitgeist of the time, which was a time of great excess in this country and in the music business in particular.” In another interview that same year, he referred to it as being about a “loss of innocence.”
The album has as its underlying theme the corruption of impressionable rock stars by the decadent Los Angeles music industry. The celebrated title track presents California as a gilded prison the artist freely enters only to discover that he cannot later escape.
The real Hotel California is not a place; it is a metaphor for the west coast music industry and its effect on the talented but unworldly musicians who find themselves ensnared in its glittering web.
Read more at Page on snopes.com
Written Nov 19, 2014 • View Upvotes • Answer requested by Dale Price
Pamela Dennett Grennes
Pamela Dennett Grennes, Blogger city and state government issues, focusing on San Antonio and Texas
Originally Answered: What is the Eagles song “Hotel California” about?
To me it’s about drug addiction.
First everything starts out pretty well, although the narrator says “This could be heaven or this could be hell.” But the woman who comes to the doorway is very enticing and voices down the corridor are inviting and calling to him.
The woman’s mind is Tiffany-twisted and all her pretty friends a running amok in the courtyard, dancing to remember and to forget–what a lot of people take drugs for.
And everyone is “livin’ it up”–getting high
But then things start to go wrong–“We are all just prisoners here of our own device”
Then finally he’s running for the door, trying to get away from his addiction but the night man says relax
“You can checkout any time you like but you can never leave.”
Written Feb 12, 2011 • View Upvotes
Prateek Pathak, An ardent Music lover.
Originally Answered: What is the Eagles song “Hotel California” about?
An alternative interpretation of the meaning of the lyrics is that the song is a description of the journey from Need to Love and Marriage to Divorce and ultimately to the impossibility of regaining the life and happiness of the pre-divorce state.
Initially the traveler is feeling the need of a relationship (“My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim, I had to stop for the night”). The traveler meets his love and gets married (“There she stood in the doorway. I heard the mission bell”). A marriage commitment opens up the possibility of happiness but also the traveler is aware and vulnerable to the possibility of intense unhappiness (“And I was thinking to myself, this could be heaven or this could be hell”)
Unfortunately the marriage dissolves and his love becomes obsessed with money (“Her mind is Tiffany-twisted”) where Tiffany” refers to the very expensive jewelry store, Tiffany & Co. With the divorce there is the division of property – she got the Mercedes Benz. After the breakup when he sees her with any guys she reassures him that the pretty, pretty boys” are just friends.” In this new world of being single the other singles he meets do their dance in the courtyard” of life. They generally fall into two groups: There are those who can’t stop talking about their Ex (“Some dance to remember”) and there are those who don’t what to say anything at all about their past marriage (“some dance to forget”).
Now in this world of being divorced he longs to return the pre-divorced state of happiness (“So I called up the captain, please bring me my wine”), but he finds that his happiness is now irrevocably in the past (“We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969”).
Deep into the post-divorce single’s scene with “mirrors on the ceiling, the pink champagne on ice” he is reminded that “we are all just prisoners here, of our own device.” He and others want this divorce nightmare to be over, yet – “they stab it with their steely knives, but they just can’t kill the beast.” Now frustrated, he panics and is “running for the door. I had to find the passage back to the place I was before” But he is brought up short when the night man informs him that “You can checkout any time you like (commit suicide), but you can never leave” (become pre-divorced).
There are two choruses in the song and each mention the “Hotel California.” Around the time the song was written, California was experiencing the highest divorce rate in the nation. Each chorus has lines that remember his past marriage (“Such a lovely place”) and his past lover (“Such a lovely face”). The first chorus indicates that there can always be more divorces (“Plenty of room at the Hotel California, any time of year, you can find it here”). The second chorus points out that as a part of divorce you will always “bring your alibis.” (thanks, David – Redwood City, CA)
Written Sep 25, 2012 • View Upvotes
Elisa Perret, Bassist since 2014
In the title track of their hit 1976 album, “Hotel California,” the Eagles warn listeners of the two most dangerous things known to man – women and California. Or, to be more precise, California girls.
As the story unfolds, the speaker is driving on a dark desert highway late at night. He feels the wind in his hair and smells some desert flowers. Before long, he starts to feel drowsy and stops at a hotel for the night. You guessed it: it’s the Hotel California. A mysterious woman stands and greets him at the door like a Homeric siren, luring the weary traveler with her seductive song. This female figure plays a central role in the song, though we never learn all that much about her. All the while, the speaker isn’t sure what to make of the place. He starts to hear voices singing about how lovely and pleasant it is to stay at the hotel. The woman is rich and fun loving, and her friends are beautiful.
So far, so good.
The speaker orders up some wine from the Wine Captain, who remarks that the speaker has brought the playful spirit of the 1960s along with him. The speaker passes out and hears the voices again singing about the Hotel California. This time, however, they mention something about having an alibi to prove their innocence. This tidbit is the first suggestion that all might not be well at our quaint hotel.
The speaker notices how swanky the place is, but then the woman tells him that everyone at the hotel is a prisoner of his or her own making. (We spit out our champagne: “Whaaa?”). Everyone shows up for a dinner in the room of the “master,” and they stab at some animal or “beast” that won’t die. Naturally, this sends our speaker running for the exit, but now he can’t find the exit. The person who watches over the hotel tells him not to worry because he won’t ever be able to escape from the hotel.
And such is the fate of our weary traveling narrator.
The very first few lines of the song take us to the long, straight highways of California and the American southwest, which serves as a powerful symbol of freedom, desolation, and recklessness in songs by The Eagles. The song title suggests a sunny, laid-back place where people drink lots of pomegranate juice and practice yoga, but it also hints that the state of California (or, more accurately, the idea of California) is not really home to anyone. It’s a place for people who are between destinations: transients. One central theme in “Hotel California” is the disconnect between popular perceptions of California versus the reality.
Written Nov 20 •