Hotel California's global reach

Yeah. I liked the original Eagles music when I was kid. But when Hotel California came out, I thought, “Bah, what kind of disco bullshit is this”? All these decades later, I still feel the same. (And I agree with Mojo Nixon above).

Reflexive hipster aversion aside (I keep expecting to hear that the kids have finally circled around to ironically liking them), the main problem with the Eagles is that familiarity breeds contempt, and they got played so damn much during the seventies, because they hit that precise sweet spot between rock, easy listenin’, and country, that lots of people just kind of got sick of them. Including me. (Of course, lots and lots of people aren’t sick of them, which is why they could do reunion tours until Judgment Day if they could stand it.) And “Hotel California” was no exception, being basically a combination of “American Pie” (semi-cryptic lyrics, EZ-2-sing-along chorus) and “Freebird” (interminable instrumental coda). The one song of theirs that I can still stand is “Desperado”, which while still officially a Greatest Hit, hasn’t worn its charm out for me yet.

I only had one 1-punt coin left in my pocket, and I was saving it for my collection. Besides the only other money I had at that point in the evening was small change. Walking back to our Cork hotel my friends and I passed a group of buskers. It was well after midnight, and yet there they were, playing Celtic tunes by themselves, getting very little notice from people leaving the nearby pubs.

They happily obliged a bunch of dumb American students who asked if they could play “Hotel California”. And within a few minutes they were surrounded by a group of people. When they were finished and the hat went 'round I put my 1-punt coin in. To give them anything less would have been insulting.


Does James Brown still have the international reach he used to have? We were hanging out next to some Salvadoran day laborers when I put “It’s A Man’s World” on the boombox and it was clearly a big sentimental favorite for them.

Same here, but not until I heard this glorious version:

1 Like

Great song, nice “Boom”-posting - alas way off the real meaning of the song, which is not some nice californian hotel, but the nightmarish hospitality of Scientology. “in the masters chamber they gather for the beast…you can check out any time you want but you can never leave.” :wink:

What is that crazy instrument to the right – looks like a wind instrument version of Firefly’s Alliance Cruiser. Anyone have a higher-res version of this video?

I was young and radio-avoidant enough that my introduction to the Eagles in the late 70s came via the BBC (on South Dakota public radio) and Douglas Adams.

What I really remember is the “cover” version:

Playing my uncles’ Eagles albums let me a bit mystified beyond that track. Pink Floyd worked for me, though.

It looks a bit like a Sheng.

There are a number of variations out there.

despite the dark lyrics the Eagles wrote, it is assumed in Asia to be an upbeat take on the American state so often associated with sunny Hollywood, happy Beach Boys numbers, and Disneyland

Reagan’s campaign advisors must have been asian! viz Born on the 4th July.

The subtle satire in the song, the discord between the complex harmonies and the lyrics, is largely not picked up, much like Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice. I’d venture to guess, in almost total ignorance, that it’s a very Anglo-Saxon thing - why go to the effort of such a wonderfully produced song when you’d just mess it up with sad lyrics?

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.