|WikiProject Songs||(Rated C-class)|
|WikiProject Rock music||(Rated Start-class, Top-importance)|
|This is not a forum for general discussion about Hotel California (song). Any such comments may be removed or refactored. Please limit discussion to improvement of this article. You may wish to ask factual questions about Hotel California (song) at the Reference desk, discuss relevant Wikipedia policy at the Village pump, or ask for help at the Help desk.
Per Wikiproject Songs, stick to factual material. Do not include "original research" such as opinions about a song, or interpretations of the lyrics or even statements about what the song is "about", unless they can be provided in the form of quotes that can be cited from sources with some authoritative insight (such as the songwriter or a notable performer). Other websites are available for people who want to give subjective interpretations of songs.
- 1 Untitled
- 2 Version of interpretation
- 3 The 'What this song means' explanation
- 4 Satanic lyrics proven false
- 5 Here's a thought
- 6 Reggae cover
- 7 some doubts
- 8 more drug references
- 9 "Steely Knives"
- 10 "Colitas"
- 11 External Links
- 12 drugs or hell
- 13 Sopranos reference
- 14 Lead Vocal
- 15 Earl Reference
- 16 We beg your pardon, but does there need to be that "Hidden Message" section?
- 17 Is Felder considered a "main songwriter"?
- 18 Why not? A lot of the guitar hooks are his.
- 19 Waco Tribune-Herald Feb 1982 reference doesn't seem to exist
- 20 History
- 21 Take it from the Band
- 22 Liner notes on Eagles
- 23 Hotel California and Sartre's No Exit
- 24 The Interpretation Section
- 25 Mystery man on cover
- 26 Actual Hotel California
- 27 Reel Big Fish?
- 28 This same song backwards.
- 29 The Jethro Tull affair
- 30 Grand Hotelsky
- 31 Spirit
- 32 Possible plagiarism?
- 33 "The Outer Limits" episode "The Guests"
- 34 Greek references ?
- 35 Another idea for interpretation
- 36 Colitas
- 37 1969
- 38 Odyssey
- 39 Eight Guitars?
- 40 Proposed new section
- 41 2009 Plain Dealer interview
- 42 Rhythmic Structure
- 43 the proper key for his voice
- 44 September 2014
Someone should definitely comment on the influence of "We Used to Know" by Jethro Tull on this song. The chord progressions and vocals(not lyrics, but vocals) are strikingly similar. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 22:43, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
- I have researched the issue and included references both here and on the Stand Up page. The chord progression is not so unusual that it had to have been borrowed. The Eagles opened for Jethro Tull in 1971 or 1972. However, the chord progression and melody was composed entirely by Don Felder, who did not join the band until 1974. While it is possible that Felder was aware of the JT song and consciously or not used it in his composition, there is no connection as was suggested by Ian Anderson.Bob Caldwell CSL (talk) 18:44, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
Another theory is that, like in other popular songs, California (or in this case the "Hotel California") represents death.
- Huh? Jrincayc 02:42, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)
- I second that "Huh." I want to know in what other popular songs California represents death. 06:66, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
- I don't know that California represents death in other songs or even this song, but The Hotel California seems to me to be a logical allegory for death: "...You can check in anytime you want, but you can never leave..." Drugs make sense for this too, however. --CannotResolveSymbolT 04:52, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
Version of interpretation
It seems to me strange - nobody told about version, that Eagles said in this song about USA, and Hotel is compared with this state. This version has a place in Russia, f.e. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 09:25, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
I suggest calling this an allegory rather than a metaphor. Any seconds? Theaterfreak64 06:57, Feb 18, 2005 (UTC)
CannotResolveSymbol, I think the song actually goes "..You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave..." I always thought it was about a brothel, and everyone I spoke to agreed. I am surprised to find absolutely nothing about this idea here. TracerBuIIet 05:02, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
The 'What this song means' explanation
Never looked here before but whatever. Joe W told a friend it was about a friend of one of their associates (Souther IIRC) who got screwed up by one of those California cults.
Now to check what they've written about Whiter Shade of Pale.
Was repearted SIX times, I took out the last 5 so it is now only in there once. Just cleaning up some idiocy, people really need to read the damn article. Babrook 07:57, Dec 26, 2006 (UTC)
- Why does crap like "Conspiracy theorists also have come with various other intrepretations of the song but none have been officially confirmed" keep popping up? Basically, every wikipedia entry imaginable could have the same basic statement, so why waste the space? It's an obvious, general statement that has absoloutely no substance to it. It's like putting "This article may or may not be incorrect" at the bottom of every page. Lame. . . 126.96.36.199 19:43, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Heard on the 'CASEY KASEM TOP HITS OF THE US' radio show that the there is actually a place called 'Hotel California' in Mexico which the band members used to frequent. And the managers of the hotel have apparently verified that the place described in the song is similar to the actual hotel. The Casey Kasem Show is a reputed radio show and the guy has been around for a long time. So if his word counts for anything this could be one of the most valid explanations for the SONG TITLE!! Please try and verify this information and consider updating your article
—Preceding unsigned comment added by Cybernator (talk • contribs) 02:56, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
This link: http://www.todossantos-baja.com/todos-santos/eagles/hotel-california.htm references the mistaken 'Hotel California' in Mexico. Do your research people! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 22:17, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Satanic lyrics proven false
I've noticed that the band is quoted for not having any relation with that frontier hotel, but there's no quote for proving the Satanic rumours false. How were they proven? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 02:06, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Christians try to Satanize everything, and us who are noy fanatical religious follwers believe what they say because our mommies told us that god sees everything blah blah... musicians write about what is close to them, and in this case, Satan and hell and all that is kind of working too hard to make sense of just a song... a damned good song, but it's just words... all this drugs and hell and BS is just too much!!! some dude was saying that the wine the guy asks for in the song is somehow related to the blood of christ and the comunion.... come on, just enjoy the record and stop going crazy over what it means!!!!220.127.116.11 (talk) 04:57, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
- To me, the song sounds like a Satantic story of a Hotel run by employees who are possessed by evil spirits. Why does this interpretation get widespread denial? Mainstream audiences enjoy horror movies, and books with satantic themes. The 70s was the beginning of the popularity of Steven King's books. And yet, in a ridiculous contradiction, The Eagles bandmembers, and fans and music critics, deny that the song has any Satanic meaning. We dont have to sanitize the song to make the Evangelicals happy!! The Evangelicals dont have to listen to the song, if they dont like it. Satanic themes are a popular genre in literature, and in film. Why are we pandering to the Evangelicals with regard to this song? Marc Smilen, Dania Florida 18.104.22.168 (talk) 15:56, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Here's a thought
The song can easylky be seen as a drug use methaphore. In the master's chambers sounds like the Master of puppets by Metallica, don't you think?
That is genius, if Master of Puppets did not come out almost 10 years after this song.
I don't think that the Eagles or Metalica were the originators of the concept metaphor. Saying "the master" over something that has mastery over you such as drugs has a pretty solid history. 22.214.171.124 (talk) 16:55, 5 June 2011 (UTC)amyanda2000
I have downloaded a song that purports to be a Bob Marley cover of "Hotel California", and which does rather sound like his voice, though not really his style. Can anyone confirm that he has covered the song? Anybody know of any reggae covers by somebody who could be mistaken for Bob Marley? Tuf-Kat 05:06, Jun 16, 2005 (UTC)
- YES YOU ARE ALMOST RIGHT IT IS IN FACT ZIGGY MARLEY COVERING THE SONG HOTEL CALIFORNIA. NOTICE THE SUBTLENESS IN HIS VOICE AS WITH HIS FATHERS.ALSO IT WAS IN A WOODSTOCK ARTICLE. LELLOW@AOL.COM
- LELLOW@AOL.COM ---
- I see that you did some research in your answer below...
"(UTC)YES YOU ARE ALMOST RIGHT IT IS IN FACT ZIGGY MARLEY COVERING THE SONG HOTEL CALIFORNIA. NOTICE THE SUBTLENESS IN HIS VOICE AS WITH HIS FATHERS.ALSO IT WAS IN A WOODSTOCK ARTICLE. LELLOW@AOL.COM" However, I also googled and found the page you are referring to. No where in the page could I find a direct statement that Ziggy Marley covered this song. Did I miss something? I am most concerned because if you google "Ziggy Marley Hotel California" the google summary returns..
- "Ziggy Marley led a sprawling 14-piece band, the Melody Makers, ... As Henley sang in "Hotel California, "We haven't had that spirit here since 1969. ..."
- So did you post your answer based on the summary from google? If so I am not sure this is 100% proof that it was Ziggy Marley that did this song (although I will say it is compelling evidence). bh
- (moved people's comments around to make this easier to read) I forgot that I had asked this question. I have done some more research and decided it was more likely Majek Fashek -- unfortunately I don't remember what gave me that idea. I have to say it doesn't really sound like Ziggy, but I don't listen to a whole lot of him. Tuf-Kat 05:06, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
- So did you post your answer based on the summary from google? If so I am not sure this is 100% proof that it was Ziggy Marley that did this song (although I will say it is compelling evidence). bh
The only cover of hotel california version reggae is from Majek Fashek.
Track 12 of the album "Reggae Rocks: The Tide Is High" (Bongo Boy, 2001) is Edi Fitzroy's version of 'Hotel California'. I'm pretty sure this clears up the mystery! Why is it that every unkown reggae track gets attributed to Bob??
- I came across a ska version of hotel california, supposedly by reel big fish. When I saw this discussion, I assumed you were all refering to this version because ska music has reggae stlye guitar rhythms. But, in response to the previous comment saying this is Edi Fitzroys version, I have found a sample of this song on this page: http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1833203/a/Reggae+Rocks:+The+Tide+Is+High.htm
- and this is a different version to the one I have.
- This ska version has brass playing the melody of the chorus, as opposed to vocals. I must say, it does sound a LOT like something reel big fish would do. Can anyone confirm it is by them, or does anyone know who it actually IS by? - Mat
- I have that same version, Mat, but mine thinks it's by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. They're a cover band, and it would sorta make sense, but they're not ska and a complete discography tells me they've recorded Desperado, but not Hotel California. So it's a mystery to me, too! Which is a shame, because it's a pretty cool version. :) Kyou 18:18, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
- This ska version has brass playing the melody of the chorus, as opposed to vocals. I must say, it does sound a LOT like something reel big fish would do. Can anyone confirm it is by them, or does anyone know who it actually IS by? - Mat
You see.. Here's the thing... I have that same ska version with brass instead of chorus, and it's credited to NOFX, yet the article says that the right band is something else... so, so far we know it's either or: NOFX, Reel Big Fish, that other band that the article states or Me first and the GimmeGimmes (of which i have a version of "somewhere over the rainbow" that sounds nothing like this version of hotel california, so the confusion grows) the problem with ska cover bands is that they cover songs whose right owners are probably dead so they won't fight about it, and so, people don't care who covered it, but mostly who did the original.... also, one of the comments below says something smart: you can't trust tags on MP3s you download for free.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 03:53, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Well... I've heard that before, some friends say it's Bob, but listen carefully please! it's not him... You should listen to his first songs and then you can agree with me. I hope not to be wrong. Thelawgiver2003@hotmail.com
"Anybody know of any reggae covers by somebody who could be mistaken for Bob Marley?" To the uneducated ear, -any- reggae song performed by a man might be attributed to Bob Marley... in much the same way that many novelty pop songs are mis-attributed to Weird Al Yankovic. Never trust the tags on mp3s you download off the internet or receive from friends, because there are a lot of dumb people out there who incorrectly tag MP3s. "Marijuanaville", anyone? MRuss 13:37, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I could agree with both theories, the one about the drug addiction's metafor and the one about the brothel, despite, in my opinion the second one is too obvious. Anyway, I'd like too know the meaning of a part of the song, which I think would help...
"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"
What do mean "the beast" and "our own device" in this context?
Something cool Found from the link you provided is that i guy clams the whole album is a concept album I have a very interesting little story for all of you in regards to this song and it's meaning. About 15 years ago, I was taking an English class in University, and the and the professor of the class had an assignment for us. He handed out a sheet of paper face down to everyone. When we turned it over, we were told to write what we thought the song was about. He added, however, that the song was NOT about a cult so don't even write that. So, basically almost every member of the class then proceeded along the next route....the drugs/addiction metaphors. When we were done, he proceeded to tell us what the song, and the corresponding album were ACTUALLY about. It seems our prof had, at one time, lived in the California area and was very good friends with a certain drummer named Don Henley. Don explained the story behind the song to him, and said he was amused at the wide varieties of interpretations the song had developed over time. According to the source, The "Hotel California" is actually, L.A. itself. The song and album take you on a trip though the music industry in L.A. in the late sixties early seventies, when agents and studios controlled artists like puppets. Back in the late sixties, 1969 to be exact, there was a major onslaught of artists being signed left, right and center, and artisit at the time were often known to basically "sell their soul" to a record company executive in order to get a recording contract. Many times these artists were given little if anything for their music, and thus ended up basically a victom to their love of music. Just imagine the scene at the time, it's late 60's, you are on your way to L.A. to strike it big with dreams of glamour and fame...and you basically are prepared to sell your soul of you have to to attain it. I must admit, when I first heard this explaination, I was a little skeptical...but trust me....listen to the WHOLE album again, start to finish and keep this definition in mind when you do it. Every song ties together in one big story, finishing off with the Last Resort which gives you a clear summery of the whole album and idea. I don't deny that drugs and addiction have a lot to do with the lifestyle and results of the quest for fame. All I ask is to keep an open mind and think of "The Hotel California" as L.A., and you may be surprised.
- I've had a similar experience, with my professor claiming similar story, but a completely different meaning, and it was in a philosophy class (The meaning I was taught was about how we always, in every facet of our lives, ern for something different. Single people want someone committed to them, married people want their social freedom, poor people want better jobs, people with better jobs want to tell their boss to F.O. and quit, people want to own a home, homeowners want the freedom to easily move around, etc.). I have met another person that makes the same claim with a different supposed meaning. I'm inclined to believe all those professors are full of shit, and wouldn't be surprized if none of them ever came within a mile of any member of The Eagles.188.8.131.52 20:01, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
more drug references
I've seen "stab it with their steely knives" claimed to be referring to injecting heroin. The image that comes to mind for me is chopping cocaine with a razor on a mirror. "The beast" is then cocaine, (less literally, cocaine addiction). "Prisoners of our own device" -- we brought it on ourselves.
The line "They stab it with their steely knives but they just can't kill the beast" is a reference to Steely Dan. They shared the same manager and had a friendly rivalry. The year before, Steely Dan included the line "Turn up The Eagles, the neighbors are listening" on the song "Everything You Did."  David Bergan 18:49, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
- When I heard it for the first several times, I was sure it was about drugs. I'm willing to take the band member's word for it, though, and say that it's about 1960s California hedonism. -Theaterfreak64 06:13, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it's about Steely Dan, didn't one of the members of the Eagles say it was in fact?
Hi, Has no one ever wondered whether the 2 lines are in fact a more literary allusion to the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding??? I have always assumed that it was, since I first heard the song back in the 70s. tc847 18:32, 3 March 2008 (UTC
The explanation of "colitas" as marijuana buds seems plausible enough, and is elsewhere attributed to "Eagles management honcho Irving Azoff." But I just discovered that it's also a brand of cigar, which raises a whole other possibility!
- Yep... at the time, Dominican made Colitas were a cheap (and legally distributable) alternative to Cuban Cohiba cigars... 184.108.40.206 17:50, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
When I heard this line, I thought it meant that the church can try and get rid of the non-believer, yet they will alwaysbe replaced by other non-believers. Toby Keet 05:15, 25 September 2007 (UTC) "Colitas" in spanish means Little Butt and it is use for cigarette (colita de cigarro) or anything that can smoked. (Marijuana) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Oerivasc (talk • contribs) 20:50, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Think the last comment about butts is more wrong than right. The correct term for a cigarette butt is "colilla". Colitas are small tails (as in the restaurant menu offering of colitas de langosta (lobster tails)) or an unmentionable part of the female anatomy (warning: do a google.es search and you will be surprised what you find in response to colitas). However, the net effect is correct. "Warm smell of colitas" is most certainly a reference to some kind of reefer being smoked in the near vicinity. tc847 18:37, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
This is a personal opinion, however - I don't really see the significance of the "Compulsary License Infoo" in the External links, as it does not seem to be particular to Hotel California. [elynnia]
Like a lot of music today, there is some music from another composition that is woven into this song. This is documented on the liner notes "copyright in dispute", in the EU copyright designation (U standing for underlying music), anyone can verify it by calling the Compulsory License Div. of the Copyright Office. This is an Orphan work that is at the center of pending copyright legislation.(sj)
drugs or hell
at first I believed that the song was about hell and death, wich does make sense in many places. But there is overwhelming evidence for the song being about drug usage. I don't think that there really is a definate answer to what "hotel" california means, I think it is referring to both drugs and Hell.
- It's a song! It can mean whatever you want it to mean. There's no wrong way to interprit art.Mustang6172 04:40, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Aww... That is real beautiful... but highly unlikely... all of you people keep forgetting that Christians try to Satanize everything, and us who are noy fanatical religious follwers believe what they say because our mommies told us that god sees everything blah blah... musicians write about what is close to them, and in this case, Zeus and Prometheus and Satan and hell and all that is kind of working too hard to make sense of just a song... a damned good song, but it's just words... all this drugs and hell and BS is just too much!!! some dude was saying that the wine the guy asks for in the song is somehow related to the blood of christ and the comunion.... come on, just enjoy the record and stop going crazy over what it means!!!!220.127.116.11 (talk) 04:54, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
The last song to the premiere episode to Season 3 was not "Hotel California". It was "High Fidelity" by Elvis Costello.
- Don Henley, as can be learned from just about anywhere on the 'net
I believe the "sped-up Mexican version" played in My Name is Earl is actually a snippet of the Gipsy Kings cover version. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 00:56, 24 December 2006 (UTC).
We beg your pardon, but does there need to be that "Hidden Message" section?
OneWeirdDude 02:19, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Is Felder considered a "main songwriter"?
Felder originally composed the music of Hotel California in Em in his Malibu home. Henley liked it and tranposed it to Bm. Frey and Henley wrote lyrics. Thus, Felder is the main composer of Hotel California.
- There is a documentary airing on cable TV in 2013 titled "The History of the Eagles." The documentary might have come out prior to 2013. But in the documentary, it is stated that Don Felder would often send tapes to Henley and Frey, containing Guitar progressions. Hotel California started out as one of Felder's experimental guitar progressions. He is a co-writer; He is not a Main songwriter. Marc S. Dania fl 22.214.171.124 (talk) 13:21, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Actually, Don Felder IS the main songwriter. There are bootlegs of early (pre-recording studio) versions of the song circulating and it is nearly complete. I believe the best summary of band members' contributions to the song that I have heard is that Don Felder wrote the music, Don Henley wrote the words and Glenn Frey had his hair done. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 02:49, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
You wonder why there is so much negativity about Don Felder and this song. If he hadn't brought the entire gorgeous piece of music to the attention of Henley and Frey they may have never became anything more than a good Country Rock Band. This was the song that moved them up to the level of the Titans. Well done Mr Felder. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 20:19, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Why not? A lot of the guitar hooks are his.
Being a songwriter doesn't just mean the guys who write lyrics. Don Felder lent his musical talent to many Eagles songs. Hotel California would never have been the success it was without him and Joe Walsh's music. For evidence of what the band sounds like WITHOUT Don Felder listen to their newest double CD ripoff. Tired, tired, tired. Just their last grab at the big bucks. They wo't fool a lot of people again. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 22:41, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
- re: "Why not? A lot of the guitar hooks are his:" Why isn't this guy's comment deleted from this talk page? This is not a specific question on something specific. This is just somebody's rambling opinion. Commentary and opinion without being a response to some specific concrete point, is not usually allowed on Wikipedia talk pages. I notice on certain wikipedia pages I dont get away with it, and yet some editors seem to let it slide, on other wikipedia pages. Marc S., Dania Fl 220.127.116.11 (talk) 19:44, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Waco Tribune-Herald Feb 1982 reference doesn't seem to exist
While trying to research the article statement: "The Eagles manager, Larry Salter admitted in the Waco Tribune-Herald in 1982 that they were involved with the Church of Satan.", the statement seems to be originally from an old backmasking web page that no longer exists, but good old archive.org still has a copy. http://web.archive.org/web/20020415115516/http://www.geocities.com/backmasking_2000/heavymetal.html ... anyway, after calling the Waco Tribune Herald, talking to Entertainment editor Carl Hoover's assistant and then the Waco-McLennan County Library asking them to look into Feb 1982 copies of the newspaper and notfinding anything, I think the article statement and associated reference was actually completely fabricated. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 15:49, 28 March 2007 (UTC).
in the rareexception.com hotel california, stand for materialism, please don't change it back.
Cite #1 simply links to a page that shows someones interpretation of the song, but is structured as if it were proof. Simply being on the Web hardly serves as proof. Unless someone can show where the supposed proof lies on that page, for I have read it and see nothing more than opinion and speculation. 22.214.171.124 20:14, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Take it from the Band
There have been numerous interviews where Henley, Frey etc. have said the song (and album) are about the dark underbelly of Hollywood. Materialism, hedonism, addiction, and so forth. If there is dispute, finding those interviews should clear it up. The article as it stands now is correct. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 07:23, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Liner notes on Eagles
Hotel California and Sartre's No Exit
I have always remarked on the similarities of Hotel California and sartre's No Exit. No Exit is about three people doomed to spend the rest of eternity in a hotel room with each other, watching their past lives unfold without them. The references to hell and the No Exit themes are many:
"And I was thinking to myself, / ’this could be heaven or this could be hell’" - obvious Hell reference.
"How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat / Some dance to remember, some dance to forget" - in No Exit the characters struggle with the remembrance of their lives and their regret for their sins.
"’please bring me my wine’ / He said, ’we haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine’" - with the interpretation of wine as the blood of Christ, this would mean that the Christ / holy spirit is gone.
"And she said ’we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’" - the occupants of the Hotel / Hell are trapped there for eternity because of their sins.
"They stab it with their steely knives, / But they just can’t kill the beast" - obvious Satan reference
"’relax,’ said the night man, / We are programmed to receive." - in No Exit, the damned cannot escape receiving visions of their past lives, tormenting them for eternity.
"You can checkout any time you like, / But you can never leave" - Like the characters in the play, the Hotel's occupants can never leave.
Taken as a whole, the song carries through many of No Exit's themes, including desparation, entrapment and resignation.
Jotade43 (talk) 03:05, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Aww... That is real beautiful... but highly unlikely... all of you people keep forgetting that Christians try to Satanize everything, and us who are noy fanatical religious follwers believe what they say because our mommies told us that god sees everything blah blah... musicians write about what is close to them, and in this case, Zeus and Prometheus and Satan and hell and all that is kind of working too hard to make sense of just a song... a damned good song, but it's just words... all this drugs and hell and BS is just too much!!! some dude was saying that the wine the guy asks for in the song is somehow related to the blood of christ and the comunion.... come on, just enjoy the record and stop going crazy over what it means!!!! plus, "the beast" is NOT an OBVIOUS reference to Satan, i could say that it's an obvious reference to a Bear, a dragon, a dinosaur or a dog, as all these are called "beasts" at some point or another by x or y people.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 04:52, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
- We could include that, but then it would be original research, and that's not allowed. ViperSnake151 02:08, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Don Henley stated in Rolling Stone Magazine that it's "all that stuff I learned from college" from mythology- and even used the word "odyssey" although he did not explicitly say "The Odyssey" it is in fact, obviously drawn heavily from the stories in the Odyssey (The Lotus Eaters and the goddess Circe). It does not seem unlikely to me that he was also influenced by "No Exit." If in fact, it was part of his curriculum, then there is little doubt that it influenced the song.
I don't think that "the beast" that they can not kill by stabbing with there steely knives was just some animal, that is silly. The BEAST isn't meant to be Satan I don't think, but the beast of excess and hedonism. (Their own vices and the allure of the good life) [So in a way, the beast could symbolize satan or "our demons") This beast is obviously not a normal animal that can be killed. They are not talking about something that some people call a beast like a dog, but a beast as in some kind of monster. The beast is a metaphor, and for people with a Christian worldview, thinking of it as Satan makes perfect sense. It's not so much Satan as it is the same things that Satan represents (greed, envy, sloth, lust).
The song is about the seduction and entrapment of people. Hotel California looks beautiful and has everything that you could want. It doesn't show its dark underbelly until it's too late. (Kind of similar to the movie Coraline if you've seen it) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 16:37, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
The Interpretation Section
IMO this section is highly inappropriate for any Encyclopedic article.
Especially since: a) there can be as many interpretations as there are listeners, b) several are not only unsupported but factually incorrect (ie there are no minarets on the cover), and c) the authors of the lyrics have been rather specific about what the song's meaning is.
Unless I see any cogent arguments against it soon, I shall edit out the rumors and insert the Eagle's quoted description of the song's meaning. IMO any other interpretations should be left to the blogs on other sites.
If common sense were truly common, every one would have it. (talk) 10:22, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Mystery man on cover
Does anyone know any truth to the rumor of there being a figure of someone on the cover that the photographer says wasn't there when he took the photo?--220.127.116.11 (talk) 07:36, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Dude, that is probably as true as saying the Virgin Mary apperared on a grilled cheese sandwich. In other words, search for "urban legend" and you'll know more about ghost rumors in pictures. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 04:13, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Actual Hotel California
Anyone know whether it's true that the Hotel California in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, inspired the song's title? The leader of a tour I once took through the area said it was. Huntington (talk) 01:11, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
- This link: http://www.todossantos-baja.com/todos-santos/eagles/hotel-california.htm references the mistaken 'Hotel California' in Mexico. LBergren (talk) 22:39, 15 July 2008 (UTC) ***
Reel Big Fish?
I'm a HUGE fan of Reel Big Fish, and have never heard them cover Hotel California. I know of a song that is a ska version, but it's not Reel Big Fish. If someone can supply me with a link to the RBF version, I'll be happy, but until then, I'm taking it off the list of covers. --ZacLOL (talk) 23:29, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
- I blame Limewire and the other file sharing services for this. Somebody gets hold of a track without knowing the artist, takes a guess and adds the wrong artist to the tag (often Ziggy Marley for any reggae-ish tune, Aretha Franklin for any female vocal, etc.), and propagates it so that thousands of people who don't know Reel Big Fish from Real Big Phish convince themselves it's true. (In this case I'd bet a dollar it happened with the Ska Daddyz version already noted). It's sort of the musical version of wikiality. This scenario is an argument for limiting listings of cover versions to documented, widely-released recordings with citations. Jgm (talk) 02:55, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Ok so then we are confirming that the ska cover with the brass instead of chorus is from Ska Daddyz and not NOFX, Reel big Fish, Screeching weasel or Me first and the Gimme Gimmes... 100%sure of it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 04:16, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
This same song backwards.
The Jethro Tull affair
Apparently, the main article once had a section about how Hotel California is a blatantly similar to Jethro Tull's We Used to Know. Why was this removed? Was there any debate preceding it?
For those not initiated; We Used to Know features the exact same chord progression and similar vocals, both of which are very distinct and unusual. This song predates Hotel California. The Eagles was the opening act for some tours with Jethro Tull. Ian Anderson, leader of JT, has commented on this and said that he considers Hotel California a tribute to JT.
I think this deserves much more attention that the gazillion attempts to interpret Hotel California as a tribute Satan when played backwards, or whatnot.
- Here's the way I parse this: the fact that the songs are to some extent similar is not inherently notable; pop/rock music is full of such similarities. If there had been an actual documented *controversy* -- that is, legal action, significant coverage in the press, fan outcry, what have you -- we could report the facts of the controversy without making a judgement on anyone. In this case the extent of the "controversy" is some (uncited) quotes or claims by Anderson. Repeating them here is basically making Wikipedia a mouthpiece for one aggrieved party, and gets into sensitive territory similar to that covered in WP:BLP. I'm not saying this can't be mentioned here, but it will require very careful presentation and sourcing. For now, I've removed the section on this, which was added with no documentation or references. Jgm (talk) 13:35, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
- Actually, a section on this should be included as it is much more of a case than "to some extent similar", the chord progression is quite unique, not just a simplistic major triad variation, but also the instrumentation is almost identical, even to the way the electric guitar leads are put through the amps, etc. Of course the words are not at all related, it's just the music. And I don't think Anderson is particularly upset about it - he hasn't launched a court action - but he did mention it in concert when the song was played recently, just as a fact, not an aggrievance as such. As lnog as there's a reputable source to back up the information it should be a doddle to make it ok re POV. It is part of the song's history so has a right to be included WikiLambo (talk) 11:48, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
- In an interview with Songfacts, Ian Anderson explains his view on this issue, read it here (Anderson:)"There’s certainly no bitterness or any sense of plagiarism attached to my view on it, although I do sometimes allude, in a joking way, to accepting it as a kind of tribute." 126.96.36.199 (talk) 09:30, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
- May I presume that the two years' break hasn't closed down the discussion? I think the information should be added to the song's wiki. The risk of "making Wikipedia a mouthpiece for one aggrieved party" should be no reason to leave out the section. Many wikis contain criticism and much of the criticism is biased. All readers can decide for themselves whether the claim is legitimate, but therefore they must be acquainted with the issue in the first place. I do agree with Jgm that "pop/rock music is full of similarities", mostly occasioning only minor controversy. One could perfectly argue, for instance, that Hotel California resembles the Rolling Stones' Angie as well. The assertion is not totally ungrounded, but it doesn't belong here for the reason he/she stated: the suggestion did not provoke much debate that is worth of mention. However, it has been frequently mentioned that Hotel California is inspired by We Used to Know. The combination "jethro tull" + "hotel california" returns 297,000 search results on Google, many of which referring to decent websites. So the question on Jethro Tull's We Used to Know cannot reasonably be passed over on that account.
- Here you have some audio material that documents Ian Anderson's own opinion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xny0Uj4--tk. By the way, Jethro Tull are not just some dime-a-dozen band ... --Heunir (talk) 03:05, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Spirit could mean an alcoholic beverage stronger than wine, but the way I've always interpreted the "we haven't had that spirit here since 1969" is that people have been locked up in Hotel California since before that. This traveller is in "high spirits"... feels happy... feels like he wants to celebrate... and the waiter tells him that nobody has been in "high spirits", never been so happy, in this hotel since 1969. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 15:37, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
PERFECTTTT!!!! I can't believe some people still try to make something out of that line... to me it's like when you say to someone:"that's the spirit son!" probably nobody had ordered a bottle of wine since 1969.... so when he asked for it the waiter said "uff, finally, dude, we've been needin' that attitude since 1969!" like when you say "dibs on the washroom, i've had to pee since the seventies" 184.108.40.206 (talk) 04:36, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
- Or, "So I called up the captain / 'Please bring me my wine' / He said, 'We haven't had that spirit here since 1969.'" Could be interpreted as follows:
- In Christianity, doctrinal statements or confessions of belief center around God (the Father), Jesus Christ (as the Son of God) and the Holy Spirit.
- In Christianity consuming wine is a token in memory of Jesus and the last supper. It is widely believed that Jesus during the last supper shared wine with his desciples and asked them to repeat this (sip wine) in memory of Him and his spirit.
- The weary character in the song asks for his wine. (Could be interpreted as asking for the presence of God. Calling God because of fear as he witnessed "the stabbing with their steely knives that could not kill the beast (666)".
- The response he got was that "We havent had that spirit here" not spirit as in alcohol but spirit as the incorporeal supernatural being, in specific the Holy Spirit. That is, God as in Christian faith has not been there since 1969.
- What happened in 1969? i dont know. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 16:15, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
- It's much simpler than that. This is a political statement. The counter-culture movement in America ran out of steam and faded from importance somewhere between 1968 and 1970-71. 1969 is as good an estimation as any I've heard, and is likely based on the horrific events of the Dec 6, 1969 Altamont Free Concert featuring (among other bands) the Rolling Stones. It also reflects the fact that, with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy, the left wing youth movement had lost two of its most distinctive and inspiring leaders. "We haven't had that spirit here" means, we have lost our spirit - our drive, our hope, our optimism. We have given up and fallen into despair and accepted the status quo. That is what the reference means. -Kasreyn (talk) 10:27, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
- 1969 can be considered as the last year of the hippie era ... It's also the year of woodstock. In that time the use of drugs was massive and so there were a lot of death due to over consuming. Before that sentence there is a lot of representations of drugs and death such as the desert(the death is many times considered as being lonely and so being in a desert), the night (death is many times considered as darkness), the cool air (a ghost sign), the road + the fade light (the path that you must cross between living and death), the colitas (drug reference). All those may suggest that he died from over consuming drugs and he was happy to do so as in 1969 that the hippie culture was embracing drugs to go to "another level".
- The spirit is of course mental state .... witch means that the person is in a very good mood because he ask for a bottle of wine considering his situation witch is dead (mention that in the time that the lyrics was wrote, wine was not so comon in the world). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 19:52, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Aww... That is real beautiful... but highly unlikely... all of you people keep forgetting that Christians try to Satanize everything, and us who are noy fanatical religious follwers believe what they say because our mommies told us that god sees everything blah blah... musicians write about what is close to them, and in this case, Zeus and Prometheus and Satan and hell and all that is kind of working too hard to make sense of just a song... a damned good song, but it's just words... all this drugs and hell and BS is just too much!!! some dude was saying that the wine the guy asks for in the song is somehow related to the blood of christ and the comunion.... come on, just enjoy the record and stop going crazy over what it means!!!!22.214.171.124 (talk) 04:47, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Don't be so quick to think that there is not a "deeper meaning" to this song since Don Henley has stated that the reference to "spirit" is a socio-political statement. I'm pretty sure he's talking about the "death of the hippie" when everything that the hippies stood for co-opted to sell clothing and music. The REAL spirit of the hippie, not the consumerist version of it that took over in 1969 and after. (Woodstock was also in 1969) amyanda (talk) 17:09, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
- "Spirit" can mean ghost too, so the Captain (the head waiter?) would be responding in surprise "Wow, I recognize this ghost sitting over there! Long time no see!" ;) 126.96.36.199 (talk) 02:25, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
This section is poorly written and offers a misleading view of the information available from the source. The section heading itself ("possible plagiarism") is the first indication that what follows is based on conjecture and is not encyclopedic. In the interview cited, Anderson is pretty clear that he doesn't think there was plagiarism when he said "But, you know, it’s not plagiarism. It’s just the same chord sequence. It’s in a different time signature, different key, different context." In another interview (see ) he reiterates that it wasn't plagiarism and that he only alludes to it in jest. Further, the basic premise, that the Eagles heard Jethro Tull perform the song while touring with them, is weak and based on supposition. The Eagles were the opening act for Jethro Tull for only a brief period in June 1972, possibly as few as five shows (see ) and it appears that Jethro Tull did not play "We Used to Know" in concert around that time (see ). This also ignores the fact that the music for "Hotel California" was written by Don Felder, who did not join the Eagles until 1974. Lastly, the statement that Anderson "never got to raise the issue in court" is not only an exaggeration, it's pure fiction as there was never even a hint of any legal action. Piriczki (talk) 15:03, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
"The Outer Limits" episode "The Guests"
When I heard the Eagles "Hotel California" many years ago, it immediately reminded me of an episode of "The Outer Limits" called "The Guests" (q.v.) from 1964. I had seen it when I was a kid in the 1970's. I know the song is an allegory of excesses of '70's LA, but the lyrics "They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast", and "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave" are strongly evocative of this episode. Does anyone know if this episode of the Outer Limits inspired the song lyrics to some degree? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 05:51, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Greek references ?
The song might be inspired of the zeus punishments.
There is a lot of death references : - The desert (loniness) - the night (the darkness) - cool air (ghost) - the highway and the shimmering light (as when someone is between life and death and is about to die it sees all in black minus a light that guide him to death)
The Hotel represent the temptations and so souls deviate sometimes from the road to the hotel (like in this song). this part is very alike with all the death process in greek myth. He also hesitate quickly "this could be heaven or this could be hell" ...
The sentence ’we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’ can be interpreted as : he entered into the hotel and so he has sentenced himself.
the "stab it with their steely knives, but they can't kill the beast" is like prometeus zeus punishment : they give a lot of pain but does not kill it .... just as prometeus.
And then : you can checkout anytime but you can't never leave .... : when you checkout you pay ...... here you pay for your sins (maybe consuming drugs ?) .... and you can't never leave because no one can leave from hell. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 20:09, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Aww... That is real beautiful... but highly unlikely... all of you people keep forgetting that Christians try to Satanize everything, and us who are noy fanatical religious follwers believe what they say because our mommies told us that god sees everything blah blah... musicians write about what is close to them, and in this case, Zeus and Prometheus and Satan and hell and all that is kind of working too hard to make sense of just a song... a damned good song, but it's just words... all this drugs and hell and BS is just too much!!! some dude was saying that the wine the guy asks for in the song is somehow related to the blood of christ and the comunion.... come on, just enjoy the record and stop going crazy over what it means!!!!220.127.116.11 (talk) 04:44, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Actually, there are Greek references. See my note about the Odyssey. "Musicians write about what's close to them" Don Henley said in Rolling Stone, it's about all that stuff I learned about in college. He applied that framework to what he saw around him "The dark underbelly of the American dream" The song is full of metaphors, it's very literary (musicians can be highly intelligent and educated too you know). It's not really about Zeus, it's about Odysseus and Circe and the Island of the Lotus Eaters. Just because some Christians try to "Satanize everything" doesn't mean that their aren't spiritual or religious undertones in plenty of songs. Songwriters often have Christian upbringing too (especially those born in the 1950s in the United States).
Some people ENJOY finding out what a song means, and it adds to their enjoyment. I don't think that Don Henley considers the music he writes to be "just a song" he seems fairly intense about it.
Another idea for interpretation
like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (LSD) could they have used "The Hotel California" for THC, the working stuff of Cannabis ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 20:11, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
The source that was tagged for failed verification contained the following quote from one of the song's writers:
Because we're discussing lyrics, I asked Frey, "It's 'warm smell of what?'" "Colitas," he said. "It means little tails, the very top of the plant."
People are constantly saying 1969 refers to the church of Satan. OMG, people. 1967 was the Summer of Love, 1969 was Woodstock (and also the "death of the hippie" as declared by the group the Diggers) It's when the hippie movement became commercialized and the true spirit was "lost." "Hippie" fashion went mainstream and became a fashion statement and a tool for selling music etc, rather than the socio-political movement that it started as.
Don Henly Quote: Thanks for the tutorial and, no, you're not the first to bring this to my attention--and you're not the first to completely misinterpret the lyric and miss the metaphor. Believe me, I've consumed enough alcoholic beverages in my time to know how they are made and what the proper nomenclature is. But that line in the song has little or nothing to do with alcoholic beverages. It's a sociopolitical statement. My only regret would be having to explain it in detail to you, which would defeat the purpose of using literary devices in songwriting and lower the discussion to some silly and irrelevant argument about chemical processes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 15:49, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Don Henley would later tell Rolling Stone that "Hotel California" was about "facing some of the harsh realities of fame and life in Hollywood" that the Eagles had endured on their way to pop superstardom. "Back in those times, every day was Halloween," Henley said. "The spiritual experimentation and sexual experimentation all mingled at some points." Henley attributed the song's lasting resonance to its "classic mythological form"; a quest where the hero grapples with dark forces he encounters during his odyssey. "It's all the stuff I learned in college," he said. "The difference is that it's set in the great American Southwest." http://www.superseventies.com/sw_hotelcalifornia.html
This is Don Henley hinting at the origins of Hotel California. "All the stuff I learned in college" and "classic mythical form" and "dark forces he encounters during his odyssey" -- he is talking about "The Odyssey" by Homer. Henley used the framework of the Odyssy, and especially "The Lotus-eaters" http://www.superseventies.com/sw_hotelcalifornia.html to illustrate the "dark underbelly of the American Dream" he is talking about hedonism, excess, and commercialism/consumerism (her mind is Tiffany twisted, she got the Mercedes bends). It's Hotel *California* because that was a hot spot for the hedonism that he's singing about (and also where these Midwest boys called The Eagles encountered it for themselves). People who say that the song is about drugs, are in fact, partially right.
In Odyssey IX, Odysseus tells how adverse north winds blew him and his men off course as they were rounding Cape Malea, the southernmost tip of the Peloponnesus, headed westwards for Ithaca: "I was driven thence by foul winds for a space of 9 days upon the sea, but on the tenth day we reached the land of the Lotus-eaters, who live on a food that comes from a kind of flower. Here we landed to take in fresh water, and our crews got their mid-day meal on the shore near the ships. When they had eaten and drunk I sent two of my company to see what manner of men the people of the place might be, and they had a third man under them. They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-Eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eaters without thinking further of their return; nevertheless, though they wept bitterly I forced them back to the ships and made them fast under the benches. Then I told the rest to go on board at once, lest any of them should taste of the lotus and leave off wanting to get home, so they took their places and smote the grey sea with their oars."
"There she stood in the doorway" and "She got a lot of pretty pretty boys that she calls friends" among other lines refers to Circe- a sorceress who traps men and turns them into pigs. (pigs... excess)
In Homer's Odyssey, Circe is described as living in a mansion that stands in the middle of a clearing in a dense wood. Around the house prowled strangely docile lions and wolves, the drugged victims of her magic; they were not dangerous, and fawned on all newcomers. Circe worked at a huge loom. She invited Odysseus' crew to a feast of familiar food, a pottage of cheese and meal, sweetened with honey and laced with wine, but also laced with one of her magical potions, and she turned them all into pigs with a wand after they gorged themselves on it. Only Eurylochus, suspecting treachery from the outset, escaped to warn Odysseus and the others who had stayed behind at the ships. Odysseus set out to rescue his men, but was intercepted by his great grandfather, Hermes, who had been sent by Athena. Hermes told Odysseus to use the holy herb moly to protect himself from Circe's potion and, having resisted it, to draw his sword and act as if he were to attack Circe. From there, Circe would ask him to bed, but Hermes advised caution, for even there the goddess would be treacherous. She would take his manhood unless he had her swear by the names of the gods that she would not. Odysseus followed Hermes's advice, freeing his men. Odysseus and his men remained on the island for one year feasting and drinking wine.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circe
also, there is a mention of "The Captain" saying please bring me my wine, Odysseus was the Captain of the ship.
The song seems very random, but if you know the story of the Odyssey you can see that it is not random at all, it's just a little bit vague in it's reference to one of the great classics in the world of literature and mythology. More about the Odyssey- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Odyssey — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 16:12, 5 June 2011 (UTC) amyanda (talk) 17:10, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
The article claims the acoustic Hell Freezes Over live version having been done with 8 guitars. Is there any source for this? When looking at the various videos, I only see the usual four guitar players (Felder, Walsh, Henley, Schmitt). So, where does the "eight guitars" claim come from? Wefa (talk) 00:16, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Proposed new section
I have been tinkering with a section devoted to the harmonic structure of the song, which I feel is both rather interesting and unusual. This may be a little overly detailed for a rock song article. Because of this and other reasons, I thought I would run it by the talk page before I spend any more time on it. The proposed section as I have it now would appear something like this, which is in my sandbox User:Racerx11/sandbox.
If anyone cares to give any suggestions such as what could or should be trimmed, corrected or otherwise improved, that would be great. If for some reason it wouldn't be appropriate for inclusion at all, I'm fine with that too. Any feedback appreciated. Thank you. --Racerx11 (talk) 04:52, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
- In the absence of any feedback, I am now going to just add the new section. Of course my sentiments still apply: If there is good reason it doesn't belong, I am open to the option of deleting it.--Racerx11 (talk) 13:34, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
- Seems OK to me. It may be a little more detail than I might prefer, but it's not egregious or anything. One thing, though, is that the whole section relies on a single source. It would be great if there were other sources that could be cited. I personally think that the particular source in use now is a bit eager to see harmonic mystery and complexity where there is none. That's my personal opinion and as such it does not trump something published in a WP:RS. But it does make me wonder what else might be out there... SlubGlub (talk) 02:56, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
- I would be inclined to remove the stuff about how the chord progression is "unusual" and a "riddle". While that is a fair summary of parts of the cited source, it seems to require some nuance that may be lost in a summary, as the source also says that "the verse's combination of chords actually is not out of the ordinary" and a few other things along those lines. While the chord progression may be interesting from various perspectives, and arguably even puzzling in some regards, it certainly doesn't seem to be what makes the song notable. (It's notable, of course, because it was an unbelievably huge hit and an album that sold a ridiculous number of copies.) If a couple other reliable secondary sources could be found that talk about the song's harmonic characteristics, that would make the whole section more compelling, I think. SlubGlub (talk) 06:04, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
- I added a one-source template to the section. Maybe that will prod someone else to add something.
- I'd be interested in how much the article we are using gets cited and in what context. It seems to me to be peculiar in some of its fundamental analysis, which is surprising because the guy clearly knows a thing or two. It also seems kind of self-contradictory. It says the progression is related to no known progression, then cites a Jethro Tull song with a similar progression.
- I also chafe at the phrase "key of B Natural Minor" (as opposed to "scale of B natural minor"). Songs in the key of B minor freely move from natural minor scales to harmonic minor scales all the time, and the melodic minor scale includes the entire natural minor scale. The idea that a song is in the "key" of "B natural minor" and then that it is unusual for an F# major or an E major chord to appear is just plain wrong. It is also not remotely unheard of for compositions and songs in a minor key to contain both the minor and major subdominants (in this case, E minor and E major chords in the key of B minor).
- It may be fair to say that the verse progression on "Hotel California" contains more chords than the typical 1970s American pop/rock song, although you'd kind of have to turn a blind eye to all sorts of things like Steely Dan and lots of soft rock of the era. It's also fair to say that the chord progression contains more harmonic interest than a lot of other songs in the genre by the Eagles and others. There are lots of ways to highlight this. One could note, for example, that the song is on the long side for a pop/rock song and yet the chorus only appears twice. The rest of the song is carried by that one progression. But this stuff about the chord progression defying easy analysis is just wrong.
- I had forgotten about the Jethro Tull song "We Used to Know", but I read somewhere, maybe in source in question, that the JT song inspirered Felder to write a song over that progression. Listen to the song with that in mind.
- Because the use of the major IV and major V chords is not very unusual in songs of minor keys, would you recommend removing that statement for reasons of being unremarkable?
- I don't know how often that particular essay has been used as a source, but the website that contains it includes Alan W. Pollack's complete "Notes on...series" an in depth analysis of the entire Beatles catalog. Pollack's series is frequently used in many WP articles on Beatles music and is considered one of the higher authorities on the subject, I don't know if this necessarily shines any favorable light on Tillekens, but just thought I'd mention it. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 16:33, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
- My personal preference would be to remove those statements, but I wonder if that violates WP:NOTTRUTH. If Tillekens wrote it, and it's in a reliable secondary source, and no other reliable secondary source contradicts him, then it stays. The only way around that, I guess, is if we decide (and this is probably correct) that going over the actual chords etc. is overkill (not horrible overkill, but certainly not essential) and what is of interest to the typical reader would be Tillekens assessment: That the progression is peculiar and interesting, and that he draws links from this and that historical tradition to explain why the progression works. If a user wants the details, they can always click through to the original source.
- The only other thing I wonder about is if this journal that is publishing this thing is in fact a legit journal and not a glorified self-published blog. I suspect it is, in fact, a legit journal, but there are some errors that make my eyebrows go up. (At one point, he writes that the song flirts with the key of G Minor when he means G Major. And the whole "key of B Natural Minor" thing suggests to me an absence of academic review. On the other hand, like I said, he does not seem ignorant or anything. He seems to know his stuff. I'd say this article is more of a puzzle than the song! :-) ) Maybe English is not the first language of the author and/or the publishers and so some technical details get blurred here and there? Maybe I'm just an idiot whose music education is too many decades in the past to be able to comment competently on relatively recent articles? SlubGlub (talk) 18:30, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
- Oh boy, trying to read through other articles in the journal to get a feel for its quality, I came across this awesome bit of terribleness: "Many music text books stubbornly hold to the thesis, that Minor scales sound sad whereas Major scales, in contrast, have a more cheerful ring." Only the world's crappiest text books or perhaps those directed at a child would "stubbornly hold to the thesis" that minor scales always sound sad and major scales always sound happy. The idea that it is extraordinary to show that these imaginary text books are wrong is delusional. Sorry, I'm ranting. I should know better. SlubGlub (talk) 18:44, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
- Hehe, yep, when I first stumbled onto the journal I certainly remember seeing some stuff that didn't sound right for one reason or another. There are a lot of articles and essays contained in it. There is bound to be some errors and some things not everyone agrees with. Take for example just the collection of Beatles songs essays. With a topic that vast, one would be hard pressed to find a single person who would agree with everything one individual would have to say on every song they wrote. Bottom line, I don't have much of a problem using it as an RS despite some apparent errors and questionable statements.
- That works for me. Read my mind on mentioning Jethro Tull. That IP I reverted earlier actually got me to chuckle. They just went ahead linked the chords themselves to the Jethro Tull album...lol, I liked that. They must have seen our talk page thread. Several weeks of no changes to this section and within hours of mentioning Jethro Tull here, someone links it on the page. Some coincidence eh? :) --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 02:04, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Did a little rewrite spurred on by your edits and also because I wasn't very happy with the flow. Perhaps this rest of the section could use some aesthetic attention. There must be a better way to display the chord series for example. Any thoughts? --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 02:37, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
2009 Plain Dealer interview
It should be noted that all of the verses of this song are basically played in a reggae rhythm, most emphasized by the "skank" guitar (muted strikes on 2 and 4) and the "one drop" on 3 for the snare. It is interesting that there is rarely any mention of this including on this long Wikipedia page, other than to mention that the original title for the song was "Mexican Reggae". As is typical for non-reggae bands, the bass playing is excessively staccato and there are a lot more bass drum strikes than would usually be found in songs by actual reggae bands. And, there is no reggae style keyboard playing in Hotel California, neither a piano "skank" nor and organ "bubble".
But nonetheless it is clear that the basis of the rhythm for the verses is reggae. This is likely why there are so many reggae style covers of this song. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JahRocker (talk • contribs) 23:39, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
- The above section, or something similar, was added to the article by User:JahRocker; i have just removed it. I took it out because it appeared to be completely unreferenced, original research, and, essentially, opinion. I am clearly open to a section on the rhythm, if it's noteworthy and can be referenced somewhere. Cheers, LindsayHello 07:09, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
the proper key for his voice
Quote: "the proper key for his voice which was B minor." Voices don't have a 'proper key', singers can sing in any key but are limited by range. Therefore, this should read something like: "a key that suited his range for this song". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 17:45, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
The source for the purported resemblance of the song to one by Jethro Tull is article which says
"Here, the authors of Wikipedia's entry to the song, rightly point at the Jethro Tull's "We Used To Know" from their album Stand Up (1969), while arguing that the chord progressions are nearly identical..."