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-   -   So is Hotel California about a Haunted House, or What? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=867047)

Two Many Cats 12-11-2018 12:50 PM

So is Hotel California about a Haunted House, or What?
 
When I was young, the Eagles' Hotel California was mostly admired among my set of friends for its creepiness. We all went through a certain... oooohhh spooky stuff phase as adolescent girls, and loved ghost and demon stories. That was before slasher flicks came along and ruined everything.

Anyway, I've heard since then that the song is not about supernatural doings, but about the music industry..or else about, ...well god knows what.

I listened to the lyrics this morning, and it definitely appears to have a swapped gender Manos feel to it. Guy pulls up at a hotel, goes to a party, and sees rich people trying to eat a not quite dead animal (I always saw it as a cross between a cow and a pig type animal, but that's just me. I was pretty sure it wasn't a chicken.) Guy tries to escape in a hurry, but cannot because dark forces won't let him. HE'S TRAPPED FOREVER, AH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAAAAAH!!!!!

Anyway, were me and my friends hearing stuff that was not there, so to speak?

What is Hotel California about anyway?

Just to keep the thread going after the answer, what creepy songs did you like when you were young....or not so young?

cochrane 12-11-2018 12:57 PM

For one, they are not literally eating an animal. They're doing heroin.

"They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast."

"The steely knives" are their needles and "the beast" refers to their addiction.

kenobi 65 12-11-2018 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Two Many Cats (Post 21372297)
What is Hotel California about anyway?

Not surprisingly, that is a question that's been debated for decades. :) As per the Wikipedia article on the song, the band members have told different explanations over the years, but the consensus seems to be that it's mostly an allegory about the excesses and decadence of (take your pick) American culture / Los Angeles / the music industry.

jayjay 12-11-2018 12:58 PM

I always saw it as more Lovecraftian, kind of like the tentacle-thing in the Greg Kihn Band's "Jeopardy" video. I have no idea what Th'Iggles had in mind for the meaning, really.

As for creepy songs, there were quite a few that got Doctor Demento play back in the 80s/90s...Harry Chapin had a song about a tractor-trailer of bananas that crashed horrifically ("30,000 Pounds Of Bananas"?) and of course, that celebration of cannibalism, "Timothy".

Czarcasm 12-11-2018 01:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jayjay (Post 21372312)
I always saw it as more Lovecraftian, kind of like the tentacle-thing in the Greg Kihn Band's "Jeopardy" video. I have no idea what Th'Iggles had in mind for the meaning, really.

As for creepy songs, there were quite a few that got Doctor Demento play back in the 80s/90s...Harry Nilsson (I think) had a song about a tractor-trailer of bananas that crashed horrifically ("32,000 Pounds Of Bananas"?) and of course, that celebration of cannibalism, "Timothy".

Harry Chapin did "Thirty Thousand Pounds Of Bananas".

CalMeacham 12-11-2018 01:03 PM

Hotel California for some reason is associated in my mind with the Harlan Ellison story Shattered like a Glass Goblin, maybe because it, too, is about a house in LA inhabited by addicts, tends to trap people inside, and has generally creepy stuff in it. Even though it came out a decade earlier.

https://reiszwolf.wordpress.com/2015...arlan-ellison/

manson1972 12-11-2018 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Two Many Cats (Post 21372297)
When I was young, the Eagles' Hotel California was mostly admired among my set of friends for its creepiness. We all went through a certain... oooohhh spooky stuff phase as adolescent girls, and loved ghost and demon stories. That was before slasher flicks came along and ruined everything.

Anyway, I've heard since then that the song is not about supernatural doings, but about the music industry..or else about, ...well god knows what.

I listened to the lyrics this morning, and it definitely appears to have a swapped gender Manos feel to it. Guy pulls up at a hotel, goes to a party, and sees rich people trying to eat a not quite dead animal (I always saw it as a cross between a cow and a pig type animal, but that's just me. I was pretty sure it wasn't a chicken.) Guy tries to escape in a hurry, but cannot because dark forces won't let him. HE'S TRAPPED FOREVER, AH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAAAAAH!!!!!

Anyway, were me and my friends hearing stuff that was not there, so to speak?

What is Hotel California about anyway?

Just to keep the thread going after the answer, what creepy songs did you like when you were young....or not so young?

It's about drugs. Just like 99% of songs. It's right in the name:

(H)otel = Heroin
(C)alifornia = Cocaine

cochrane 12-11-2018 01:14 PM

Unrelated anecdote: I was in a hospital some years back, and my roommate was an elderly, rather grumpy and demanding man. The nurse came in at the start of her shift and he asked her for a cup of coffee. She told him, "I'm just starting my rounds and have to check in on all of my patients, but as soon as I get back to the nurses' station, I'll be glad to make a fresh pot." The old man said, "I want to check out." The nurse replied, "Honey, this is the Hotel California. You can check out, but you can't leave." :D

Wheelz 12-11-2018 01:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972 (Post 21372321)
It's about drugs. Just like 99% of songs. It's right in the name:

(H)otel = Heroin
(C)alifornia = Cocaine

I don't disagree that it's about drugs (though not solely), but that bit about the title is a stretch.

DrDeth 12-11-2018 01:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cochrane (Post 21372310)
For one, they are not literally eating an animal. They're doing heroin.

"They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast."

"The steely knives" are their needles and "the beast" refers to their addiction.

wiki: "According to Glenn Frey's liner notes for The Very Best Of, the use of the word "steely" in the lyric, "They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast," was a playful nod to the band Steely Dan, who had included the lyric "Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening" in their song "Everything You Did".[15] Frey had also said that the writing of the song was inspired by the boldness of Steely Dan's lyrics and its willingness to go "out there",[12] and thought that the song they wrote had "achieved perfect ambiguity."[14]"

Happy Lendervedder 12-11-2018 01:26 PM

Heroin. It's always about heroin.

Bryan Ekers 12-11-2018 01:39 PM

There's plenty of room for interpretation in the Hotel California.

WOOKINPANUB 12-11-2018 01:40 PM

I've read / heard many interviews and quotes from the band and as mentioned before, it's about the inescapable heaven/hell life that is fame and the music industry in L.A.
The "steely knives" line is a private joke between the Eagles and Steely Dan - I don't remember the exact origins; maybe something about one's album beating the others in the charts or something. Also, I seem to recall that one of the "secret" scratchings they used to put on their vinyl was a message to SD. You all probably know that "colitas" is a reference to plants (Henley says they're plants that grow in the desert but Ima gonna say it refers to pot). My friends and I used to giggle at the thought of the "warms smell of COLITIS rising up through the air":eek::p I
The album cover (damn, I miss album covers)definitely lends a creepy air and falls in with the the haunted hotel story. I remember spending hours pouring over the inner fold photo trying to make out the supposed figure of "the beast".

"The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" used to wig me out and fascinate me at the same time. The line "he saw Andy lying on the floor in a puddle of blood" really made my skin crawl.

manson1972 12-11-2018 01:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wheelz (Post 21372371)
I don't disagree that it's about drugs (though not solely), but that bit about the title is a stretch.

Oh sure. Next you'll be telling me Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is not about LSD.

or "Cocaine" by Eric Clapton is not about Ecstasy.

:)

NanaMan 12-11-2018 01:53 PM

Pretty sure it was intended to be unclear and mysterious so people would always wonder about it.

Looks like they succeeded!

MovieMogul 12-11-2018 02:16 PM

I think it's important to remember that "Life in the Fast Lane" is on the same side of the album, and is essentially about the same thing--a lifestyle that spins out of control, into decadence and self-destruction--except in a more explicit and less allegorical, stylized way (though with its car imagery, LITFL does indulge in a few metaphors, too).

Ukulele Ike 12-11-2018 02:22 PM

That black janitor in the gatefold photo? Corpse, propped up on the broom.

Just Asking Questions 12-11-2018 02:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers (Post 21372406)
There's plenty of room for interpretation in the Hotel California.

I took it to be about mental illness. Schizophrenia. Having hallucinations. You see strange things, and think they are normal. You don't see anything wrong with you, but you can never leave*. At least, until a panel of doctors clears you.

Helping that is the "fact" I heard that the "hotel" on the cover is really Camarillo State Mental Hospital (it isn't).

*you can., of course, "check out" with a daily dosage of thorazine. See? it all fits!

JcWoman 12-11-2018 02:39 PM

I have a tangential story also. About the time this song was being played constantly on the radio, my mom took me to the doctor (I was around 8) in San Francisco, and on the way back we had to take the Bay Bridge/580 eastbound to go back to the central valley. It was dark by the time we got out of the doctor's office and my mom got lost just about the time we passed this place, prominantly visible from 580 eastbound: California Hotel

She got off the highway and looped around trying to get herself oriented, and we passed it again when she felt like she was still lost. Pulled off again and found her way to a gas station where she asked for directions. As we followed their directions, we passed by it a third time, leading to much joking about us being lost in Hotel California.

(If you find it on the map, you can see that she wasn't lost at all!)

Icarus 12-11-2018 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972 (Post 21372321)
It's about drugs. Just like 99% of songs. It's right in the name:

(H)otel = Heroin
(C)alifornia = Cocaine

Nah, it's about running for the Presidency. The Hotel California is the White House, the "beast" is.....well, you know......

(H)illary
(C)linton

:D

Just Asking Questions 12-11-2018 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MovieMogul (Post 21372486)
I think it's important to remember that "Life in the Fast Lane" is on the same side of the album, and is essentially about the same thing--a lifestyle that spins out of control, into decadence and self-destruction--except in a more explicit and less allegorical, stylized way (though with its car imagery, LITFL does indulge in a few metaphors, too).

It's all about the drugs!

New Kid in Town is about the latest - new strain of cannabis, new heroin blend, ecstasy, whatever

Wasted Time, is, of course, about doing drugs

Victim of love is about - murder. Specifically, about Spider Sabich. OK, I can't force it to be about drugs. unless drugs caused her to shoot him?

Pretty Maids All in a Row - empty beer bottles or shot glasses lined up on the bar

Try and love again - after getting clean, it's a song about getting hooked again

The Last Resort - heroin addiction. they called it paradise. I don't know why.

Didn't the first pressings of the vinyl have "is it 4:20 yet?" etched in the out groove area?

MovieMogul 12-11-2018 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JcWoman (Post 21372542)
I have a tangential story also. About the time this song was being played constantly on the radio, my mom took me to the doctor (I was around 8) in San Francisco, and on the way back we had to take the Bay Bridge/580 eastbound to go back to the central valley. It was dark by the time we got out of the doctor's office and my mom got lost just about the time we passed this place, prominantly visible from 580 eastbound: California Hotel

She got off the highway and looped around trying to get herself oriented, and we passed it again when she felt like she was still lost. Pulled off again and found her way to a gas station where she asked for directions. As we followed their directions, we passed by it a third time, leading to much joking about us being lost in Hotel California.

(If you find it on the map, you can see that she wasn't lost at all!)

Living in Oakland, I pass that hotel constantly when driving home from SF. Of course, their neon sign almost never has all the letters working, which only seems appropriate.

Siam Sam 12-11-2018 03:17 PM

I have read so many interpretations of this song, all of them plausible. But this reminds me of a Thai cab driver who picked me up in Bangkok one night. When he learned I could speak Thai, he proceeded to tell me what a HUGE Eagles fan he was and that his favorite was "Hotel California." Then he wanted me to explain the lyrics to him, in Thai. Uhhh, I was not even about to attempt that in my my struggling language skill.

manson1972 12-11-2018 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Siam Sam (Post 21372660)
I have read so many interpretations of this song, all of them plausible. But this reminds me of a Thai cab driver who picked me up in Bangkok one night. When he learned I could speak Thai, he proceeded to tell me what a HUGE Eagles fan he was and that his favorite was "Hotel California." Then he wanted me to explain the lyrics to him, in Thai. Uhhh, I was not even about to attempt that in my my struggling language skill.

That's EVERY Thai cab driver. :)

During a 3 week vacation I hear that song at least 100 bazillion, million times.

Siam Sam 12-11-2018 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972 (Post 21372674)
That's EVERY Thai cab driver. :)

During a 3 week vacation I hear that song at least 100 bazillion, million times.

There is a general fondness for the Eagles in Thailand. The locals go berserk whenever they play there too.

Malleus, Incus, Stapes! 12-11-2018 04:01 PM

The Master speaks.

Sir T-Cups 12-11-2018 04:06 PM

It's about a sandwich. It's right there in the name

(H)otel = Ham
(C)alifornia = Cheese

Typo Negative 12-11-2018 04:39 PM

According to Don Henley in the great 'History of the Eagles' documentary, It is simply about moving from innocence to experience.

Riemann 12-11-2018 04:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sir T-Cups (Post 21372783)
It's about a sandwich. It's right there in the name

(H)otel = Ham
(C)alifornia = Cheese

I think you've croqued the code.

markn+ 12-11-2018 05:02 PM

I think a fairly creepy song is Warren Zevon's Excitable Boy.

Quote:

And he raped her and killed her, then he took her home.
Jesus Christ. And the upbeat music just adds to the creepiness.

Mean Mr. Mustard 12-11-2018 05:37 PM

It's about snacks. It's right there in the name

(H)otel = Hostess
(C)alifornia = Cupcakes


mm

kenobi 65 12-11-2018 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard (Post 21372923)
It's about snacks. It's right there in the name

(H)otel = Hostess
(C)alifornia = Cupcakes

For which one will have a serious craving after spending an evening partaking in colitas. :D

Baker 12-11-2018 06:48 PM

About two years ago, at the cafe where I work, I took an early morning delivery before our manager arrived. I had to use my access card to get the young delivery guy back onto the elevator, and I said "You can check in any time you like, but you can never leave." He didn't get the joke, and I felt so freakin' old.

Jonathan Chance 12-11-2018 07:23 PM

Growing up in LA in the 70s and 80s it was always clear to me that it was about the self-satisfaction and alienation that Los Angeles generates. At that point it was a city - certainly obsessed with celebrity and fame - with many homes but few real neighborhoods.

Between 1940 and 1980 the population of Los Angeles County went from 2.7MM to 7.4MM. As a boy it seemed there were new kids introduced to class every single week. It was almost disorienting.

Toss in other SoCal songs on the album like Life in the Fast Lane, New Kid in Town and The Last Resort and it's The Eagles attempt to define a very strange, changing city.

JB99 12-11-2018 09:35 PM

I never thought of it as horror material.

I just assumed it was about drugs.

snowthx 12-11-2018 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Siam Sam (Post 21372660)
I have read so many interpretations of this song, all of them plausible. But this reminds me of a Thai cab driver who picked me up in Bangkok one night. When he learned I could speak Thai, he proceeded to tell me what a HUGE Eagles fan he was and that his favorite was "Hotel California." Then he wanted me to explain the lyrics to him, in Thai. Uhhh, I was not even about to attempt that in my my struggling language skill.

I hate the f*ckin' Eagles, man!

kayaker 12-12-2018 07:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972 (Post 21372413)
"Cocaine" by Eric Clapton is not about Ecstasy.

:)

J. J. Cale. Clapton did an ok cover of J. J. Cale's song.

HeyHomie 12-13-2018 10:37 AM

I always took it as a metaphor for drug addiction. "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave" pretty much perfectly describes it. Or so I've been told.

Sam Stone 12-13-2018 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markn+ (Post 21372873)
I think a fairly creepy song is Warren Zevon's Excitable Boy.



Jesus Christ. And the upbeat music just adds to the creepiness.

Also, he built a cage with her bones. Even creepier.

'Hotel California' was really about the intoxicating yet soul-destroying attractions of the California music scene - specifically the Laurel Canyon bohemian culture of drugs, money, record company sleazebags, and general craziness. Zevon wrote about all that as well, but he did it more as ascerbically and with more wit.

Ultimately, the Eagles embraced that culture and epitomized it, while Zevon spat in its face. While they were writing about 'life in the fast lane', Zevon was writing about the people that system chewed up and spat out.

"And if California slides into the ocean,
Like the mystics and statistics say it will,
I predict this motel will be standing,
Until I pay my bill."

StusBlues 12-13-2018 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21372372)
wiki: "According to Glenn Frey's liner notes for The Very Best Of, the use of the word "steely" in the lyric, "They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast," was a playful nod to the band Steely Dan, who had included the lyric "Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening" in their song "Everything You Did".[15] Frey had also said that the writing of the song was inspired by the boldness of Steely Dan's lyrics and its willingness to go "out there",[12] and thought that the song they wrote had "achieved perfect ambiguity."[14]"

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers (Post 21372406)
There's plenty of room for interpretation in the Hotel California.

Exactly. "Hotel California" is the Eagles' attempt to write well. Most of their material, while good, was pretty lightweight and direct - and they knew it. "Hotel California" was an attempt, largely successful, to write more metaphorically, iceberg style if you will, with many potential meanings and incisive, cutting language.

When I was a kid, evangelicals preached that the song was about the Church of Satan, and it's not impossible that HC show's reflects some influence of LaVey's crew and their debaucheries. More broadly speaking, the main topic of the song remains the excesses of the 1970s California culture the Eagles found themselves a part of. Drugs, materialism, meaningless sex, general lassitude, the post-hippie Californians craved all these things. The song lends itself to other meanings, though. It's a good piece of work.

BubbaDog 12-14-2018 12:45 PM

Silly me.. I had always thought that the song was about.....California.
The culture and varied lifestyles of California that is.

I guess I got it from the line about not having wine since 1969 which was a few years after a long strike by California vineyard workers who eventually reached an agreement in 1970.

Plenty of room any time of year you can find it here - California's varied climate areas where you can ski the mountains or surf the ocean, stay warm in San Diego or cool in San Francisco.

JoseB 12-14-2018 03:30 PM

As an aside: there is a semi-famous member of 4chan, nicknamed “weaver”, who created several “RPG adventures” in the forums: he opened a thread wherein he presented characters, drew scenes, and let the readers propose a course of action for the characters. Lather, rinse, repeat, and the final result could be really interesting.

One of them was “Nan Quest” and it very probably drew some inspiration from the “spooky” interpretation of the song “Hotel California”.

You can check it out (in a compiled and relatively easy-to-navigate format) in the following link:

http://mozai.com/quests/NanQuest/

I really recommend it :) Enjoy!

Grestarian 12-14-2018 07:05 PM

Back around 1986 as part of their Sunday night special programming, San Diego's 103.3 (?) radio station* (re)broadcast the "Westwood One Radio Network" production of Pink Champagne on Ice, an in-depth look at Hotel California complete with interviews with Eagles band members and, of course, playing each track from start to finish. Including commercial breaks, the listening experience lasted 3 hours.

They don't emphasize it much#, but the top of the tower in the left of this picture is what's on the cover of the album in question. If you've clicked on the link, you'll know where it is; if you haven't yet, I'll spoil the not-so-secret secret and tell you it's the campus of Channel Islands University, a California State University member (CSU-CI) located in Ventura County. If you take Lynn Road off the 101 and follow it south, it will wind its way past open preserves and steep hills and become Portrero Road and eventually get to Highway 1 (The Pacific Highway) near Point Hueneme naval base. Just a few twisty-turns before you get to Highway 1, you'll pass CSU-CI; it's quite a lovely campus, nestled in the hills and looking toward the ocean.

As you might have guessed, the site was not created to be a university campus. In fact, it didn't open for CSU classes until 2002. The literature for CSU-CI says it was built in the 1930's as Camarillo State Hospital but, if you look up that name, you're taken to information about Camarillo State MENTAL Hospital. This would explain why its located in a place that is both far from major cities and difficult to access even if you know which way to turn. It was very threatened by the Hillside Fire which started in Camarillo in November of 2018 and by various other fires that have burned from the 101, over the hills, and to the ocean.

If you've followed me this far, you'll have to trust me when I note that, back in the 1930's when it opened, people who were checked in to a mental hospital were usually NOT there voluntarily and, therefore, usually couldn't voluntarily check out, either. Well, maybe they could check out; they just couldn't physically leave...

The WIKI2 article about Camarillo State Mental Hospital notes that it eventually became innovative and renowned for its advances in both mental health and developmental disability treatments for adults, youths, and young children. Late in the article it notes that they branched out into the treatment of severe alcohol and drug abuse/addiction treatment. They went from being a remote lock-down asylum to being a remote detox center long before Passages in Malibu became the celebrity sobriety spot* -- but that was in the mid-80's while Glenn Frey claimed he wrote the song while he was detoxing in 1975. Oooh! Spooky and strange!

In any case, since Frey admitted to residing there at all, he would undoubtedly have heard (if not experienced) the history of the site being an insane asylum. And in Pink Champagne on Ice, Don Henley says they were inspired by Al Stewart's Year of the Cat, which he described as a montage of partial descriptions bleeding together into a musical carnival ride. Furthermore, the timing of the song's writing and development also seems more-than-coincidental. Year of the Cat was produced by Alan Parsons and came out in 1976 while The Alan Parsons Project released The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether on their Tales of Mystery and Imagination album (full of songs based on Edgar Allan Poe's work) and it's tough to believe Frey, Henley, or both weren't influenced (at least subconsciously) by the juxtaposition of the two songs into a got-exhausted-on-the-road-and-trapped-in-an-asylum masterpiece, which came out in the summer of 1976.

--G!
#Not on the splash page, but apparently the student body has adopted the bell tower as its official icon.
*Actually, I have no idea when that place opened and, yes, I admit I'm being rudely flippant about the problem. My apologies to any celebrities reading this who have had their addiction(s) disrespected.

guizot 12-14-2018 09:58 PM

I've never really listened to the lyrics; I can't bear to, because the song is so unbearably insipid--like so much of 70s music before punk came along.

But for a long time I thought that it might be about the hotel represented by that huge sign that was left on Riverside Drive for years, and then I realized that's the Hotel Californian, (with an N).
Quote:

Originally Posted by Siam Sam (Post 21372660)
. . . he proceeded to tell me what a HUGE Eagles fan he was and that his favorite was "Hotel California."

Yeah, if you go out with friends to a club in Colombia, usually about 3am, after every table's gone through several bottles of aguardiente, and after all the salsa, merengue and vallenato, the DJ will inevitably play this song, for "slow dancing." Nobody knows what the song is about. All they know is that it's about a hotel, and it's about California, and if you're male, and from California, some colombiana will want to dance with you, and you can't really say "no" just because you can't stand the song.

guizot 12-14-2018 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by guizot (Post 21378988)
. . . that huge sign that was left on Riverside Drive for years . . .

. . . and now is back at the original place in Westlake, on a new building, I forgot to add.

Infovore 12-15-2018 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grestarian (Post 21378823)
In any case, since Frey admitted to residing there at all, he would undoubtedly have heard (if not experienced) the history of the site being an insane asylum. And in Pink Champagne on Ice, Don Henley says they were inspired by Al Stewart's Year of the Cat, which he described as a montage of partial descriptions bleeding together into a musical carnival ride. Furthermore, the timing of the song's writing and development also seems more-than-coincidental. Year of the Cat was produced by Alan Parsons and came out in 1976 while The Alan Parsons Project released The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether on their Tales of Mystery and Imagination album (full of songs based on Edgar Allan Poe's work) and it's tough to believe Frey, Henley, or both weren't influenced (at least subconsciously) by the juxtaposition of the two songs into a got-exhausted-on-the-road-and-trapped-in-an-asylum masterpiece, which came out in the summer of 1976.

This is fascinating. I'm a huge Alan Parsons Project fan, but I've never heard about this connection. I can believe it, though.

I grew up near Ventura (Ojai, a little north) and lived there until the early Eighties. Camarillo State Hospital was definitely well known as a mental hospital (the kids would joke about "getting sent to Camarillo State.") I went there on a field trip for a high school psychology class, so it was still one in the early Eighties. I didn't realize it closed in 1997.

septimus 12-16-2018 01:11 AM

Colita Heroin Laf
 
I'll agree that it's probably coincidence that 'Colita Heroin Laf' is an anagram of 'Hotel California.' And I'll agree that many of the words were chosen just for images, rhyme or meter.

But one line is very clear:
'This could be heaven or this could be Hell'
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way.
Thank you, ma'am; I've never injected heroin before.

foolsguinea 12-16-2018 04:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972 (Post 21372321)
It's about drugs. Just like 99% of songs. It's right in the name:

(H)otel = Heroin
(C)alifornia = Cocaine

Wait, H. C. means heroin and cocaine? That gives an apt meaning to the use of those initials in Illuminatus! (I would have thought the writers were inspired by "HOT" and "COLD" taps in a basin, and RAW seemed like a weed guy, anyway.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Icarus (Post 21372579)
Nah, it's about running for the Presidency. The Hotel California is the White House, the "beast" is.....well, you know......

(H)illary
(C)linton

:D

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sir T-Cups (Post 21372783)
It's about a sandwich. It's right there in the name

(H)otel = Ham
(C)alifornia = Cheese

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard (Post 21372923)
It's about snacks. It's right there in the name

(H)otel = Hostess
(C)alifornia = Cupcakes


mm

Quote:

Originally Posted by kenobi 65 (Post 21372927)
For which one will have a serious craving after spending an evening partaking in colitas. :D

[Ted "Theodore" Logan]Whoa!

Quote:

Originally Posted by BubbaDog (Post 21378193)
Silly me.. I had always thought that the song was about.....California.
The culture and varied lifestyles of California that is.

I guess I got it from the line about not having wine since 1969 which was a few years after a long strike by California vineyard workers who eventually reached an agreement in 1970.

Plenty of room any time of year you can find it here - California's varied climate areas where you can ski the mountains or surf the ocean, stay warm in San Diego or cool in San Francisco.

Man. That's deep, man.

From what I've heard, in an interview with the writers I think, the song was meant to be like something Steely Dan would write, hence "steely knives;" but what it all means, eh, yeah, that wasn't as clear. I think rock songwriters sometimes don't care that much if the song really makes sense or means one actual thing. It's part of the music, man.

cochrane 12-16-2018 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by foolsguinea (Post 21380649)
From what I've heard, in an interview with the writers I think, the song was meant to be like something Steely Dan would write, hence "steely knives;" but what it all means, eh, yeah, that wasn't as clear. I think rock songwriters sometimes don't care that much if the song really makes sense or means one actual thing. It's part of the music, man.

DrDeth previously pointed that out:

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21372372)
wiki: "According to Glenn Frey's liner notes for The Very Best Of, the use of the word "steely" in the lyric, "They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast," was a playful nod to the band Steely Dan, who had included the lyric "Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening" in their song "Everything You Did".[15] Frey had also said that the writing of the song was inspired by the boldness of Steely Dan's lyrics and its willingness to go "out there",[12] and thought that the song they wrote had "achieved perfect ambiguity."[14]"


Bullitt 12-16-2018 04:19 PM

Perfect ambiguity sounds... perfect. Heroin and Cocaine, that makes sense. And then there's the "real" Hotel California, a hotel in Baja, in Todos Santos, about 40 miles north of Cabo (gMap, https://goo.gl/6WFRFS). You can drive down a dark, desert highway to get to it.

But there is a clear disclaimer at the bottom of the hotel's history page:
Quote:

The song “Hotel California” by the Eagles was not in any way inspired by the Hotel California in Todos Santos. The hotel wishes to inform its guests that there is no past or present connection between the hotel and the Eagles, any of its members, or their song. Any rumors or innuendo suggesting that the song is associated with or inspired by the hotel are untrue.
Still, we stopped in for drinks when we drove through. It was a nice break, and I snapped one of my favorite pictures of my wife there (https://imgur.com/wCk3Sw9). We were across the street from that Hotel California, which is off the frame to the viewer's right in that picture.


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