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Old 12-14-2018, 07:05 PM
Grestarian is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Garage & Lab
Posts: 1,568
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.

#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.