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Eagles, The/Meaning of the song "Hotel California

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JORGE wrote at 2008-04-06 07:22:19
THE SONG IS ABOUT SATANIC PEOPLE AND HOW THEY WORSHIP THE DEVIL. HERE THE SONG OR READ THE LYRICS CAREFULLY AND YOU'LL SEE WHAT IT MEANS


AMINE wrote at 2008-04-19 09:21:59
On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair

Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air



     I've heard a number of explanations for colitas with the only suggestion of any merit being marijuana. What better reference for the artist before plunging into that unhappiness? A high feeling, peaceful, free, wind in their hair...



Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light

My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim

I had to stop for the night



     Who doesn't see shimmerling lights when they are on drugs? But, that shimmering light is the materialism which shimmers like the rich, lusterious, draw that it is while the singer clearly becomes intoxicated by it.



There she stood in the doorway;

I heard the mission bell

And I was thinking to myself,

'This could be Heaven or this could be Hell'



     "She", the materialism, is standing between his free life and the world of possessions and greed. He "HEARD" a bell in the past tence, that context is important to imply that he was past heaven, past the mission bell, and on his way to the hell on earth.



Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way

There were voices down the corridor,

I thought I heard them say...



Welcome to the Hotel California

Such a lovely place

Such a lovely face

Plenty of room at the Hotel California

Any time of year, you can find it here



     "She" shows him the way through the door, materialism draws him in where the intoxicating high lingers, "Such a lovely place," "Such a lovely face," its almost eerie. The great play on words here is that he's told by the voices down the corrider, the people already there, that he is in California; the place of the gold rush, beaches, and movies (lovely place) and movie of Hollywood and plastic surgery (lovely faces).



Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes Benz



     "Materialism's" mind is twisted by Tiffany's and Mercedes: Tiffany's for expensive jewelry, Mercedes for the expensive cars. People's perspectives get distorted by these things, which explains another fun play on works with "Benz" or bends and twisted.



She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends



     Who doesn't believe pretty boys are a status symbol for our female Materialism?



How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.

Some dance to remember, some dance to forget



     This is where interpretations mingle. Materialism and her boys are dancing to remember and forget. Remember the past, easy-going, happy lifestyle, and (foreshadowing to the end of the song!) to forget because, "you can never leave"

     Another twist is how people pursue possessions to remember or forget, with that being the dance. Remembering their childhood or earlier in their life when they had more money or more toys OR pursuing possessions to forget about other painful issues in their life.



So I called up the Captain,

'Please bring me my wine'

He said, 'We haven't had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine'



     So, we've learned that the dance is how we remember the previous life or forget the depression. Wine is good way to warm up those dancing shoes. The Captain's response is interesting, they haven't had that wine since 1969, since the summer of love, the summer of freedom from possessions. They haven't had the ability to give you that wine since... Woodstock.



And still those voices are calling from far away,

Wake you up in the middle of the night

Just to hear them say...



[chorus]



Mirrors on the ceiling,

The pink champagne on ice

And she said 'We are all just prisoners here, of our own device'



     The voices are always haunting you (see, I said it was eerie), always driving you to accomplish, acheive, and BUY more.

     Ceiling Mirrors are a great reference for our adult audience while Pink champagne is certainly another symbol of luxury. The last line gives up hope and hopelessness in that we are trapped of our own will. In pursuit of wealth we created our lifestyle.



And in the master's chambers,

They gathered for the feast

They stab it with their steely knives,

But they just can't kill the beast



     In a social setting, what is a frequent topic of conversation? Vacation? How you need a break? How you look forward to the weekend? When we gather for a feast, we stab at this beast, the primal desire within us to go back to freedom, away from these trappings. People want to kill that part of themselves which longs for peaceful, liberated days, because our lives are otherwise stressful, but you can't and won't ever rid yourself of that.



Last thing I remember, I was

Running for the door

I had to find the passage back

To the place I was before



     Clearly, the plight to get back to that lifestyle instead of discussing, stabbing away at it. The only way to get back to the place of before is to go back to that simple lifestyle.



'Relax,' said the night man,

We are programmed to receive.

You can checkout any time you like,

but you can never leave!



     The night man, the guard, (Marketing?) tells us to relax, this is what we're all about, it is normal to desire things. We are brought up and conditioned by society to be receptive to messages about status and wealth.

     Of course, we can "check out", go on vacation, head to the mountains and get away for a while but, we will never pull ourselves from greed.

AMINE , TAZA , MOROCCO


Silencer of questions wrote at 2008-05-14 19:54:24
There are actually many theories on what the song Hotel California is about. I've heard that it could possibly hint at somthing about opium trade as well as death. I believe based on what i've scraped together that it is infact about death, or rather what happens after death. Lines like "This could be heaven or this could be hell" "Prisoners of our own device" and my favorite "you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave" All of these hint at death in my opinion. And on the original album cover (The acutal record album not remade cds) in the backround there is a small window in the dark you andcan see a man. The man on the album was High Priest of the Church of Satan Anton LeVey. This all leads me to believe that death and going to hell tie into this song very deeply  


mickeyjck wrote at 2009-05-14 17:21:56
Wasn't 1969 the year "Satanism or Satanic Practices" were worldy accepted as existing?

Thats what the song is about... You enter into the occult, and you are marked, never being able to leave... The Image of High Priest Anton LeVey just confirms that...

I Wonder...


R Love wrote at 2013-01-24 09:46:47
Hotel California interpreted as a euphemism for the space one enters when they take LSD



On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair

When you go you go alone and you have heard lots of words about how cool the the experience is



Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air

The Marijuana you and the others you are with are smoking while waiting for the effects.



Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light

The first flashes of the effects



My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim

Something weird is happening



I had to stop for the night

The mind can no longer see where it is going



There she stood in the doorway;

The first images beaconing you to enter the experience of LSD. Music (She -The Muse) is probably influencing one altered state of mind



I heard the mission bell

church bell -The LSD experience is very spiritual in nature

all great music is about love or the tragedy that occurs when it is absent (religious context LSD feels like it embodies the real intent devoid of christian church dogma)



And I was thinking to myself,



"This could be Heaven or this could be Hell"

we have been told taking drugs is bad and the intrigue feels like it could be a delusion but the wondrous images and feeling of love seem as if we are entering heaven



Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way

It is very hard to organize one thoughts during the onset but eventually a coherent stream of thought begins to coalesce

she (the muse) music is the best guide in the LSD experience



There were voices down the corridor,

Something begins to catch ones attention. seems there is a form of information reflected onto the mind from the visions



I thought I heard them say...



Welcome to the Hotel California



Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)



Such a lovely face

the visions will have you in awe and will reflect LOVE and good feelings



Plenty of room at the Hotel California

there seems to be no limits to one's expanded mind and it's perception of reality.



Any time of year (Any time of year)

You can find it here

This space is always here we just are not aware of it



Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends.

The visions are like patterns on a tiffany lamp. following the pattern of

the Muse in the poetry of Rock and roll lyrics is like riding in plush vehicle driving you deep into your mind.



She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends

Rock Stars who serve the muse.



How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.

Rock and Roll show



Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

Who am I? or "Heads all empty without a care"



So I called up the Captain,

Ones god concept



"Please bring me my wine"

He said, "We haven't had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine"

When we meet again we will share a new wine (sic Bible) (morning glory wine)

Timothy Leary stated at about this time that alcohol is the anti-psychedelic and recommended not mixing them



And still those voices are calling from far away,

It is truly the feeling of entering a far away world and there seems to be a dis-embodied voices in ones mind



Wake you up in the middle of the night

Just to hear them say...



Welcome to the Hotel California

Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)

Such a lovely face

The visions will have you in awe most of the time and are leading to pleasing visions of LOVE



They livin' it up at the Hotel California

LSD allows your mind to be released, feeling none of the restraints experienced in the normal state of mind.



What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)

One discovers that all you need is LOVE



Bring your alibis

Reasons for not loving and or memories of justifications for when one was unkind to another. self judgement phase



Mirrors on the ceiling,

Cant run away from yourself



The pink champagne on ice

relax drink  it in be at peace for once.



And she said "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device"

the limits of your mind are the limits on your idea of yourself and life



And in the master's chambers,

LSDs full effect is being felt" Love is confirmed as the force behind Life



They gathered for the feast

Many experience peace  "the food of love" the first time in a universal way



They stab it with their steely knives,

Trying to hate something away, it could be in ones own bad idea of them selves this really causes disruption in one mind when sailing on the sea of love



But they just can't kill the beast.

Being overwhelmed with the task of dealing with ones own guilt.

Can't figure out how to communicate the wonder of love to those who don't under stand

The thought that the experience is all just fantasy and the world and it's people are far from understanding truth and Love and will continue justifying there lives at the cost of another's life.

The waking reality enters that the world which does not seem very loving and who is it's master?

If Love is everything, what about war and murderous death and the purveyors of it.

Enter the eater of Love (Bad Trip)



Last thing I remember, I was



Running for the door



I had to find the passage back



To the place I was before

The devil or a dark force must be real and  these thoughts are getting pretty scary..

and one might want the experience to end at this time.



"Relax, " said the night man,

"We are programmed to receive.

You can check-out any time you like,

But you can never leave! "

The LSD experience is hard to shake from ones memory

And the idea of ones self will likely be changed forever.



Interpretation by Ron Love




usul333 wrote at 2014-10-02 19:23:36
It is my understanding that Don Henley wrote the lyrics to Hotel California. In a TV interview done years ago (I personally never saw it) Henley explains that the song is about  a personal experiance of his.

  Apparently a good friend of his was dying in a hospital in Southern CA of cancer and Henley went to visit him and this inspired the song, or at least the 2nd to last stanza.

   

Mirrors on the ceiling, (the operating room)

   

The pink champagne on ice (plasma or blood for transfusion)

   

'We are all just prisoners here, of our own device' (got lung cancer from smoking?)

   

And in the master's chambers, (again, the operating room)

   

They gathered for the feast (the operation)

   

They stab it with their steely knives, (the cancerous tumors)

   

But they just can't kill the beast (the surgery failed)



Makes sense to me.




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I am a self-proclaimed Eagles expert based on my voracious research in libraries and on the internet. Have taped hundreds of hours of live Eagles radio interviews and any and all television broadcasts of Eagles related biographies or interviews. Own every Eagles record, including the newly-released box set and have aquired the autograph of Glen Frey, been to Winslow Arizona, and conversed with their original promoter. Seen the band twice, once on my birthday! Using a Don Henley song in my wedding. Used a dissertation on the meaning of the song "Hotel California" as the basis for a public speaking class in college.

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