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The True Meaning of Hotel California

Apr 28, 2024
this video is sponsored by skillsshare the first thousand people to go to skl.sh polyphonic zero eight two zero will get two months of learning absolutely free this video was also made possible by my amazing followers on patreon this was one of my first stretch goals for patreon and I'm very excited to be able to publish it. You guys are amazing and help make this channel possible. Thank you so much. I don't remember the first time I heard Hotel California. I honestly doubt many of us will. Those who were born after its release in 1977, Hotel California has become something of a cultural pillar, it has always been there in movies, on music charts, circulating regularly on classic rock radio stations, but most importantly it It's been talked about since before there were video essays and Reddit threads since before there were geniuses and music forums, people have theorized about the

true

meaning

of the song and today I'm here to tell you definitively what the

true

meaning

is. from

hotel

california

, let's take a closer look, okay, as cool as it is.
the true meaning of hotel california
It would be if I could tell you the true meaning of Hotel California, that's just not possible, there is no true meaning to any song and anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something, but even if there was, I don't think that would be the most important part. interesting. from

hotel

california

, i think it's much more compelling to analyze how the eagles were able to create a song so mysterious and memorable that its lyrics still captivate music fans to this day, so that's what i'm going to do in this video throughout the This way, we'll look at some of the many interpretations of the song and learn what was on the Eagles' minds when they wrote it.
the true meaning of hotel california

More Interesting Facts About,

the true meaning of hotel california...

Now we can indicate the music. The California Hotel began life in Dawn Felder's Malibu beach house. He rented the place for the summer and sat in the bedroom with a 12-string guitar one July afternoon. He developed a handful of melodies and recorded them with a four-track recorder. One of these melodies was a mysterious piece made of descending arpeggios when Felder he gave his tapes to Don Henley. It was this descending riff that caught the attention of her bandmate. Henley was driving through California at night and the dark, creeping sounds of the music seemed to provide a perfect soundtrack.
the true meaning of hotel california
Most of the Eagles were still relatively new to California at the time. including Henley himself in an interview with Team Rock, said that he and his bandmates saw Beverly Hills as a mythical place, it was a place full of hope and dreams where miracles could and did happen, but it was also an empty place. full of excesses. Felder's riff, Henley, and his fellow lyricist, Glenn Frey, began writing lyrics explaining their feelings about California, but the lyrics were not only inspired by their own experiences, but were also based on the world of literature. The atmosphere of the California Hotel was inspired by the 1965 The Magicians novel by John Fowles.
the true meaning of hotel california
That book follows the story of Nicholas Urfee, a young teacher who travels to the island of Fraxos in Greece while there he meets a rich recluse named Maurice. That conscious Nicholas knows, he guides him through an elaborate series of world-changing psychological experiments. around him until he loses all sense of reality, this surreal unreality resonated with Henley and Frey, who saw parallels between Fowl's protagonist and their own experience in California, so they set out to make lyrics that created that feeling of unease in an interview with cameron crowe frey. He explained that we take this guy and make him like a wizard character where every time he walks through a door there is a new version of reality.
We wanted to write a song as if it were a movie. In that same interview, Frey said that the band was trying. To make the lyrics cinematic by mentioning the Twilight Zone as another influence, we see this cinematic lyricism in the opening verse. It is a sensual song that describes the smell and feel of the air and places the listener in the same mental space as the main character, entering a strange and unknown on a dark and desert road fresh wind in my hair warm smell of colitis that is lifts into the air that feeling of unreality and confusion permeates the next two verses our main character quickly passes through a series of rooms observing strange scenes and having eerie conversations in between we are treated to a bright and cheerful chorus that serves as a stark contradiction to the atmosphere of the verses welcome to hotel california such a lovely place such a lovely place such a lovely face when we look at this through the context of the eagles experience in california a clear meaning emerges there is a brilliant image of california home of hollywood and the music industry is a world of beautiful people and beautiful beaches of big concerts and huge houses it is a world that so many people aspire to, a world that seems idyllic from the outside in the first verse our hero enters the world but he already has an idea of its risks and I was thinking to myself that this could be heaven and this could be hell in the second verse we can see the glamor of California with the wealth and parties, but something is also lost when the hero orders wine, so I called the captain, please bring me my wine.
He said we haven't had that spirit here since 1969. For many, this line represented the change in the music industry through The rock and roll of the 60s felt like part of a revolution, the psychedelic movement was full of utopian optimism and a genuine belief in finding a better way to live, but as the decade progressed and the music industry grew tired and cynical, it turned out that the promise of revolution was easy to sell and the music industry became in a living experiment in ruthless capitalism, while mind-expanding psychedelics gave way to heavier drugs, cocaine and heroin took over the music industry and it became a world of excess in the third verse that looks how this plays out and we learn about the darkest underbelly of California, there is glamor but there is also rot at the center of a rock star lifestyle and in the famous final couplet of the song we learn the greatest horror of all, you can see it whenever you want.
But you can never leave, no matter how hard you try to escape the world of fast money and hard drugs, it will always call to you from some distant hallway when you learn Henley and Frey's intentions. It's easy to read Hotel California as a warning about the lifestyle. Hollywood, but that's not the only meaning people have given to the song, the Eagles themselves have also described it as a loss of innocence, something that is echoed in a popular interpretation that says the song is about a romantic relationship, in the first verse the hero is desperate. and alone but then he meets a woman and they get married, in the second verse things become difficult as materialism creeps into the relationship and the hero longs for better times in the past and then in the final verse the character tries to escape from the relationship he is trying to achieve. he goes back to who he was before, but in the end he knows that he has changed another interpretation he reads the song as if it were entirely about drugs, khalida is code for marijuana and the mirrors on the ceiling are a reference to cocaine one of the most popular readings Everyone reads it as a religious allegory and the hotel is a metaphor for hell once again.
This reading is easy to see in the lyrics, as it is a song full of religious references, so why are there so many versions of Hotel California? Well I think. this speaks to the way the song was written, the eagles specifically wanted something open. Glenn Frey even once said that whimsy is a songwriter's primary tool. Henley had similar responses when pressed about the meaning of the song and spoke with Joe Seder about the line it refers to. about wine as a spirit henley said this that line in the song has little or nothing to do with alcoholic beverages it is a sociopolitical statement the only thing I regret would be having to explain it to you in detail, which would defeat the purpose of using literary devices in the composition of songs for eagles the beauty of music lies not in its clear messages but in the way its messages openly defy clarity the nature of the composition lends itself to metaphor and open interpretation and that is a good thing that the hotel california remains open. ended thanks to the masterful use of metaphors and symbols humanity is attracted to the symbols we have always been is a function of pattern recognition in our brain that was left over from our hunter-gatherer ancestors each culture has its own complex language of symbolism and that inevitably makes its way into his art hotel California is full of symbols and metaphors that resonate with Western audiences, the most important of which are of course the Christian references, whether we are religious or not, we live in a world shaped by symbolism and Christian mythology, we all know that heaven and hell represent any of the thousands of binaries in life and that candles and bells are representative of ritual and ceremony, on the other hand, we all understand at least to some level the mechanisms of wealth and materialism, so we know that images like Tiffany champagne and Mercedes are not. simply declarations of objects, but are instead representative of the world that creates and promotes these objects.
The eagles sprinkle these types of familiar symbols throughout the song and I think the best example of this is the setting of the song itself. Hotels are strange and strange places. familiar but somehow dull many of them try to look and feel the same trying to recreate the familiarity of home but of course they will never really be at home with smiling doormen and perfect rooms. There is something about hotels that is always a little off and there is horror in that dissonance, it is no coincidence that just 51 days after the eagles released their horror hotel, stephen king published the brilliant horror classic of all time set in a haunted hotel as a symbol that the hotel can be anything from an industry to a country from a state of being to the afterlife for the eagles it allowed them to describe their personal experiences and for the audience it became a canvas on white to project our own meaning onto it it may be about the excesses of California but that's not all it has to be it may be about the temptation of sin it may be about the problems of navigating a relationship and it may be about the dark shadows that lurk behind any number of shiny facades in all our lives the hotel california lyrics are no short of a masterpiece, they are simultaneously narrative and poetic, creating a kind of beautiful ambiguity as a writer.
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