Monday, November 19, 2012

An Interpretation of "Hotel California"

Summer is long gone and with it, playing Eagles records during a weekend dinner outside. Eagles music seems to go well with outdoor activites and recreational drug use. "Hotel California" is one of my favorite Eagles songs. I have multiple strong associations with it. One of them was a talk with my aunt who lived in California explaining lightly, as I was a bit on the young side, that the song is about living in that crazy state (she left in the early 90s), who you meet, and what California can do to you.

Let's review:

A man driving in a convertible with the top down in the evening smells weed wafting up in the air in the desert. He gets tired and stops at a Spanish style location. A foxy lady answers the door, uses a candle, because it's a compound and probably a commune. Everybody's happy to see him and there is plenty of room. The chick has the trappings of a wealthy woman, which is barbarism disguised by material wealth, and pretty, pretty boys that she calls friends. They are just friends as they are gay. These gay men dance to remember or forget their past as they are over the hill gays hanging at this wealthy chick's commune. Wine isn't available at the place as they've moved onto bigger and better drugs. There are mirrors on the ceiling as these narcissists are trapped by their own failings. They get together in the head honcho's bedroom for a heroin fix, and they will never ever catch the dragon. He wants to leave, but does one ever really leave after seeing the glory and vice that is California?

Update 8-13-2013: Just read the Bill Simmons review of the Eagles documentary, and realize that my interpretation of "Hotel California" is spot on per Don Henley: "The hotel itself could be taken as a metaphor not only for the myth-making of Southern California, but for the myth-making that is the American dream. Because it's a fine line between the American dream and the American nightmare."

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