Eagles perform "Hotel California" at the 1998 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony




"Hotel California" is the title track from the Eagles' album of the same name and was released as a single in February 1977. Writing credits for the song are shared by Don Felder (music), Don Henley, and Glenn Frey (lyrics). Joe Walsh came up with the dual-guitar descending arpeggio part that ends the song: he didn't, however, get writing credits. The Eagles' original recording of the song features Henley singing the lead vocals and concludes with an extended section of electric guitar interplay between Felder and Walsh.


The song is considered the most famous recording by the band, and in 1998 its long guitar coda was voted the best guitar solo of all time by readers of Guitarist. The song was awarded the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1978. The lyrics of the song have been given various interpretations by fans and critics alike, the Eagles themselves describing the song as their "interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles". In the 2013 documentary History of the Eagles, Henley said that the song was about "a journey from innocence to experience ... that's all".


Since its release, "Hotel California" has been covered by a number of artists and has become a part of international popular culture. Julia Phillips proposed adapting the song into a film, but the members of the Eagles disliked the idea and it never came to fruition. Commercially, "Hotel California" reached the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top ten of several international charts.


Eagles have performed "Hotel California" 1,038 times live, the third most out of all their songs, after "Desperado" and "Take it Easy".




Lyrics


On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair

Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air

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

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"

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 place)

Such a lovely face

Plenty of room at the Hotel California

Any time of year (Any time of year)

You can find it here


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

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

How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat

Some dance to remember, some dance to forget


So I called up the Captain

"Please bring me my wine."

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

And still those voices are calling from far away

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

They livin' it up at the Hotel California

What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)

Bring your alibis


Mirrors on the ceiling

The pink champagne on ice

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

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


Last thing I remember

I was running for the door

I had to find the passage back to the place I was before

"Relax," said the night man

"We are programmed to receive

You can check-out any time you like

But you can never leave!"