What does Hotel California mean?

Eagles: Hotel California Meaning

Album cover for Hotel California album cover

Song Released: 1977


Hotel California 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...

  1. anonymous
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    May 8th 2012 !⃝

    This song is about going to rehab for drugs and at the begining he is halucenating but then it says that you cant ever get over your past battle with the drugs.

  2. melissa0605
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    Apr 16th 2012 !⃝

    You guys should probably actually READ the interview with Don Henley about the meaning of the song. Since he is the one who helped compose, write and sing it. He states that the song is a metaphor for the lifestyle in California during that time. It is about excess, and the all around lifestyle of life in L.A. He also states that it has nothing to do with a drug addiction. He says that while they did experiment with drugs, he never had an addiction, and he hates it when people assume that about the song. He specifically says it is strictly all metaphors for the lifestyle.

  3. anonymous
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    Mar 14th 2012 !⃝

    I interperet the song as a whore house..

  4. anonymous
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    Mar 9th 2012 !⃝

    i believe that there is no wrong interpretation. this song was written by them to address many, many issues our society has. they want you to realize what has been going wrong and want you to change it.
    Maybe the way you interpret it is what you need to improve on.

  5. anonymous
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    Mar 6th 2012 !⃝

    i couldn't believe the over done interpretations of this song. it is so simple
    he is in the music business. he is a star, trying to get away from business, agents, consultants, lobbyists, contract, etc. this why he is driving at night. hefeels his hair blowing, after all the crap of the day he escapes from it. he smell the castus. it emphasizes escape the sweetness of escape.
    he gets the hotel; she is lying in wait for him to lure him in to the trap.he hears thfaint voices and begins to wonder what this place is. addictions (we are all here prisoners of our delights. the dinnerwhere the breast is served, couldn't be kills. the boys there and himself all have some addiction that thet have yet to overcome. this is what keeps him there. he couldn't kill the beast in of him. and he will be there until.. what happens that frees him which may never come, the concierges they are only programmed to recieve: does he get out or his truly trapped.

  6. anonymous
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    Mar 1st 2012 !⃝

    I thought it was purgatory.

  7. anonymous
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    Feb 17th 2012 !⃝

    wow,bravo!eagles made that song to deceive people

  8. anonymous
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    Feb 13th 2012 !⃝

    Wow, almost everyone has it wrong. This song is clearly about drug addiction and a drug house
    She lit up the candle, and showed me the way - candles burning under spoons.
    Pretty boys, she calls friends - boy and girl are slang for cocaine and heroine
    All prisoners of our own device - no one forced them to take the drugs, now they can't escape it
    You can check out any time you like (die) but you can never leave (kick the addiction)
    This can be Heaven or this could be hell - type of high
    But the most evident lyric is - we stab it with our steely knives (syringes) but we just can't kill the beast (addiction).
    And still the voices are calling from far away - jonesing for the drug

    There are several other references, but these are the one which immediately come to mind. Listen again, u will see what I mean

  9. anonymous
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    Feb 10th 2012 !⃝

    the "hotel california" is referring to the satanic church in america, led by anton lavey. when the songs says "we havent seen that kind of spirit here since 1969" it refers to the founding of the "hotel california." when the song says "you can check out any time, but you can never leave," that would be the entrapment that comes when a person joins the satanic church. "the beast," is obviously the devil, which one cannot kill.

  10. anonymous
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    Feb 1st 2012 !⃝

    The song is about anything that is addictive – drugs, money, love – because you can become imprisoned in your desire. It also reminds me of the stories about the land of the fey, where a faerie queen or king seduces a mortal and brings them to faerie land. Even though the land looks beautiful, it really isn’t. Underneath the glamour, it is really just little creatures, in rags, living in a burrow, or pile of dirt. A children’s version of this story is the Twelve Dancing Princesses. Here, the singer is travelling down the road when he sees a shimmering light – a glamour created by the faerie queen to attract a mortal to be her lover. Once he enters faerie land, he can't leave. It is beautiful and ugly at the same time.

  11. anonymous
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    Jan 23rd 2012 !⃝

    Its about coming to California and how its supposed to be opposed to how it actually is. :PP

  12. anonymous
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    Dec 23rd 2011 !⃝

    This is Great song because it makes listeners to understand it in different ways belonging to their point of view. for the first time I understood it as drug addiction

  13. anonymous
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    Dec 19th 2011 !⃝

    it's about the church of satan founded by mr. levay!

  14. anonymous
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    Dec 8th 2011 !⃝

    I think this is about infidelity. Once you've crossed the line you can check out any time but you can never leave.....

  15. anonymous
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    Nov 13th 2011 !⃝

    Yes, the song is about the decadent, extravagant lifestyle known to rock stars in the 70-80's. Spirit does not refer to alcohol though, its more of a reflection on the attitude behind "please bring me my wine".
    Its really about addiction though. To a lifestyle or alcohol or drugs, it dont matter. Addiction is addiction. The phrase "you can check out anytime you like, but you may never leave" refers to the true nature of addiction. You can be x number of years sober, but you are always an addict, or alcoholic, according to AA




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