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.
Who would guess the lyrics to Hotel California were written to alert the American public to the dangers of living the high life?
According to an Internet source that quotes Eagles’ band member Don Henley, the song Hotel Califronia, released in 1977, was written to make a statement about the condition of the world: ‘It was a bicentennial year and the country is 200 years old. We figured since we are the Eagles and the eagle is our national symbol, we were obliged to wake people up and say, ‘We’ve been okay so far for 200 years, but we’re gonna have to change if we’re gonna continue to be around.’
I’ll admit, my interpretation of the song’s meaning was something less honorable, such as the pleasures of indulging in some things that might get you arrested.
Whatever the purpose behind the penning of Hotel California, the album of the same name became an instant success. The song ‘Hotel California’ was ranked #49 on Rolling Stone's list of ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time’.
The album became the band's highest selling with over 16 million copies sold in the U.S. The album topped the charts, yielding three Top 20 singles: ‘Hotel California’, ‘New Kid in Town’, and ‘Life in the Fast Lane’.
It won the band two Grammy awards for ‘Hotel California’ and ‘New Kid in Town’, both of which topped the Billboard Hot 100. And, the album was ranked #37 on Rolling Stone's list of ‘The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time’.
You can hear ‘Hotel California’ and other Eagles’ greatest hits (‘Take It Easy,’ ‘Heartache Tonight,’ ‘Get over It’ and ‘Love will Keep Us Alive’) at a tribute band concert on Thursday, July 26 at the Foellinger Theatre. The concert begins at 8:00 p.m. Tickets cost $12.00.
For additional information call 260.427.6000 or go to http://www.fortwayneparks.org/.
Kayleen Reusser has written children’s books and had stories in Chicken Soup books. She writes features for the News-Sentinel newspaper and profiles for the Ossian Sun Riser. She loves to travel and write about her experiences at her website: www.KayleenR.com