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Hotel California Mystery Explained


11/27/07
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(antiMusic) Their is a cottage industry devoted to trying to decipher the meaning to The Eagles' "Hotel California." They vary from it being about a California mental institution to our favorites dealing with Satanism. Don Henley told 60 Minutes Steve Kroft that the truth of the lyrics are actually rather boring. But before we get to that conversation, here are a couple of the wild theories that were emailed to Urban Legend site Snoops.com:

There's a rumor that's been around for some time concerning the Eagles' song "Hotel California". The basic premise is that the song is about a Christian church that was abandoned (or otherwise vacated) in 1969, and was taken over by an occultic group (usually Satan worshippers). For some unknown reason, it became known as the "Hotel of California". Further rumors have it that the Eagles are Satan worshippers, and that Satan appears in the window on the "Hotel California" album jacket. [another emailer says] I remember hearing as a kid that the Eagle's megaplatinum song "Hotel California" was about Aleister Crowley's mansion near Loch Ness, and the weird goings-on that supposedly happened there; including such "clues" as the line "...they stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill The Beast" (Crowley's nickname). It's even been said that if you look on the album cover, you can see Satanic High Preist Anton LeVey in one of the windows. I've looked, and though it is fuzzy... damned if it doesn't look like him.

So did Henley and company sell their souls to Satan and then discuss the torment in song? Not even close. It appears that the song was much like "Life in the Fastlane," which was a look at the culture of the time. In an interview on 60 Minutes earlier this month when he Henley was told by Steve Kroft that "everybody wants to know what the song means." Henley responded, "I know, it's so boring... It's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream, and about excess in America which is something we knew a lot about." - Watch video clips and read CBS.com's extensive article

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