The Mystery Behind The ‘Real Hotel’ California And The Eagles
“Hotel California,” written and performed by The Eagles, is one of the most well-known songs in the history of rock music.
Rolling Stone called it one of the “greatest songs of all time,” and it’s been covered too many times to count. My dad always played the Spanish-language version.
Here’s Banda Zeta from Nayarit, Mexico, singing a Spanish-language cover of the song:
The point is, people from all walks of life love this song. But what the hell is it about? It’s been a mystic powerhouse of a song that has made many people wonder if a real “Hotel California” actually exists. The guys from the band said the song is more of a metaphor for being materialistic, but there’s no denying the Latin influences to the song. In fact, the song was originally going to be titled “Mexican Reggae.”
The hotel featured on the cover of “Hotel California” is actually the Beverly Hills Hotel. What a letdown, right?!
È l'8 Dicembre 1976, gli "Eagles" pubblicano "Hotel California", estratta dall'omonimo album, una delle mie canzoni preferite. Disco di platino in Italia e Stati Uniti. Ha vinto il Grammy Award come singolo nel 1978. Una delle 500 canzoni del Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Questa è "Hotel California" degli Eagles. Buon ascolto?? #eagles #hotelcalifornia #rockon
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There is, however, a Hotel California in Baja California, Mexico, that was built in 1947 — 30 years before the song was written!
The hotel, which opened to customers in 1950, was founded by a Chinese immigrant. The website states that he wanted locals to think he was Mexican, so he changed his name to Don Antonio Tabasco. Apparently, Mexicans never fell for his shtick, so they ended up calling him “El Chino.”
Lots of tourists visit the hotel thinking it’s the hotel from the song.
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The Eagles are not happy that people go there thinking it’s the Hotel California from the song, so they are suing the new owners.
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In May, the band/estate filed a lawsuit against the current owners, a Canadian couple named John and Debbie Stewart. The Eagles allege the hotel has been profiting on the basis that it’s the actual Hotel California that they wrote about. For instance, the hotel was selling merchandise that says “Legendary Hotel California.” The lawsuit states: “The only reason the term ‘Hotel California’ is ‘legendary’ is because of their song.
“The Eagles’ legal complaint spells out how the defendants have been shamelessly exploiting their supposed connection with the Eagles to sell unlicensed ‘Hotel California’ merchandise to unwitting tourists,” a spokesperson for the band told Rolling Stone. The spokesperson added, “Confronted with their wrongdoing, defendants now say they ‘claim no association with the Eagles‘ whatsoever. The facts demonstrate otherwise, and the Eagles look forward to putting an end to defendants’ deceptive and unlawful conduct.”
The owners deny any wrongdoing, saying that “Hotel California and its affiliates have for many years owned Mexican and U.S. trademark applications and registrations for the trademark Hotel California for its goods and services, and claim no association with the Eagles, with their song ‘Hotel California’ or with their record album of the same name released in 1976.”
The owners also say that The Eagles never took any action in the past four decades after the song was written.
Their next scheduled court date will take place in August.