'Hotel California' hit number one 41 years ago this month

EAGLES:  'Hotel California' topped the chart 41 years ago this month

  • The single reached number-one at the beginning of May 1977. 
  • It was the band's second chart-topper that year ("New Kid in Town" was the first) and fourth overall.
  • Don Henley wrote it along with Don Felder and Glenn Frey.
  • It won the Grammy award for Record of the Year.
  • In the documentary History of the Eagles, Henley said the song was about "a journey from innocence to experience... that's all."
  • On 60 Minutes in 2007, Henley called it "a song about the dark underbelly of the American Dream, and about excess in America, which was something we knew about."
  • He told Rolling Stone in 2005, "We were all middle class kids from the Midwest. 'Hotel California' was our interpretation of the high life in L.A." (For the record, Henley was born and raised in Texas, then relocated to Los Angeles. Felder hails from Florida. Frey was from Detroit.)

Don Henley discusses how life inspires the creative process:

"I think my life has a great deal in common with other people's lives. That's what writing is all about, whether it be songs or literature or poetry or anything else. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it very well a long time ago. He said to believe in your own thought, to believe that what is true for you is true for every man. That is genius. Let me hasten to add that I don't think I'm a genius by any stretch of the imagination, I don't know who is. I don't know what a genius is, maybe Albert Einstein was a genius. But I understand what he meant about the universality of writing."

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