Essay about Hotel California: The Californian Lifestyle

Essay about Hotel California: The Californian Lifestyle

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“Hotel California” by The Eagles has been the recipient of much speculation since its release in 1976. Although many other interpretations exist including some which claim this song to be referencing drugs, much evidence suggests that “Hotel California” is, at least partly, making a statement about the lifestyle of drug and alcohol users particularly in the large cities of California. As with many songs, duality of meaning exists in “Hotel California.”
Since “Hotel California” debuted in the seventies, one can understand why the topic would be Californian drug-using lifestyle. “The scare tactics of the 1960s gave way to the contradictory messages of the late '70s and early '80s. Drugs became glamorous, without becoming better understood” (Robison). The seventies were also a time in which The Eagles themselves could have been feeling some of the same feelings as the speaker in the song. By the time this song debut, the Eagles had lived the “Rock and Roll lifestyle” long enough to know the benefits and drawbacks of drugs and alcohol. Additionally, California was one of the high-life capitols of the United States at that time and still is today.
The song starts out setting up a picture. The listener sees this person driving what seems to be a convertible through a dark desert road. The vehicle suggests that the speaker is wealthy and the time frame suggests that the actions about that are going to transpire will be illegal. People generally party at night also. The speaker then smells colitas, meaning “tail.” According to the management of The Eagles the word “colitas' was translated for them by their Mexican-American road manager as 'little buds'”(Adams). This bud refers to the end of a marijuana stalk that is actually stronger th...


... middle of paper ...


...he connection between the composer and the music. Since composers generally write about events that had an impact in their lives, this analysis receives support.


Works Cited

Adams, Cecil. “In the song 'Hotel California,' what does 'colitas' mean?” 15 August 1997. The Straight Dope. Creative Loafing Media. 28 March 2011.
Mariaguadalupe. “Re: Colitas and tiffany twisted” Online Posting. 22 September 2006. WordReference.com. 28 March 2011.
Robison, Jennifer. “Decades of Drug Use: Data from the '60s and'70s.” 2 July 2002. Gallup, Inc. 28 March 2011.
The Eagles. “Hotel California.” Hotel California. Elektra Records. 1976

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