WCSX Classic Cuts
Eagles: “Hotel California”
The Hook: Guitarist Don Felder wrote the original track with help from a drum machine set to play a “cha-cha.”
Album: Hotel California
Writers: Don Felder, Glenn Frey and Don Henley
Stats: Topped the Billboard Hot 100.
Background: “Hotel California” was written in two parts, one before Don Henley and Glenn Frey ever heard it, the other after. Guitarist Don Felder tells part one of the story.
Don Felder on how he started writing “Hotel California.” OC:…Hotel California. :30
“I originally wrote it in my back bedroom in a beach house in Malibu with a little Rhythm Ace drum machine which has a cha-cha beat on it. But I’d written all the bass parts and guitar parts and everything and made this demo of it, along with ‘Victim of Love’ and a bunch of other tracks. And I put ‘em on a cassette and I gave it to Henley and Frey and Joe and Timothy and said, ‘Is there anything here that anybody wants to work on?’ And Henley came back and said, ‘I really like that Mexican reggae sounding thing — sounds like a bolero or something.’ Started working on the lyrics to that and it turned into ‘Hotel California.’”