"Hotel California" is arguably the Eagles' most iconic song. The hit tune was a billboard chart-topper; it sold over 16 million copies in the U.S. alone and was on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 19 weeks, peaking at No. 1. In 1978, the song won a Grammy award for Record of the Year.
Here are five facts that you might not know about The Eagles' "Hotel California."
1. Glenn Frey was the mastermind behind the song's lyrics
2. The song is about "excess in America"
While there have been many theories that contemplate what the song represents, the Eagles' band members have revealed in multiple interviews that the true meaning behind "Hotel California" is a commentary on the hedonism and self-indulgence of America.
“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,” Henley said in a 2002 interview with "60 Minutes."
In 2005, Henley further explained the meaning of the song to Rolling Stone magazine, which placed "Hotel California" at no. 49 on its list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
“We were all middle class kids from the Midwest," Henley said. "'Hotel California' was our interpretation of the high life in L.A.”
3. "Hotel California" originally had a different name
According to journalist-turned-director Cameron Crowe, "Hotel California" was almost named something entirely different.
In 2003, Crowe revealed in "Conversations with Don Henley and Glenn Frey," which was part of the liner notes for the Eagles' compilation album "The Very Best Of," that "Hotel California" was originally going to be titled "Mexican Reggae."
4. "Hotel California" was declared a song that shaped rock and roll
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, named "Hotel California" as one of the songs that shaped rock and roll.
The Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, and all seven former and present members of the group performed "Hotel California" together on stage.
5. There is a playful nod to the band Steely Dan in the song
The line "They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast," is a playful jab to rock band Steely Dan.
Frey revealed in the liner notes of "The Very Best Of" that they alluded to the "Do it Again" rock band in "Hotel California" after Steely Dan made an Eagles reference in their song "Everything You Did."