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  • Writer's pictureGuy G. Gorman

I Checked Into The Hotel California

I despised the Eagles back when I thought punk rock was going to save the world. I found their harmonies whiny. With the exception of "Life in the Fast Lane" I found their songs feckless (a word the Clash taught me!) "Hotel California" was played to death on the radio. I groaned in my heart every time it came on.

I'm now in a band that plays "Hotel California" I sing background vocals and play lead guitar (definitely not like Joe Walsh or Don Felder!) I love it!

What happened?

First of all, I find it fascinating that I can be the same person but have different opinions, feelings, and tastes at different times. I love Brussels sprouts, but I used to hate them. I hated the idea of living in an apartment. Now I'm happily doing so. My conceptions of God, justice, beauty, friendship and many more things have all changed. But I'm still the same person.


On one hand it's a case of the right thing at the right time. Does it really matter that I liked blue more at one time in my life and that I prefer red now? One isn't better than the other. It's just different.

On the other hand, I'd like to think that I've grown and learned a few things. I didn't appreciate Fred Astaire until I took dance lessons. And now I know that it isn't easy to make it look so easy! The musical theory behind "Hotel California" is actually pretty complicated (Check out the link below). I obviously wasn't ready to grasp that back when my goal was to play bass as well as Sid Vicious :-)

Also my consciousness has broadened. I accept more viewpoints. The world is not so black/white, good/bad, cool/uncool for me anymore. As a result I'm not so sophomorically sure of my rightness (and everybody else's wrongness).

I haven't abandoned the Trashmen or Sam the Sham, but now I'm also loving playing "Baker Street" (How I hated that one!) and songs by Creedence, a band I SHOULD have liked but didn't really appreciate. I'm even able to listen to an entire Supertramp song with a smile instead of a wince.

I'm proud of myself and definitely a lot happier.

Hotel California:

Hotel California and musical theory: 12 Tone:

The Trashmen, "Surfin' Bird":

Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs, "Little Red Riding Hood" (BTW: I also Betty Boop sexy nowadays.):

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