I've heard that the line is really the Mercedes bends. In light of the Tiffany-twisted bit, this would speak to me of a woman who is extremely materialistic. Willing to have sex for trinkets and money, and impressed by "the finer things.". The meaning of this songs lyrics have been discussed for years. I heard some religious groups accused the Eagles of devil worship because of them. I've heard some say the song describes a trip to hell.

The song is about drugs. Plain and simple. It can also be summed up clearly by comparing it to the dorm I lived in during my brief time attending University of Iowa. It was called Mayflower; was an hour off campus in the middle of nowhere and each suite included its own kitchen. The dorm became a little world in and of itself, and anyone could find their substance of choice within its walls.

Mayflower is the light on the dark highway; people who chose to 'stop for the night' will likely be greated by a vixen like Sarah Everhart. She had many pretty boys that she calls 'friends' but you or I can call them suppliers just as well. Upon entering the chambers you'll find others 'dancing' in the courtyard. They 'dance' with tin foil, spoons, light bulbs, needles and blades. We all know what that means. Some do it to remember, some to forget.

If you want to join them, you simply call upon the 'captain'. There were a few, but for all practical purposes, THE captain is Erik Clark, the biggest amphetamine dealer in four counties who resides in his little niche in the center of Mayflower surrounded by his meth kitchen and little minnions, never sleeping, never leaving. Wine? Heh ... no, we don't have that spirit. Please.

Mirrors abound. On the ceiling? Whatever, call it what you will. All these drug addicts are prisoners of their own device. They sit up there for nights, days, weeks, stabbing it with their seedy razor blades. None of them can kill this beast.

Once you've checked in to this life, you may try to run back. Please. 'We are programmed to receive' ... it's in the Captain's best interest for this life to seem alluring and fun; we know only how to make it appear so. Once you realize the truth, that it's hell, you're in. If you want to leave, you'll find no help here.
Not even from Corinne, she's all tapped out. That's why she's leaving after only a year.

You can check out any time you want - go through the motions of classes, relationships, maybe even a few real meals now and then. But you'll be back. As long as you're here, you can never leave.
So what makes this such a great song? If you think it's the lyrics, let me ask: what makes you stop and listen to the lyrics?

To me, it's the perfect instrumentation and execution. If you want to know what the musical term andante, stepping, means, this is the perfect example. It goes on and on and on, always light, but never losing its concentration.

The motor behind the song is the fantastic bass line, supported by soft, almost tender drums; they lift the song up right from the start and go on and on and on like a clockwork, patiently and unceasingly. The solo guitar has a similar atmosphere: it spins its lines without any urgency, working towards a careful climax, always sharp, but never really raising its voice, and with impeccable precision. The vocals are a little flat in comparison, but still reach the same degree of perfection in timing and atmosphere.

Although it is in no way an attempt to imitate, this song could never have existed without the Beatles. It owes much to them: the light and playful approach to the bass and drums, and the dry precision and perfectionism with which the music is treated.

The Eagles are more skillful musicians. A few years ago I saw them doing a concert performance of this song and it was perfect; I had to watch closely to convince myself that they were actually playing it live. (The Beatles couldn't replicate their best studio work live, one of the reasons they stopped touring in 1966.)

There is another Eagles song with the same characteristics: One of these nights. All the rest, as far as I know it, is different and more simplistic in style.

Another detail that supports the argument that this song is (at least partially) about drugs is the reference to the "warm smell of colitas".

"Cola", in Spanish, means tail. "Colita" is the diminutive form of "cola". It is probably a reference to the buds of the marijuana plant. These have the highest THC content, and are therefore most desirable for smoking. This makes even more sense when taken in the context of the "warm smell".

"Hotel California" is the CIA nickname of a secret base used to keep and interrogate "VIP" terrorists. A US intelligence source said the name was taken from the Eagles song because "you can check in any time, but you can never leave". Unlike Camp X-Ray, which the International Red Cross monitors to ensure that the US government isn't torturing people (though Red Cross reports state the conditions subjected are "tantamount to torture") , there is no oversight.

Among the al-Qaeda VIPs thought to be held at the base is Abu Zubaydah; a senior lieutenant of Osama bin Laden, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, with the possibility of his family as well. There is no word on how many are detained there. In September last year, testifying before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, Cofer Black, the US State Department's co-ordinator for counterterrorism, said that the number of people who have been detained worldwide was about 3,000. So, again, there is no exact count of suspected terrorists in custody.

Although its location is a guarded secret, Hotel California is presumably a facility in another co-operative nation, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia, or perhaps a specially designed prison aboard an aircraft carrier. There is no oversight, so it is possible the prisoners there are being tortured. (Before you bite my head off for suggesting that Americans would do such a thing, then you haven't heard what some US military minds have been quoted as saying. Don't forget, a number of deaths of prisoners in Afghanistan were ruled homicides and there have been 30+ suicide attempts in Camp X-Ray.) At least two of the top al-Qaeda figures captured since the Sept. 11 attacks - Abu Zubaydah and Ramzi bin al-Shibh - were held for a time in a secure location in Thailand. They were later moved to another country, US officials said. I don't know if that's an indication that Hotel California is there or not.

Will any of these people be released? Who knows, since it is out of the reach of international oversight, conditions are probably far worse than Camp X-Ray. Now that the US regime has designated terrorists as "enemy combatants," their rights are subject to whether its convenient for the government to provide them. We have no idea when they will receive a trial, if ever. Many have been arrested and the story didnt break until later. The arrest of the senior al-Qaeda figure Abu Anas Liby, in Sudan in February 2002, was not made public until a month later, when US efforts to transfer him to custody in Egypt were leaked to a newspaper.

I wish I could provide more, but it's a secret, so there is little fanfare about it. The media occasionally covers Camp X-Ray, now titled "Camp Delta," so this is pretty much off the radar. VIPs like Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden are destined to go to Hotel California if caught.

There seems to be indications that there is torture performed, or if one wants to give it a more sterilized term, methods of coercion to force detainees to reveal secrets that may be vital to national security. This is known as "Stress and Duress" and many officials have been quoted as saying the use of force and pain is condoned at the highest levels of government. These techniques involve sleep deprivation, psychological torture, forcing a victim in painful handcuffed positions for days, sensory deprivation, and various other techniques that seem to match those found at the former Camp X-Ray (now Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay) and Abu Ghraib. In the case of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a high-level detainee who is believed to have helped plan the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, C.I.A. interrogators used graduated levels of force, including a technique known as "water boarding," in which a prisoner is strapped down, forcibly pushed under water and made to believe he might drown. This goes on for possibly hours, and the victim may pass out from lack of air, and then is resuscitated and the procedure is repeated.

The movie Face/Off had their own version of Hotel California, known in the film as Erewhon Prison. "Amnesty International has no idea we exist," was what the warden said to the new inmates. The movie had the prison on an offshore Oil platform, where they were in international waters and outside of any government control.


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