The late Eagles singer and guitarist Glenn Frey would have turned 71 years old today (November 6th). The song “Hotel California” was inspired by Steely Dan and The Twilight Zone. Really. An instrumental by lead guitarist Don Felder was the hopping-off point for a song about the dark underbelly of California. When Felder had trouble coming up with lyrics, the band’s main songwriters, Don Henley and Glenn Frey, stepped in. In an old interview, Frey recalled what inspired them.
“We had been discussing two things, one was the courage Steely Dan had to say anything in a song and the other was wanting to write something sort of like a scene from The Twilight Zone, where every two line couplet was a different picture and you would cut from one shot to the next and let people think what they wanted. Not necessarily having to mean anything, just sort of a buffet of images that were things we saw in California.”