Eagles celebrate ‘Hotel California’ album on final concert tour – The Oakland Press
The final lyrics to the Eagles’ iconic hit “Hotel California” declare that “you can leave whenever you want, but you can never leave.”
It’s a fitting slogan for a song and an album, whose indelible legacy has been cemented in the 46 years since its release – and is celebrated on the band’s current concert tour.
“‘Hotel California’ was a high,” said late Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey of Royal Oak a few years ago. “We knew it was special when we recorded it, but you never know how things like this are going to last. I think the (song) really captured people’s imaginations…and there were a lot of very good songs on the rest of the album.
“It was just one of our best, without a doubt.”
This was confirmed by the album’s sales of over 32 million copies worldwide since 1976, and its 26-time platinum certification in the United States “Hotel California” won two Grammy Awards for the group, Record of the Year for the title track and Best arrangement for vocals for “New Kid in Town”. (He lost album of the year to Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors”). the guitar heroes of Joe Walsh and co-writer Don Felder who rank alongside Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird.”
The Eagles began performing 1976’s “Hotel California” in its entirety in the fall of 2019 in Las Vegas, accompanied by an orchestra and choir led by Jim Ed Norman, a longtime Eagles associate who arranged the strings on the original album. The band took him on the road in February 2020, but most of the tour was put on hold by the pandemic until it resumed last September.
“We decided to make it special and be as big as possible,” says bassist Timothy B. Schmit, an Eagle since 1977. theatrical, and what makes it great is the people in the audience reaction. They gobble it up, which is really great.
Joe Walsh, who joined the band in 1975 and co-wrote the tracks “Life in the Fast Lane” from “Hotel California” and “Pretty Maids All in a Row” (which he also sings), agrees that playing the Live album was really special. There are things on this album that we never played. We had to go back and figure them out, and it was a lot of work.
“I had to go back and really study, so playing the whole thing live really took some concentration, and somehow we tamed the orchestra so it didn’t overwhelm the show – he makes it better.When I got the chance to finally sit down and be a part of it and hear the orchestra behind us, I was moved.
The “Hotel California” tour is the next step for a band that many, including its members, thought was over after Frey died in January 2016 from multiple health issues at the age of 67. But after honoring Frey at that year’s Grammy Awards – performing “Take It Easy” with friend and co-writer Jackson Browne – and receiving a Kennedy Center Honor, Eagles returned in July 2017, to Classic West concerts. and Classic East hosted by band manager Irving Azoff. Frey’s son Deacon and Vince Gill rounded out the lineup, earning rave reviews which led to the new setup on the road later that year and so far, although Deacon Frey has been absent from the dates. this year due to an undisclosed health issue.
“I’m amazed,” said Schmit, 74. “The fact that there’s only one original Eagle (Don Henley) combined with the fact that we’re still selling arenas and in some cases stadiums, it’s unbelievable. I don’t lose sight of how we’re lucky and how lucky I am. It’s a good thing. Still, he adds, “I’m not surprised because the songs are the main attraction. These are songs that will outlive us, many of them.
Schmit and Walsh — and even Gill, for that matter — have no plans to add more songs to this catalog, however. Gill, 64, points out that “They have this catalog of material, and every night it’s great song after great song after great song. It works, and everyone seems to be having a good time. Schmit – whose new solo album, ‘Day By Day,’ is out May 6 – says the fact that Eagles aren’t even playing any of the songs from his latest release, 2007’s ‘Long Road Out of Eden’, is instructive.
“People are usually not interested,” he notes. “I’m sure a lot of people would love to hear new music, but people mostly want to hear ‘One of These Nights’ and ‘New Kid in Town.’ They just do, and that’s what we give them.
Walsh, 74 – who is working on a new solo album and has played on brother-in-law Ringo Starr’s latest releases – isn’t ruling out working on new music. But he adds that “If we record, it won’t be with an agenda, like putting out a new album. I think we could go into the studio and try to write and see how it goes. But we will do it for us, not with a plan for anything specific.
The Eagles perform at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 24 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. $129 and up. 313-471-7000 or 313Presents.com.