My high school years and rural mountainous upbringing in the late 1970s means that a big part of my life soundtrack was The Eagles. I enjoyed them as they played on car radios and at parties I attended. I wasn’t a huge fan in that I couldn’t even name one of the members by name. In fact I didn’t know they were still alive, until one passed away a couple days ago.
This is not a memorial. This is an acknowledgement.
I write this post simply because I wish to honor the part of my life soundtrack that included The Eagles at this appropriate moment. I never truthfully understood the lyrics of Hotel California until I moved here. My interpretation morphed into the realization that they sing not of a woman or seductress in the human form. The seductress is the life that is the life as a Californian. A life that I came to know 25 years ago. A life that I was meant to live, enjoy, experience and express. After coming here I will never be able to go back to the place, nor am I the same person, I was before.
When I moved here 25 years ago, I came home without even realizing it. I was born a Californian in the wrong location. While The Eagles had many popular tunes, this one always intrigued me. I came to appreciate it fully once I finally drove the dark desert highway that led me to where I live today.
In 1994 The Eagles took what was a signature song of theirs to a new level. A higher level of beauty. I heard this version the first time sitting in a dark bar in the middle of the day with my best friend Clayton. We were in one of the most beautiful and pristine places in the world located just 24 miles off the coast of Newport Beach. We were on Catalina Island and had stopped into The Marlin Club for an afternoon cocktail. Clayton played it on the old jukebox. It was at that moment I realized that I could never leave.