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The Eagles Sue Actual Hotel California

Band alleges implied association profits off 1977 hit song.

Owners of a Mexican hotel could soon become prisoners of their own device, if a judge agrees that the location pays too much homage to a classic song recorded by The Eagles. Fox News reports the band is suing the Hotel California, claiming the hotel is profiting directly off the 1976 song “Hotel California.”

Located on the Baja California Sur peninsula, the actual Hotel California has been in business since 1950, 26 years before The Eagles recorded their hit about a haunted destination. Over time, the hotel has taken several names, before current owners John and Debbie Stewart purchased the property in 2001 and gave it the current moniker.

While the owners openly admit that they “do not have any affiliation with the Eagles, nor do they promote any association,” they also use several of the lyrical references to tie the hotel to the hit song. In particular, the hotel claims to lie along “a long desert highway,” travelers can “hear mission bells” close to the property on a daily basis and that the smell of “colitas,” local slang for a marijuana cigarette, was prominent during the 1960s and 1970s.

Attorneys for the band claim the property – and their advertising – take far too many liberties with The Eagles’ recording, which has since been enshrined in the Grammy Hall of Fame. They seek to stop the property from using the name “Hotel California” and want damages paid to the band for unauthorized use of the song.

According to interviews with members of the band, the song is less about a physical location and more about a set of circumstances in their lives. The lyrics of the song reference several episodes in the band’s life, including their time in Beverly Hills and breakups with girlfriends.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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buzglyd May 5, 2017

I was in Cabo San Lucas in March and decided to drive down to Todos Santos to see what all the fuss was about. Like the article says, the hotel has nothing to do with the song, but that doesn't stop dozens of people from taking photos in front of it. I watched all this while sipping an excellent margarita across the street at a bar called Tequila Sunrise. They'll be in court next.