If you ever get the opportunity to interview Don Henley, it’s probably best not to attempt to point out any lyric “mistakes” to him. During a 2009 interview with
During a 2009 interview with cleveland.com, the singer-drummer of The Eagles was promoting “Long Road Out of Eden”, their first album in 30 years and that’s what one such journalist did and we’re sure they regretted doing so immediately afterwards.
The exchange went like this;
Q: On “Hotel California,” you sing: “So I called up the captain / ‘Please bring me my wine’ / He said, ‘We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969.’ ” I realize I’m probably not the first to bring this to your attention, but wine isn’t a spirit. Wine is fermented; spirits are distilled. Wine also has a lower ABV (alcohol by volume) percentage than spirits. Do you regret that lyric?
A: Thanks for the tutorial and, no, you’re not the first to bring this to my attention — and you’re not the first to completely misinterpret the lyric and miss the metaphor. Believe me, I’ve consumed enough alcoholic beverages in my time to know how they are made and what the proper nomenclature is. But that line in the song has little or nothing to do with alcoholic beverages. It’s a sociopolitical statement. My only regret would be having to explain it in detail to you, which would defeat the purpose of using literary devices in songwriting and lower the discussion to some silly and irrelevant argument about chemical processes.
Ouch…From his quick and detailed response, it seems like this was probably not the first time this has happened to Mr Henley.