The Man and I were doing what we often do on an evening where we don’t have any other pressing plans or writing to do– watching yet another episode of Anthony Bourdain’s travel/food bonanza shows. I love watching because it gives me the chance to armchair travel, and eat in a way so that I don’t gain weight. Score! This particular one featured Massachusetts and the little blurb on Netflix led me to believe I was going to be reminiscing about spending my summers in the Berkshires at my grandpa’s house. Wrong. It was one of the darker ones we’ve seen, visiting the spot where Tony scored his first bag of dope and the towns in Western Massachusetts where heroin has infiltrated so many households it has become an epidemic. A totally different kind of score.
I encourage you to watch it if you have access to it – not only because we need to know this is happening, why it has happened, and how we can possibly stem the tide…but also how the community in this one town seems to be handling it. Everybody realizes they have a stake and thus everyone is engaged in combatting the problem. I think if we approached more problems this way, the world would have a lot less of them.
Anyway, the title of the post is Hotel California – when are you going to talk about that?
Calm down, I’m getting to it. So the song that popped into my head while we were watching this episode, was this one. Why? Well, many people listen to the lyrics and think it’s about getting high. Don Henley would on one hand agree that this was the meaning and on the other hand, vehemently disagree. Before I even knew what he thought, (or cared because I think one of the beautiful things about music is that we can interpret the lyrics as we choose), I felt it was about addiction. The enticing beginning…the initial euphoria…the slow realization that it’s not as good as you might have thought, and the ultimate end – you can’t escape it.
This is one of my favorite songs of all time – not only because I think it tells an interesting story, but the harmonies are great and the guitar bits…especially the end are worthy of me turning it up all the way in the car. Even the little monkey has grown to like it, which pleases me to no end (and it makes up for some of the drivel I know teenage monkey will be listening to in about nine years time.)
Here’s the original version of the song – the best part comes at about 5:37…all guitar, all rock, all the time:
And here’s a live acoustic version – I love the Spanish influence on this one, though they cut my favorite part short at the end.