How Steely Dan Inspired Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ Lyrics

How Steely Dan Inspired Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ Lyrics

(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Don Henley and Glenn Frey wrote the classic, “Hotel California,” and ended up referencing Steely Dan in the process.

Frey once told the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show that the lyric, “They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can’t kill the beast,” was inspired by Steely Dan.

“One of the things that impressed us about Steely Dan was that they would say anything in their songs, and it didn’t have to necessarily make sense,” he said. “They called it ‘joke sculpture.’”

Frey explained that he and Henley “were sort of trying to expand our lyrical horizons and just take on something in the realm of the bizarre, as Steely Dan had done.”

Read the full story on Ultimate Classic Rock.

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