(Reuters) - There can evidently be only one Hotel California.
The Eagles have settled a lawsuit to stop a Mexico hotel from using the name “Hotel California,” arguably the country-rock band’s most famous song, after the hotel’s owners withdrew their application to trademark the name in the United States.
A joint dismissal of the band’s lawsuit against Hotel California Baja LLC, which runs the Todos Santos hotel in Baja California Sur, was filed on Wednesday with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
“This case has been settled by mutual agreement of the parties,” Thomas Jirgal, a lawyer for the Eagles, said in an interview on Thursday.
The dismissal came on the same day the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office accepted Hotel California Baja’s request to permanently abandon its trademark application.
Neither the hotel nor its lawyer immediately responded to requests for comment.
“Hotel California” is the title track from the 1976 Eagles album of the same name, and won the 1977 Grammy award for record of the year.
It is known for a long guitar outro by Don Felder and Joe Walsh, and abstract lyrics that lead singer Don Henley told CBS News in 2016 depict “the dark underbelly of the American dream.”
Hotel California Baja was accused of wrongly encouraging guests to believe the Eagles authorized using the song’s name, such as by playing the band’s songs throughout its property.
The Eagles said this was done in part to spur sales of T-shirts, posters, refrigerator magnets and other merchandise for guests to take home after they check out and leave.
In court papers, Hotel California Baja denied it was trying to mislead guests, and said they were unlikely to be confused.
Located about 1,000 miles (1,609 km) south of San Diego and 48 miles (77 km) north of Cabo San Lucas, the hotel had been called Hotel California when it opened in 1950.
It underwent some name changes, but the original name was revived after John and Debbie Stewart, a Canadian couple, bought the property in 2001.
The case is Eagles Ltd v Hotel California Baja LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 17-03276.
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Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis
Hotel California: The Californian Lifestyle Essay
“Hotel California” by The Eagles has been the recipient of much speculation since its release in 1976. Although many other interpretations exist including some which claim this song to be referencing drugs, much evidence suggests that “Hotel California” is, at least partly, making a statement about the lifestyle of drug and alcohol users particularly in the large cities of California. As with many songs, duality of meaning exists in “Hotel California.”
Since “Hotel California” debuted in the seventies, one can understand why the topic would be Californian drug-using lifestyle. “The scare tactics of the 1960s gave way to the contradictory messages of the late '70s and early '80s. Drugs became glamorous, without becoming better understood” (Robison). The seventies were also a time in which The Eagles themselves could have been feeling some of the same feelings as the speaker in the song. By the time this song debut, the Eagles had lived the “Rock and Roll lifestyle” long enough to know the benefits and drawbacks of drugs and alcohol. Additionally, California was one of the high-life capitols of the United States at that time and still is today.
The song starts out setting up a picture. The listener sees this person driving what seems to be a convertible through a dark desert road. The vehicle suggests that the speaker is wealthy and the time frame suggests that the actions about that are going to transpire will be illegal. People generally party at night also. The speaker then smells colitas, meaning “tail.” According to the management of The Eagles the word “colitas' was translated for them by their Mexican-American road manager as 'little buds'”(Adams). This bud refers to the end of a marijuana stalk that is actually stronger than the leaves because it contains more sap (Adams). The smell is warm because he is smoking marijuana. After examining the whole song, one can guess that the song makes the claim that marijuana is a drug that allows easy passage to worse drugs. According to “a 1969 Gallup poll, only 4% of American adults said they had tried marijuana. Thirty-four percent said they didn't know the effects of marijuana, but 43% thought it was used by many or some high school kids” (Robison); therefore, many individuals might not understand that marijuana, as many claim today, leads to usage of more harmful substances. The speaker then sees a shimmering light as if he is about to die which signifies the death of an old life and the birth of a new one. The temptation of drugs becomes too strong, so the speaker has to stop at the Hotel California. The mission bell that sounds contrasts so with the topic of this song that the bell must symbolize the perversion of life by the drug-use in California and elsewhere. “This could be Heaven or this could be Hell,” furthers the idea of the death of an old life. Here, the speaker does not really know whether or not his or her new life is going to be enjoyable in the end. As it turns out, the speaker's...
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