Don Felder Talks About Making ‘Hotel California’

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Don Felder (Photo via AXS TV; used with permission)

It’s a song you’ve heard hundreds, if not thousands of times. You know it note-for-note, including the unique guitar interplay between Don Felder and Joe Walsh. We’re talking, of course, about the 1977 single, “Hotel California,” the demo for which was first developed by Felder as the Eagles were writing the album that bears its name.

The Eagles guitar legend is the featured guest in an all-new episode of AXS TV’s star-studded classic rock series Mixtape this Thursday, Oct. 10 at 8:30 p.m. ET. In this episode, Felder talks about the songs that influenced his life and career, dives deep into the story behind the classic hit he co-wrote with Don Henley and Glenn Frey, and about the history of his iconic double-neck guitar.

Related: Eagles have announced a Hotel California 2020 tour

“We were writing song ideas for what was gonna become the Hotel California record,” says Felder. “I was just sitting in a beach house in Malibu… out comes that progression. I had to go record it. So when we got into the studio to record ‘Hotel California,’ I always thought that Joe [Walsh] and I would just sit down, we hit record, I start off and play something. Don Henley comes by and says, ‘No, no, no, stop. You have to do it just like the demo’.

“I think it took us three days for Joe and I to do the solos at the end of that record and the labor that it took to get that to that level has been worth it.”

Watch the preview of the episode

Related: Our exclusive interview with producer Bill Szymczyk on the making-of the Hotel California album

The eight-episode Mixtape series puts the spotlight on a different rock icon each week as they sit down to discuss their favorite songs of all time—sharing their own personal mixtape playlist of meaningful music that shaped their lives and left an enduring impact on their legendary careers.

Felder, Stephen Stills, Tom Petty and Bernie Leadon all went to the same high school, in Gainesville, Fla.

Here’s another advance clip from the episode…

Felder released a solo album, titled American Rock ‘n’ Roll, earlier this year. He continues to tour regularly. Tickets are available here.

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  1. DD Dillard
    #1 DD Dillard 8 October, 2019, 00:51

    The most OVER PLAYED song ever. I can’t change the radio station fast enough.

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  2. Normie
    #2 Normie 8 October, 2019, 01:53

    Sorry, Don. I have heard that one before. Whenever I read an article about this song, or when it plays on the radio, I always hear Jethro Tull’s 1969 song “We Used To Know”. This one is perhaps less known, but whether you are a fan of this British rock band or not, it is really difficult not to hear the similarities.

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