Hotel California. A Classic or a Nightmare--What Do You Think?

Hey boomers–any idea of how many “classic rock” radio stations are in the USA? Wikipedia lists 496 stations using some variation of that moniker. Assuming all are 24-hour a day broadcasters, that is 496 X 24 X 60 = 714,240 minutes of air time per day that these stations have to fill. Let’s guess that 214,20 minutes of that is filled with commercials, news, and DJ jabber. That leaves about half a million minutes a day for music.

And how do most classic rock radio stations fill that time? They play the Eagles “Hotel California.” And then they play it again.

You can travel anywhere in the country (we just spend a lovely week in Phoenix) and the results will be the same. The ethereal images, the dueling guitars, the Steely Dan reference, the never-ending fade, all those will follow you coast to coast. And you won’t escape it at 30,000 feet as ‘Hotel California” is certainly on your airline’s in-flight song menu as well.

It is quite possible that if you stacked up a new 45 rpm disc for each radio play in the last 45 years, you would end up with a pile 4.3 light-years tall, high enough to reach the star Alpha Centauri. And when you got there, some intergalactic radio station would be probably be playing the intro to “Hotel California.”

This isn’t to say some radio stations don’t occasionally get creative. If you listen long enough you may hear the rare playing of some other song from the Hotel California album. “New Kid in Town” frequently makes the cut. There is also a dictum that one out of every ten plays of “Hotel California” must be the live acoustic version from the “Hell Freezes Over” CD.

So whether you are in the fast lane, takin’ it easy, or taking it to the limit, you can be sure that when you check in to Hotel California, you can never leave.

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Filed under: music

Tags: Classic Rock, eagles, Hotel California

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