Eagles Sue Hotel California

The Eagles are suing the Todos Santos in Baja, Mexico, for promoting itself as the “Legendary” Hotel California:

While that was the hotel’s original name when it opened in 1950, it seems pretty clear from the website’s “Welcome to Hotel California” greeting to the merchandising in its (as of this writing, offline) online store that the hotel is indeed trying to capitalize on the implication it was the inspiration for the Eagles’ hit song . . .

. . . which the band insists it was not. (Snopes reports in its entry on the song that the album’s cover photos are of the Beverly Hill Hotel.)

But is that song really an endorsement of whatever hotel it may be describing?

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
“Relax, ” said the night man,
“We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave!”

Then again, The Shining revived interest in the then fading Stanley Hotel. The hotel’s stipulation for filming on location was that director Stanley Kubrick change the book’s existing room number 217 to the non-existent 237 . . .

. . . in order not to scare away prospective guests.

Room 217 is now the hotel’s most requested room.




Shining on Twin Peaks

When I started watching American Horror Story: Hotel, I quickly realized it was drawing a lot from The Shining. Even though I had never seen that film (I’m not a big fan of horror films, so my viewing of them is pretty spotty), I have seen so many homages and parodies of the long tracking shots through ornate hallways, along with creepy kids at the ends of those hallways, that I immediately recognized their appearance in the Hotel Cortez. Of course, I also recognized a fair amount of David Lynch’s style (and the creepy kids seem to have emigrated from Village of the Damned, which I also only know secondhand).

So to celebrate Halloween, I decided to finally watch The Shining. I was surprised at how effective the film still was, even having seen so many clips of the distinctive bits and knowing most of the plot, which minimized much of the suspense (even so, I was still shocked by Scatman Crothers’s death — oops, spoiler alert). I was also surprised by how much of what I had taken as Lynch in American Horror Story was actually from Kubrick. Many of what I thought were references to the Great Northern Hotel in Twin Peaks may actually be from the Overlook Hotel in The Shining (though Garin Pirnia makes a good case that The Shining was greatly influenced by Lynch’s earlier Eraserhead, especially in regard to sound design, so maybe Twin Peaks merely brought the influence full circle).  (And there is a lot of The Shining‘s Jack in Twin Peaks‘ Bob.)

Apparently I am not the only one to make these connections. Richard Vezina has made an astonishing mash-up video to highlight the shared aesthetic of these two auteurs: