Eagles’ Hell Freezes Over / Hotel California Turns 25
The Eagles “Hotel California” 2020 Tour is scheduled to resume August 29th at London’s Wembley Stadium, and we’re betting the planet will be good to go. Meanwhile there’s another “Hotel California” anniversary we can lean on.
Twenty five years ago (ok, twenty six now) the Eagles reunited after a long hiatus to record a live album they would call “Hell Freezes Over”. One of the standout tracks on that album is an ultra-cool acoustic version of “Hotel California”.
The song, recorded live at Warner Bros Studios in Burbank, April of 1994 was part of an MTV event that marked the band’s reunion. It begins fairly unrecognizably with singular strums from Glenn Frey’s EF381SC accompanied by typically tasty guitar runs by the great Don Felder. But this time around Felder is playing an acoustic nylon string, specifically a Takamine TC132SC. The camera cuts to Joe Walsh. He has one too.
Their extended intro continues until Glenn breaks into the song’s signature 12 string intro and the small studio audience erupts. It had been 14 years. What followed was a full seven minute serving of pristine Eagles vocals and sweet acoustic guitars. Some might argue it doesn’t get much better.
The Takamine TC132SC classical guitar with its cedar top, rosewood back and sides and graceful cutaway has been one of the brand’s bestselling Takamine models year-after-year earning the reputation among the pros as the industry standard for acoustic/electric classical guitar. So it should come as no surprise that it was two of them Glenn Frey asked for during rehearsals to pull off their new, eleventh hour acoustic arrangement of “Hotel California”. It worked.