Artist News Legal

The Eagles sue Hotel California

By | Published on Wednesday 3 May 2017

The Eagles

You might just think that ‘Hotel California’ is a song written by The Eagles, or maybe an album released by The Eagles, but you’d be wrong. It is, of course, the “essence of the band itself”, and you really all ought to take note of that fact. Especially if you’re running a hotel called Hotel California.

The Eagles are suing the owners of a Mexican hotel that goes by the name Hotel California, because – please remember – the name Hotel California is not just an Eagles song, or an Eagles album, but the “essence of the band itself”. And those Hotel California fuckers can stop fucking with the Eagles’ very essence itself, thank you very much.

To be fair to Don Henley et al, the band have seemingly gone legal over the bricks and mortar Hotel California because its owners rely heavily on the band’s hit in their marketing. Said marketing implies to potential customers that the building is “associated with the Eagles and, among other things, served as the inspiration for the lyrics in ‘Hotel California'”, both of which are false, according to the band’s lawsuit.

The decision by Hotel California Baja LLC to try to register the trademark ‘Hotel California’ in the US also likely prompted the band’s litigation.

The hotel in question was actually originally called Hotel California when it opened in 1950, 26 years before The Eagles released their song of that name. But it then changed its name a number of times during the latter half of the 20th century before a Canadian couple bought it in 2001 and restored the Hotel California brand.

According to the legal claim, the hotel now regularly pipes ‘Hotel California’ and other Eagles tracks into its public areas while selling t-shirts describing the building as being “legendary”, all of which – The Eagles reckon – is part of ploy to convince punters it has some sort of link to the band and their song.