Hotel California


the beverly hills building
Photo by Erica Zhao on

My sister Liz loves “Hotel California” and the Eagles, and my bro-in-law loves her. So much that he flew her to the Big Apple last Valentine’s Day to see the Eagles at Madison Square Garden. How romantic is that?

A collaboration of all five Eagles of that era: Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Don Felder, and Randy Meisner, The Hotel California album was released on Christmas day in 1976 and became one of the biggest selling of all time. Texas vocalist Don Henley said of the song writing process, “We were getting an extensive education, in life, in love, in business. Beverly Hills was still a mythical place to us. In that sense it became something of a symbol, and the ‘Hotel’ the locus of all that LA had come to mean for us. In a sentence, I’d sum it up as the end of innocence, round one.”

Liz, if you’re reading, I dedicate this iconic classic to you.

Although the Gipsy Kings released their Spanish flamenco version back in 1990, I probably heard theirs for the first time in The Big Lebowski Jesus scene, sometime after 1998 (click the link for purple polyester poetry in motion). When not touring, The Gipsy Kings founding members, Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo, live with their families in the south of France.

Today will be fabulous.

Hit the Road Jack

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on

The Ray Charles version of “Hit the Road Jack” takes me back. On most of the family vacations of my youth, we hit the road, and I eventually made it through the entire lower forty-eight via car. As for Ray Charles, blindness and heroin addiction aside, he revolutionized American music. “Hit the Road Jack” topped the Billboard Hot 100 on October 9, 1961 and won a Grammy award for the Best Rhythm and Blues recording.

And Becca Krueger, well, she has some balls to remake this one. She recorded in 2013, and I love the way she pulls it off.

It’s another Monday, my friends. Do you have what it takes to Remake it?

Unknown Legend

Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young (of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young) penned “Unknown Legend” and released it on his solo album Harvest Moon in 1992.

I was 22 and not listening. Somehow it seems songs, like other messages and people, appear when we need them.

The first time I heard the song was in the 2008 movie Rachel Getting Married with Anne Hathaway. I haven’t seen every Anne Hathaway movie, but her performance in this one is legendary. She plays a drug addict who has been released from her current treatment program on a day pass to attend her sister Rachel’s wedding.

During the ceremony the groom (Tunde Adebimpe, lead singer of TV on the Radio featured on last week’s Remake Monday) serenades Rachel in a performance that moves me every time.

[Verse 1]
She used to work in a diner
Never saw a woman look finer
I used to order just to watch her float across the floor
She grew up in a small town
Never put her roots down
Daddy always kept moving so she did too

Somewhere on a desert highway
She rides a Harley-Davidson
Her long blonde hair flying in the wind
She’s been running half her life
The chrome and steel she rides
Colliding with the very air she breathes
The air she breathes

[Verse 2]
You know it ain’t easy
You got to hold on
She was an unknown legend in her time
Now she’s dressing two kids
Looking for a magic kiss
She gets the faraway look in her eyes

It’s Remake Monday! Remake it amazing!

Wolf Like Me

I believe this song was first released in 2006 by TV on the Radio, an American art rock band. (I found this info. on Wikipedia. Art rock makes use of modernist, experimental elements, elevating rock to an artistic statement).

I guess it was about a week ago when I heard Lera Lynn’s folk version. I dig the stripped-down sound of the acoustic guitar and banjo. What some can do with two instruments and their voices! Anyway, you can’t believe everything you read on Wikipedia. They say Lera Lynn released her version in 2003. Independent Music Awards calls it a cover, and the YouTube video was posted in 2011. Disputed information aside, I love both, but I have to give it to Lera Lynn.

And I’m calling today Remake Monday. 1) Because I love a great remake. And 2) Because every Monday deserves a reimagined look. Make yours mighty good.

Seize it!