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Why 1969

Posted by ESC on October 08, 2003

In Reply to: Why 1969 posted by Bruce Kahl on October 08, 2003

: : In 'Hotel California', they sing, 'We haven't got that spirit here, since 1969.'

: : Is it a special year?

: : Thanks!

: Yes, to some people 1969 was the highwater mark for the cultural change that swept the US that started, some say, in 1964 or so.
: Woodstock and the Altamont killing were aspects and a mirror image of this time.

I agree.

On the Snopes urban legend site, I found some general information about the song's meaning --"In a 1995 interview, Don Henley said the song 'sort of captured the zeitgeist of the time, which was a time of great excess in this country and in the music business in particular.' In another interview that same year, he referred to it as being about a 'loss of innocence.' The album has as its underlying theme the corruption of impressionable rock stars by the decadent Los Angeles music industry. The celebrated title track presents California as a gilded prison the artist freely enters only to discover that he cannot later escape. The real Hotel California is not a place; it is a metaphor for the west coast music industry and its effect on the talented but unworldy musicians who find themselves ensnared in its glittering web.

From online information about events of 1969:

In spite of peace talks, U.S. forces in Vietnam peaked at 543,400 in April. Withdrawal from Vietnam began in July

U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first human to walk on the moon

First Woodstock Festival draws 500,000-plus people to small New York town

Anti-war demonstrations sweep nation, centered on college campuses

250,000 march on Washington to protest the Vietnam conflict

Stonewall Riot in New York City marks start of gay rights movement

A Rolling Stones fan is killed at the group's Altamont, California, concert by members of Hell's Angels.