When Don Henley Lost His Cool After A Question About The Eagles

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Although interviews give fans an in-depth look at their favorite artist’s life, career, and future plans, some end up becoming unpleasant for the musicians. Sometimes it’s an unnecessary question, an attack on their private lives, or some inappropriate remark that makes them angry or upset.

In other cases, an artist is tired of hearing the same question over and over again or finds the questions offensive. It seems this was the case when The Plain Dealer’s John Soeder interviewed Don Henley in 2009 and received an unexpected response from the musician.

Which Question On The Eagles Pissed Don Henley Off?

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The Eagles released their iconic album ‘Hotel California‘ in 1976. The album ended up being a turning point for the band after its release. Moreover, it also spawned a single of the same title, which became a rock classic with an audience in all parts of the world.

The song ‘Hotel California’ has various interpretations given by fans and music critics, but it has a subtle metaphor among the lyrics. Especially the part, “So I called up the captain/’Please bring me my wine’/ He said, ‘We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969‘” is questioned by many since they argue wine isn’t a spirit, and it isn’t distilled but fermented.

In a 2009 interview with The Plain Dealer’s John Soeder, Don Henley was told again that wine isn’t a spirit. Upon hearing this, Henley got irritated and answered this question using a sharp tongue. The musician started his words by thanking Soeder for the tutorial‘ and said he was not the first person to ask this question.

Later, Henley stated Soeder wasn’t the only one misinterpreting the lyrics and missing the metaphor. Saying that he consumed enough alcohol to know how they were made, the singer clarified that that line has nothing to do with alcoholic drinks. According to Henley, it’s a sociopolitical statement, and explaining it in detail would drag the discussion to a ‘silly and irrelevant argument’ on chemical processes.

In the 2009 interview, Don Henley said the following about ‘Hotel California’s lyrics:

“Thanks for the tutorial, and, no, you’re not the first to bring this to my attention – and you’re not the first to completely misinterpret the lyric and miss the metaphor. Believe me; I’ve consumed enough alcoholic beverages in my time to know how they are made and what the proper nomenclature is.

That line in the song has little or nothing to do with alcoholic beverages. It’s a sociopolitical statement. My only regret would be having to explain it in detail to you, which would defeat the purpose of using literary devices in songwriting and lower the discussion to some silly and irrelevant argument about chemical processes.”

You can listen to the Eagles’ classic hit ‘Hotel California’ below.