The Eagles Settle Trademark Lawsuit Against Real-Life ‘Hotel California’

The Eagles have landed—on a lawsuit settlement. The surviving members of the classic rock band have settled on a lawsuit filed last year against a Mexican hotel over the use of the name Hotel California. According to Reuters, the hoteliers, Hotel California Baja LLC, withdrew their application to register the Hotel California name for a U.S. trademark, and the mutual decision to dismiss the lawsuit came on the same day.

In the initial lawsuit filing against the Todos Santos Hotel in Baja California Sur, Mexico, the Eagles alleged that the establishment misled patrons into thinking the rock band was somehow affiliated with the hotel in order to garner larger profits. The Eagles’ signature song, “Hotel California,” and other music by the band was reportedly routinely played on the property. According to a previous report by Ultimate Classic Rock, the Eagles alleged that the 11-room hotel was marketed as if to suggest the band was connected to it. Not only were Eagles songs regularly played over the hotel’s sound system, but T-shirts describing the hotel as “legendary” were being sold in the gift shop.

The official website for Hotel California describes the accommodations as 11 “wildly imaginative rooms and suites.” The word “legendary” still appears on the hotel’s website.

Of course, decades before the Eagles released the song “Hotel California,” the Todos Santos hotel opened as the Hotel California in 1950. The hotel went through a number of name changes until the current owners and defendants in the now-scrapped lawsuit, John and Debbie Stewart, restored the name in 2001.

The song “Hotel California” was released on the Eagles album of the same name in 1976. The six-and-a-half minute song was a surprise radio hit. The Hotel California album cover famously featured a photo of the famed Beverly Hills Hotel.

Amid the surprise success of the song, the Eagles went on to win the 1977 Grammy award for record of the year for “Hotel California,” and the song has been synonymous with the band ever since.

While Eagles fans have long tried to decipher the meaning of “Hotel California,” in an interview with CBS News, Eagles founder Don Henley previously said the song wasn’t about California—or a hotel, for that matter.

“I always say, it’s a journey from innocence to experience,” Henley told 60 Minutes of the classic song. “It’s not really about California; it’s about America. It’s about the dark underbelly of the American dream. It’s about excess, it’s about narcissism. It’s about the music business…It can have a million interpretations.”

You can hear the Eagles performing the song “Hotel California” below.

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