Don Felder: ‘I’d relive the moment I wrote Hotel California riff if I could’

The Eagles star tells The Big Issue that he is still fascinated with the iconic rockers’ most enduring hit

Hotel California has had plenty of staying power for Eagles guitarist Don Felder – he is still pondering how he wrote their most iconic classic 43 years on.

Speaking to The Big Issue for this week’s Letter To My Younger Self, the rocker discusses growing up in poverty and how his young daughter brought him back from losing himself to alcohol and drugs.

But, even though he left Eagles in 2001, it is 1976 hit Hotel California – and how he stumbled upon its iconic riff – that continues to enrapture him to this day.


Last year, 27,000 people worldwide earned an income selling street papers, making a total of £23.4 million.

“If I could go back to relive any moment in my life it would be me sitting on the couch on a rented house in Malibu, strumming my guitar, looking out of the window, watching my one-year-old daughter and her two-year-old brother playing in the sand on the beach,” he said.

“And I looked down to the gorgeous Pacific Ocean and the California sunlight glistening on the waves. And out came rolling on my guitar that chord progression for Hotel California. Out of nowhere.

“That moment was an absolute surprise. It just flowed out of me, I don’t know why or how. But I look back to that moment and I say, thank you.”

Read more from Don in this week’s Big Issue, available now from vendors and The Big Issue Shop.

Image: Getty