Don Felder Updates “Hotel California”
Ex-Eagle Felder (the guy who played lead guitar and wrote the music) has recorded a new version of the song with members of fellow rock veterans Styx and Foreigner. The three acts are touring together in a bill called The Soundtrack of Summer, beginning May 14 in Wichita.
The new version of “Hotel California” has Felder swapping lead vocals with Styx’s Tommy Shaw and Foreigner’s Kelly Hansen. It will appear on The Soundtrack of Summer tour-companion CD, on sale May 6.
To be fair, Felder has refurbished the song once before, giving it an acoustic arrangement for the Eagles’ 1994 Hell Freezes Over live album. “I was a bit perplexed about how to go about doing it,” says Felder. The new version incorporates some flamenco-ish rhythms before progressing into the rock guitar outro. “It grows from this acoustic steel-string version to where the electric guitars come in at the end,” says Felder.
Styx guitarist James Young adds, “Don Felder is extremely complimentary of my guitar playing, as I am of his, because we play guitar very differently. I can’t play the way he plays. It’s so lyrical, so melodic, particularly on “Hotel California,” probably the most-played and most-known Eagles song, and he wrote all the music to that.”
The rerecording is on Soundcloud.