Who Is the Man Behind the Familiar ‘Hotel California’ Sound?
It's one of the most popular and readily recognizable songs of the rock n roll era, but many fans have no idea who the man is behind that familiar 'Hotel California' sound.
The answer quite simply is Don Felder, who joined the Eagles in 1974 and remained with the band until he was fired in 2001.
Felder wrote the music for 'Hotel California', including the very famous, and recognizable guitar solo at the beginning -- and at the end. He's also the one who played it on the original recording and any time the song was performed in concert.
Don Henley and Glen Frey wrote the lyrics for 'Hotel California', with Henley providing the lead vocals. The guitar part is so distinctive, within the first two seconds of the song, everyone knows instantly it's 'Hotel California.'
But, it's Don Felder who brought 'Hotel California' to the Eagles, which ultimately won the Grammy for record of the year in 1978. It was certified gold within three months of being released, with one million copies sold.
In this video from the Eagles' 1977 'Hotel California Tour,' you will see Don Felder performing those famous guitar licks, joined by Joe Walsh to provided a stunning guitar duet to finish out the song.