Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Mirrors on the Ceiling

July 4, 1977
Laguna Beach, California

        It was dark by the time we made it to the coast, a darkness like that before a planetarium show begins. A guy waved a flashlight guiding the faithful Gran Torino into a cliffside opening next to a decoratively adorned bus, likely having Woodstock on its odometer. Harvey crawled from his comfortable spot in the backseat, cradling a small bucket of strawberries he had picked earlier that morning from a field along some empty highway west of Barstow.  I was transfixed outside the car door as he gently nudged me out of the way while eating his sweet ripened fruit.  We stood there looking up in amazement as the sky above exploded in a kaleidoscope of magic. The colorful embers of light cascading into the white-capped Pacific surf, as a holiday crowd surrounded us and partied on the beach below.  The sounds of the Eagles blasting from the car stereo amplified the intoxicating atmosphere in a welcoming style.

        The next chapter of our great summer adventure had begun.

Sometime later, I turned from my reclined perch on the car hood to see him sharing his berries with a couple of beautiful new friends.  I leaned back against the windshield taking another toke from a friend, how strangely eerie, just the night before wishing to beat the 115-degree daytime heat we had rolled out of Vegas…         

        On a dark desert highway, cool                    wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitis, rising up                     through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a                shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight              grew dim
I had to stop for the night.

There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
‘This could be heaven or this could             be Hell’
Then she lit up a candle and she                    showed me the way
There were voices down the                            corridor,
I thought I heard them say

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (such a lovely                  place)
Such a lovely face.
        Plenty of room at the Hotel                             California
        Any time of year (any time of year)             you can find it here

        Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got              the Mercedes bends
        She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys,                that she calls friends
        How they dance in the courtyard,                  sweet summer sweat
        Some dance to remember, some                    dance to forget

        So I called up the Captain,
        ‘Please bring me my wine’
        He said, ‘we haven’t had that spirit                here
        since nineteen sixty-nine
        And still those voices are calling                    from far away,
        Wake you up in the middle of the                  night
        Just to hear them say”

        Welcome to the Hotel California
        Such a lovely place (such a lovely                  place)
        Such a lovely face.
        They livin’ it up at the Hotel                          California
        What a nice surprise (what a nice                    surprise),
        bring your alibis

        Mirrors on the ceiling,
        The pink champagne on ice
        And she said, ‘we are all just                           prisoners here,
        Of our own device’
        And in the master’s chambers,
        They gathered for the feast
        They stab it with their steely                           knives,
        But they just can’t kill the beast

        Last thing I remember, I was
        Running for the door
        I had to find the passage back to the               place I was before
        ‘Relax’ said the night man,
        ‘We are programmed to receive.
        You can check out any time you                    like,
        But you can never leave!’

        Songwriters: Don Felder / Don                     Henley / Glen Frey
        Hotel California lyrics copyright                   Universal Music Publishing                      Group

The Eagles ~ Hotel California

In Memory 
Harvey Smith Vaughan
27 November 1961 - 14 July 1994