In verse 3 (the second from the last line) of the Eagles song "Hotel California", it states, "You can check out any time you like". "But you can never leave!" These lyrics have been said to show how difficult it is to leave this place, so full of temptations and hidden traps that work to corrupt people. The lyrics reveal a hoax and show the dark side of the place. The song depicts a veil of social criticism towards the foundations of the American Dream and an illusion of a better future that may turn into an endless torment, able to lure people with its promises and then deceive them. Leaving California means losing all reasonable hope, and so it would be a shame to leave a hotel of many good dreams.

"Hotel California", the fifth studio album by the rock band the Eagles, was recorded by Bill Szymczyk between March and October 1976. It was released on the Asylum label in December 1976. It was the lead singer Don Henley who said in a 2002 interview with "60 Minutes", "This song is about the dark underbelly of the American dream and about excess in America, which is something we (the Eagles) knew a lot about”.

It was not a real place. 'Hotel California' is our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles, CA”, Henley said. For decades, "Hotel California" with its rich lyrics – both introspective and allegorical – had fans and critics pondering the true meaning of the entire song. The song is one that fittingly reached the No. 1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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