Property Feature: Chateu Marmont, Hollywood

The band Eagles are set to perform in Dubai later this month. Hence trivia about the trio are cropping up in every station. One fact that really intrigued me is the inspiration for the song Hotel California.

“You can check-out anytime you like, but you can never leave.”

Accordingly, Eagles was referring to Chateau Marmont, an iconic landmark in West Hollywood, California. Built in 1927 and modeled loosely after the Château d’Amboise in France’s Loire Valley, it served as the backdrop for significant events in the lives of well known rock stars and actors.

Originally planned as apartment house, it became a favorite Hollywood hangout. To escape LA was impossible but the walls and gardens concealed the celebrities within and more importantly, what they were doing.

To name a few, here are some key events which happened inside the Chateau:

1. Led Zeppelin band members rode their motorcycles through the lobby one evening to cheering guests.

2. James Dean hopped in through a window to audition with Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo for Rebel Without a Cause.

3.Judy Garland sang by the lobby’s grand piano with Kay Thompson during a party held by director George Cukor, where she exclaimed to Thompson, “Oh, Kay, let’s just sing real loud!”

4.F. Scott Fitzgerald suffered a heart attack at the Chateau Marmont and Hunter S. Thompson was a regular guest.

5. Jim Morrison used up what he called “the eighth of my nine lives” after he hurt his back here dangling from a drain pipe and falling onto a shed while trying to swing from the roof into the window of his hotel room.

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