Former Eagle Don Felder refurbishes the '70s classic with help from members of Styx, Foreigner.
Former Eagles member Don Felder has recorded a new version of the song with members of Styx and Foreigner. The three acts will hit that road together on The Soundtrack of Summer tour beginning May 14 in Wichita.
The new version of Hotel California, premiering at USA TODAY, 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, which also will feature several of the best-known songs from Styx and Foreigner. The Soundtrack of Summer will go on sale May 6, exclusively at Walmart.
Felder, who wrote the song with Don Henley and Glenn Frey, 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" a second time, says Felder. The new version incorporates some flamenco rhythms before progressing into a full-scale rock treatment. "It grows from this acoustic steel-string version to where the electric guitars come in at the end."
Styx guitarist James Young says The Soundtrack to Summer bill "was not intended to be a battle of the bands, but it's always going to be that, a little bit."
It's also a mutual admiration society, Young says. "Mick Jones of Foreigner is an incredible writer and an excellent guitarist. He has penned some of the greatest rock songs of our time. And Styx has some incredible songs and what I think is the best band on the planet.
"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."
"Who knows what we're going to put together for this tour," Felder says. "But there will be some pleasant surprises."
Dates for The Soundtrack of Summer tour follow:
14 - Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita
16 - Zoo Amphitheatre, Oklahoma City
17 - Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie, Texas
18 - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston
20 - Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Fla.
22 - Germain Arena, Estero, Fla.
23 - St. Augustine Amphitheatre, St. Augustine, Fla.
24 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Atlanta
25 - The Wharf, Orange Beach, Ala.
29 - Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
30 - Charter Amphitheatre, Simpsonville, S.C.
31 - PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte
1 - Farm Bureau Amphitheatre, Virginia Beach
5 - Horseshoe Casino, Cincinnati
6 - FirstMerit Bank Pavilion, Chicago
7 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights, Mo.
8 - Starlight Theatre, Kansas City, Mo.
19 - Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Boston
20 - Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, Va.
21 - Summer Stage, Big Flats, N.Y.
23 - Turning Stone Casino, Verona, N.Y.
26 - Prudential Center, Newark
28 - Nikon Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, N.Y.
29 - Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, Conn.
3 - Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, N.J.
4 - Toyota Pavilion, Scranton, Pa.
5 - Darlings Waterfront, Bangor, Me.
6 - Bank of NH Pavilion, Gilford, N.H.
9 - Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center, Canandaigua, N.Y.
10 - Freedom Hill Amphitheater, Detroit
17 - Target Center, Minneapolis,
18 - Moondance Jam, Walker, Minn.
19 - Winnavegas Casino, Sloan, Iowa
22 - Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre, Denver
23 - USANA Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City
25 - Orleans Arena, Las Vegas
26 - Greek Theatre, Los Angeles
27 - Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, Calif.
1 - Marymoor Park Concerts, Redmond, Wash. (Styx & Foreigner only)
2 - Maryhill Winery, Goldendale, Wash. (Styx & Foreigner only)
15 - Kentucky State Fair, Louisville (Styx & Foreigner only)
17 - Iowa State Fair, Des Moines (Styx & Foreigner only)