From This Might Be A Wiki
|song name||Hell Hotel|
|artist||They Might Be Giants|
|releases||1985 Demo Tape, Bill Krauss Demos|
|first played||December 28, 1985 (1 known performances)|
|sung by||John Flansburgh; John Linnell backing|
- The Early Years FAQ quotes Bill Krauss as saying, "I think Flans said that the song was based on a Twilight Zone episode, but I can't remember which one. 'Sebastian C.' is Sebastian Cabot, who you may remember as the butler on the 60's sitcom 'Family Affair.'" The Twilight Zone episode being referred to is "A Nice Place to Visit", which first aired in 1960.
- In 2017, Flansburgh explained the origins of the song: "For many years in New England and NYC there would often be Twilight Zone marathons on Halloween or New Years, and I would like to cloister myself with a tape recorder and use those marathon nights to work on music in my own marathon kind of way-–and let Rod Serling and crew be my silent companion. I can't be positive but I am pretty sure the genesis of the song is from one of those nights. As for my love of the series-–there are so many great episodes I can't say I have one favorite. I just enjoy the vibe of the series."
- Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos said of one of their hit songs in an interview with BBC's The Beat host Dean Jackson (April 2004), "'The Dark of the Matinée' was basically a rip off of this obscure song by They Might Be Giants called 'Hell Hotel'."
- Media wiki TV Tropes uses "Hell Hotel" as the name of a trope. The page notes that the title "is from an obscure They Might Be Giants song. Like, obscure even for them."
- When asked on Twitter why the song never appeared on official releases, Flans said: "I think we liked the way the demo worked but it was hard to update. That's our pal Jonathan Gregg playing the awesome guitar part. Might be the only guitar "guest" on any early track..."
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Hell Hotel is currently ranked #404 out of 876. (37 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.27)