ODE TO California and DON HENLEY: “There’s a hole in the world tonight”

ODE TO California and DON HENLEY: “There’s a hole in the world tonight”

By Kevin Stoda, in Germany (a LAND busy hollowing out of Middle Class)

“There’s a hole in the world tonight” is a song on the radio this evening. It is a song by Don Henley, and it tells listeners:

“There’s a hole in the world tonight
There’s a cloud of fear and sorrow
There’s a hole in the world tonight
Don’t let there be a hole in the world tomorrow.”


At first that refrain reminded me of the Cold War days when we all thought we would never make it to the end of each decade without a pair of red balloons leading accidentally to a 3rd World War–and probably annihilation of mankind in a tit-for-tat war.

Only with the rise in the last few years of a nuclear amok North Korea (led by a schizoid movie freak) have I had to have such a nightmare lately, what about you? [I’m, however, not currently too worried about the Islamic bomb of Iran as Pakistan was the first Islamic nation to have a nuclear bomb. They—the Pakistanis–, however, are more interested in responding to a Hindu bomb from neighboring India. Could it be that Iranian leaders only want a bomb to detour Israel? Think about it. Or let the nightmares roll.]

Then I became aware of the fact that another prominent refrain in the Henley text, “There’s a hole in the world tonight” was:

“They say that anger is just love disappointed
They say that love is just a state of mind.
But all this fighting over who is anointed,
Oh, how can people be so blind?”

I thus became aware that Henley was referring to the religious and cultural wars—rather than worrying about the weapon technology that would take us to Armageddon or Paradise—or limbo. Henley might likely be talking about the fight in America over who is a real Christian or he might be talking about the world wide Christian vs. Islam vs. Jew vs. Hindu vs. Sikh vs. Buddhist wars concerning the determination of the ultimate deity–and destiny of man before the heavens and how man should treat his fellow man on earth. In short, the song is only a bit of a correction from his song from a decade (or two) ago on “The Garden of Allah”—whereby Satan plays the main role.


The Garden of Alla was actually “a single mansion at 8080 Sunset Boulevard, built in 1919. It became notorious for the wild parties allegedly related to” homosexuality and flagrant abuses of public decency standards—even in 1920s Hollywood. The name was later changed to the “Garden of Allah”.

According to Henley, in his tune of the same name, the Devil makes a grand entry into the life of those 1920 Californians of the Garden of Alla—compare that with a California today which is currently shaking through economic and government turmoil comparative to a 7 on the Richter scale. As Satan jumps out of his limousine on a hot California Day to party at the Gardens he says:

“”Nice car………
I love those Bavarians…..so meticulous
Y’know, I remember a time when things were a lot more fun around here
When good was good and evil was evil
Before things got so…….fuzzy
Yeah, I was once a golden boy like you
And I was summoned to the halls of power in the heavenly court
And I dined with the deities who looked upon me with favor
For my talents; my creativity
We sat beneath the palms in the warm afternoon
And drank the wine with Fitzgerald and Huxley
They pawned a biting phrase
From tongues hot with blood
And drained their pens of bitter ink
Vainly reaching for the bottle full of empty Edens
Branded specially for the ones
Who had come with great expectations
To the perfumed halls of Allah
For their time in the sun
We were stokin’ the fires
And oilin’ up the machinery
Until the gods found out we had ideas of our own”


Then Satan switched into the wild 1980s or 1990s–and recent early W. Bush presidency–with the thoughts about the gullibility of the people on Earth. Henley then jumps in with these points:

“And the war was coming
The earth was shaking
And there was no more room
In the Garden of Allah”

Notwithstanding rumors and facts of war, Americans kept putting up facades to realities and economic/social vulnerabilities throughout the past several decades. In short, image became everything in America at the turn of (and beginning of) the 21st Century. Satan then spoke up in the Garden of Allah and sang:

“Today I made and appearance downtown
I am an expert witness, because I say I am
And I said, ‘Gentleman….and I use that word loosely…I will testify for you
I’m a gun for hire, I’m a saint, I’m a liar
Because there are no facts, there is no truth, just data to be manipulated
I can get you any result you like….what’s it worth to ya?
Because there is no wrong, there is no right
And I sleep very well at night
No shame, no solution
No remorse, no retribution
Just people selling t-shirts
just opportunity to participate in this pathetic little circus
And winning, winning, winning’ ”
It was a pretty big year for predators
The marketplace was on a roll
And the land of opportunity”

By the way, I didn’t personally ever hear Don Henley’s song about the Devil and the Garden of Allah until I picked up a greatest hits album of his in “a bucket CD bin” in the City Center supermarket in Dubai in the millennium year of 2000—just as the whole world was being bedazzled by the investment opportunities in the Islamic Disneyland Dubai of this same decade.

Let’s reiterate what Henley was singing to the friends of Reagan, Bush and Cheney—and their faith concerning the unlimited wonders of free market capitalism, especially in lands where labor (especially foreign born labor) had few rights—like Kansas, the UAE, China, Kuwait, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. Such an arrogant capitalism of the wealthiest soon

“[s]pawned a whole new breed of men without souls
This year, notoriety got all confused with fame”

No wonder Islam and other religious fanatics can fall back so easily on misguided extremist interpretations of events when the Middle Classes have been wiped out—and only extremes remain—in many countries across Europe, North America and Asia.
Now, Henley writes in his more recent song about “a hole in heaven”:

“There’s a cloud of fear and sorrow
There’s a hole in the world tonight
Don’t let there be a hole in the world tomorrow.
Oh, they tell me there’s a place over yonder
Cool water running through the burning sand
Until we learn to love one another,
We will never reach the Promised Land.”

The message for those architects who have squelched the Middle and Lower Classes dreams by taxing the poor (and middle class) while allowing the rich, connected, and powerful to run amok behind visions of war with Satan are indeed what Henley needs to warn them and all about:

“There’s a hole in the world tonight,
There’s a cloud of fear and sorrow
There’s a hole in the world tonight
Don’t let there be a hole in the world tomorrow.”

Remember that the next time you want to lead a jihad or want to take off on a crusade!!!!!

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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5 Responses to ODE TO California and DON HENLEY: “There’s a hole in the world tonight”

  1. The A-man says:

    Don’t get it
    could explain about the song wjat the song about ?
    Why did he use Allah ?
    Please don’t get me wrong .

  2. eslkevin says:

    Actually, read the story of the song aobut the location on Wikopedia. The name of the location in California changed several times and ended up being called the Garden of Allah.

    It has nothing to do with Islam any more than the HOTEL CALIFORNIA could have been set in Texas, Morrocco or Spain.

  3. The A-man says:

    But why ?

    Just asking

    • eslkevin says:

      Why are a pile of rocks out by Colorado Springs called the Garden of the Gods?

      Americans have always had a fascination with God and faiths.

      There is a wooden covered bridge in Indiana I photographed. It is 140 years old. The bridges in the old amish area has the name MECCA. Why?

      In Lawrence, Kansas there is the Paradise Cafe?


      Well there is certainly a reason but I do know that Don Henley did not give the Garden in LA its name.

  4. Mario says:

    Good article. I am experiencing some of these
    issues as well..

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