This song describes a man and woman that had everything but lost it because of their lifestyle. Hotel California
was the Eagles first album with their new guitarist Joe Walsh, who helped write this song with Don Henley and Glenn Frey. In a 1981 interview with the BBC, Frey explained: "Life In The Fast Lane' kind of expressed the stereotyped LA 'run around in your Porsche' 24 hour boogie mode that unfortunately is too true for a lot of people. It wasn't really a statement about the guys in the band, or about anybody in particular – just it's kind of disturbing to see the extremes that the bourgeois jet set will involve themselves in. For instance, disco almost turned into a lifestyle, and it's such a non-meaningful thing on which to base one's life."
When reminded that his Eagles bandmates may have exhibited some symptoms described in this song, Walsh replied: "Yeah, that's probably true, and I think it was healthy, though, that we realized that running around and parties and fast cars are really not the answer – it's kind of a shallow way to approach why we're on this planet, and it probably came as a band consciousness." (This interview is available at Rock's Backpages