This song partly takes its inspiration from the bands that graced MTV in the '90s like Green Day, Pearl Jam and Nirvana. "Those songs and those riffs and all that stuff definitely had a huge influence on me," lead guitarist Chad Gilbert told MTV News.
The song has proved to be a fan favorite when performed live. "In the chorus there's a sort of 'whoa' part that's always like a big sing-a-long when we play it live," Gilbert said. "It took on its own life."
The visual pays tribute to old-style live videos that were shown in vintage MTV shows such as 120 Minutes and Headbanger's Ball. "We just thought it would be fun to pay tribute to the old MTV style — the live videos," Gilbert said. "For me and MTV, it was always the MTV year-end countdowns. It was what I'd look forward to honestly every year just as much as Christmas. When Christmas was over, the top 100 videos of the year would lead up to the ball drop. I remember laying on the floor at my great aunt's house in Kentucky [watching] — and two years in a row Guns N' Roses won it."
The lyrics to "Heartbreak Hotel" were written by a steel guitar player who was once a dishwasher repairman. He was inspired by a newspaper story about a man who killed himself and left behind a note saying only, "I walk a lonely street."
His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."
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