The Old Lucky Diamond Motel

Album: Guitar Slinger (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • Gill sings on this track about several characters who frequent a rural motel. He told Reuters the song is based on a true story, as his brother had a wreck on an Oklahoma highway near El Reno. However, the stripper named Rita Cantrell is purely fictional. "A song like that allows you to hold back a few of your cards," he said. "It's fun to watch people wonder just what is truth and what is fiction."
  • Gill explained how this song was inspired by memories of his childhood: "Where I grew up in Oklahoma, Route 66 came right through our back door, basically. We spent a lot of time hanging out on that road. That's the road where my brother had his really bad wreck. Route 66 had those old great roadside motels that had a restaurant and swimming pool, and they would advertise the swimming pool in neon as you were driving past. There are so few of these places left. They are a part of Americana to me."

    He added: "The guy is reminiscing about the beauty of this old place, and they are tearing it down and a piece of America fell. 'I am all for progress, but God knows that I miss the old Lucky Diamond Motel.'"
  • According to Gill, the line "next to Ted's Escondido" refers to a restaurant, "I go to all the time now. It's a tip of the hat to one of my favorite restaurants, but it wasn't there when I was growing up." (Source of above 2 quotes Roughstock)
  • In our interview with Vince Gill, he said that one of his favorite songwriters is Guy Clark, so it was especially gratifying when listeners heard Clark's influence on this track. Said Gill: "One of the best compliments I ever got was when somebody asked me if I wrote it with Guy. I just said, 'Man, you couldn't have paid me a better compliment in your life than that.'"

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