“The Gramercy was the cheapest place to stay. I mean, it was low-low rent. And I had to buy a shirt to be able to go to this event, because I didn’t have anything good enough to wear. And I Just found myself laughing at that. I had been listening to a bunch of Randy Newman, so I had a healthy sarcastic feeling going, and man, that song — the welcome page on the Gramercy on the hotel TV was, ‘Hey, welcome to the Gramercy.’ They didn’t have any amenities to brag about, they were just like, ‘Babe Ruth used to get really drunk in our bar.’ (Laughing) It was like a catalog of all these famous alcoholics, and at the time I was struggling with my own alcoholism, and I found it funny. I was thinking, Wow, what a coincidence. Me and Babe Ruth have been alcoholics in the same room. And here I am. So I was being sarcastic about my own struggles and everything else.”
Julian Casablancas told NME: “There are lyrics about keeping yourself busy. ‘I’m just trying to find a mountain I can climb,’ and Machu Picchu is the Inca sacred place in the Andean mountains of Peru. So the title started out as a joke, but then the joke seemed fitted.”
Morrison explained to The Guardian why he finds solace in the French Riviera resort. “I’ve been in Monte Carlo a few times,” he said, “and I like the place. It’s got a nice vibe, I think. It’s wintertime here, it’s not there, so usually it’s warmer for a start!”
This line was directed to his brother Sean, at a time when he was missing him. Robin Pecknold chose the Blue Ridge Mountains as the location referenced because, as he told The Daily Mail on February 20, 2009, the references to nature are simply a useful means of expression: “The music was already sounding very rural, so it didn’t make sense to start adding lyrics about receiving emails and watching TV.”
Waterloo is the place where Napoleon Bonaparte met his defeat at an epic battle in 1815. This song uses the battle as a metaphor for a woman who gives in and falls in love with a man — he’s her “Waterloo.”
The Hollywood Bowl is a modern amphitheater in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California, United States that is used for performances. It’s the largest natural amphitheater in the USA, and only the cream of the crop musicians perform there.