Welcome to the Hotel Cortez. Guests can check out any time they like, but they can never leave.
The single Cortez is inspired by Lady Gaga’s American Horror Story. In season 5, the series is set in the Hotel Cortez. The show was based on the true events of the Hotel Cecil in downtown L.A.
Built in 1924, the original purpose of the hotel was to cater for those on business, but once the Great Depression hit the reputation of the hotel took a dark twist. It became synonymous with mystery, crime and the paranormal. It was a hideout for drugs, prostitution and murder. The serial killers Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger are both thought to have stayed at the Hotel Cecil in 1985 and 1991.
In 2013, CCTV footage of Canadian student Elisa Lam was uncovered, taken from an elevator in the hotel. The recording shows her frantically pressing buttons, looking severely distressed and like she was talking to someone in front of her. She is known to have suffered with bipolar disorder, but it remains unclear as to whether there was actually a person in front of her, or if she was suffering from her illness. She was found in the water tank on the hotel rooftop stripped naked and pronounced dead. The hotel guests staying at the time complained about low water pressure and a funny taste. Her death was concluded as accidental drowning, but she gained access to the water tank without triggering an alarm, the use of a ladder and the lid was somehow closed behind her. There was no evidence of drugs, alcohol, physical trauma, sexual assault or a potential suicide. Tests on the fingernails and the possibility of rape had been called upon, but the autopsy doesn’t say what the result of these tests where. To this day her death remains a mystery.
The hotel underwent a rebranding to ‘Stay on Main’ and it has now become a popular tourist attraction. However, if you stay there, they won’t tell you about its history. Check out the reviews on Trip Advisor!
This real-life horror story inspired the lyrics, makeup and costume for the latest Salvation Jayne single Cortez. A song about not knowing what goes on behind closed doors and featuring dark lyrics that read, “pinned to a headboard they lay limp like dead flowers, slaughtered in a room where they lay and lied.”
Each character in the video is performed in the style of American Horror Story. Due to a double-booking the band ended up having to use a brand-new, bright and clean building to film their video. However, that didn’t stop them. Incense where used to give off smoke and form a squalid atmosphere, the windows were covered to prevent light coming in, and the room was decorated with props for each scene.
With continued coaxes to ‘be my guest’ repeated throughout the chorus, Cortez becomes a creepy ride for anyone who dares to listen to it.