“Our love is like the old Belmont Hotel. It was in ruins now it’s doing quite well.”
A song on the Old 97’s new album “Twelfth” is about the Belmont Hotel.
Here’s what frontman Rhett Miller, who is from Dallas, told WBUR:
The Belmont Hotel was a motor court style motel in the ’50s in a neighborhood called Oak Cliff, where Stevie Ray Vaughan grew up coincidentally. But this motor court in the 1950s was not a fancy hotel, clearly. It was a motor court. Cut to the 1990s when the Old 97’s were doing our first photo shoot. Some of our first band photos were taken in the parking lot of the old Belmont motor court. Then 15 years later, investors came in, bought the Belmont Hotel, and it’s so beautiful now, Robin. It’s this really cool, hip, artsy hotel with a view of the Dallas skyline.And I was staying there one time and it hit me as I looked out of the window onto the parking lot where my band had shot photos specifically because of how terrible it looked back then, and now it was so beautiful. I just started thinking about the metaphor of it. If you don’t give up on something and if you put in the time and if you put in the work, you can take something that could easily be abandoned, like a band, like a marriage, and you can make it beautiful again. You can breathe life into it. And it just, it was really moving to me as just sort of an object lesson. And I was so surprised that my bandmates liked that song because it seemed like such a delicate little flower of a song, and they tend to go for the things that are more broad and muscular. But they did such a brilliant job of letting it breathe and letting it be this kind of beautiful, sweet moment in the middle of our album.
Developer Monte Anderson bought and renovated the hotel in 2004. He sold it to new owners in 2015, and it’s currently closed and under renovation again.