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Monday, May 02, 2011

"I went lookin' for Bin Laden aboard Air Force One": Neil Young's Mideast Vacation

"I went lookin' for Bin Laden aboard Air Force One"

Neil Young with Crazy Horse performed "Mideast Vacation" from 1987's Life at the Bridge School Benefit concert on Oct. 10, 2001. This marked Neil Young's first post 9-11 performance (note NYFD hat) at the zeitgeist of 2000's paranoia.

The original key lyric "I went lookin' for Khaddafi [Libya's Muammar Gaddafi] Aboard Air Force One" was changed for the concert to "I went lookin' for Bin Laden aboard Air Force One".

So where does today's news leave Freedom v. 2011?

Are we celebrating the end of the Global War on Terror?

Or just getting ready for a repackaging of terror and the politics of fear into a kinder and gentler machine gun hand?

Well, just another song in a long line of Neil Young prophecies, 1986's "Mideast Vacation" captured at the zeigeist of 1980's paranoia.

"I went lookin' for Bin Laden aboard Air Force One"
But I never did find him
And the C.I.A. said Son,
You'll never be a hero
......Your flyin' days are done
It's time for you to go home now
Stop sniffin' that smokin' gun."

~~Neil Young, "Mideast Vacation, 1987

Thanks Morton in Norway for the timely reminder...

it's an angry world indeed,


At 5/02/2011 04:49:00 PM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

Neil never did find Kadafi, and we STILL have not found Bin Laden, but nobody wants to hear that. Still, it is a dandy little "hooray for our side" moment...

A Friend Of Yours

At 5/02/2011 04:54:00 PM, Blogger Roger said...

Isn't Mideast Vacation from "Life," not "Landing on Water"?

At 5/02/2011 05:01:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@Roger - doh?! little frazzled. you are correct. thanks. updated.

At 5/02/2011 05:32:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

Ding Dong the wicked witch is dead.
I'm no advocate of killing, and while he may have deserved it, I would have preferred a tribunal hearing or trial. Tho, at what cost to capture the idiot.

The head may be gone, but the body still lives. Hate is everything you think it is. Sometimes I think our own actions, while noble in concept, may be no better when it is our fellow man than is the object of our destruction. I realize that you can't reason with someone who wills not to listen, and is so bent on an agenda that there is no compromise. But knowing that doesn't solve the issues.

At 5/02/2011 05:36:00 PM, Anonymous Mother Nature in the Chicken Coop said...

I'm still stunned by the "shot in the face" and dumped at sea.

It really is like that Twighlight Zone episode, "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street." Maybe the enemy in conquest is really the enemy from within?

Mr. Tweedy: [being attacked by chickens] Mrs Tweedy! The chickens are revolting!
Mrs. Tweedy: [not paying attention] Finally something we agree on.

At 5/02/2011 08:11:00 PM, Blogger HarryO said...

Say, who is playing piano on this song? I was there, but I don't remember.

At 5/02/2011 09:24:00 PM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

It's Crazy Horse -- so I imagine it's Poncho, no?

At 5/02/2011 09:51:00 PM, Blogger Sandy Horne said...

Was at a Lucinda Williams concert, towards the end when she told us that bin Laden had been killed and his body recovered. Strange vibe.


At 5/03/2011 09:09:00 AM, Blogger SONY said...

"I was Rambo in the disco"

One of my favorite Neil lyrics, and possibly a top 5 lyric of all time anywhere!

At 5/03/2011 01:50:00 PM, Anonymous Mother Nature waiting for the curtain to go up... said...

It's up there with my top 8 best of Neil.

At 5/03/2011 03:01:00 PM, Blogger MARIAN M. said...

Mother Nature...waiting for the curtain to go up:

Does this mean you're in Cincinatti for the show tonight?

I sure hope you are and that you have the greatest time ever!

Marian M.

P.S. As far as favorite lyrics are concerned, on my Top 10: "Got mashed potatoes, ain't got no T-bone."

At 5/03/2011 04:03:00 PM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

Using "slipstream" in a love song was pretty ingenious. Although he got me on the very first "Do I have to come right out and say it?" and it's been up hill since.

Thank you lovely, Marian. Yes, I'm waiting. The waiting is the hardest part. Although I can't say I'm "on the run" anymore because the track meet got cancelled due to field covered with water. It's a mess here in Cincinnati for a lot of homeowners due to all the rain. (Cut us some slack if we get slap happy in the dark.)

I actually have a few hours to spend with the kids, clean up the water coming in from the chimney, do the homework, order pizza, pick up the babysitters, and go find a parking spot.

I hate going downtown. I hate leaving my house. I hate leaving my children. But for Neil, only for Neil would I fly clear across the planet to hear him play his songs.

I guess I don't really care what he plays at this point. It's all one song. (But it would be nice to hear "Tulsa" or "Lady Wingshot" or "Interstate" or "Dead Man." LOL)

Maybe another time, another concert.

At 5/03/2011 05:34:00 PM, Blogger MARIAN M. said...

Mother Nature:

Of all the songs you could have mentioned..."Do I have To Come Right Out and Say It"...WOW!

That was my very first Neil song. I was 12 years old and bought it as a 45 at the record store all by myself on 05/20/67. To me that was ALWAYS the "A" side.

I was furious when I found out they wouldn't let him sing his own song! Come to think about it, I'm still pretty angry about that!

I played it night and day and day and night and drove my entire family crazy!

I think it's still one of THE most wonderful Neil songs.

One of my dreams is to hear Neil sing his song to me. I've been waiting and continue to wait....

Have the best time at your concert!!!

Marian M.


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