The following is a guest post by Neil Young enthusiast Thrasher, of Thrasher’s Blog, in which he explores a tune from Young’s critically and commercially ignored ’80s decade.

Neil Young has always had the touch with a clever turn of a phrase.
When Satisfied ’75 asked me to do a guest post on obscure 1980’s Neil Young tunes here on An Aquarium Drunkard, it really was an opportunity to explore a considerable — and overlooked — chapter in the Neil Young discography.
The selection of “Mideast Vacation” was based more on the lyrics’ incredible foreshadowing of world events than on the music itself. Although, Neil’s howling feedback crescendos with Crazy Horse to apounding synth backbeat are worth the download bandwidth alone.
This version of “Mideast Vacation” was recorded at Cow Palace in San Francisco, California during the Rusted Out Garage Tour with Crazy Horse on November 21, 1986. The concert was the last stop on the tour and was broadcast as a Pay-Per-View event on cable.
Lots of clever turns of a phrase in the lyrics. My favorite is the lineabout “Stop sniffin’ that smokin’ gun” in the context of fighting terrorism. Unbelievably, as we all recall, as the U.S. ramped up it’s saber rattling in the runup to invading Iraq in 2003, National SecurityAdvisor Condoleezza Rice uttered the famous line regarding weapons of massdestruction that “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” In retrospect, it seems as if Condi should’ve stopped sniffin’ that smokin’ gun.
In the second verse, if you replace the name of Libyan dictator Muammar Khaddafi with Sadam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden, you have an eerily prescient prediction of events that took place almost 20 years later.
The song would later appear on the 1987 album Life…Here are the lyrics to “MideastVacation” from Human Highway.
Neil Young – Mideast Vacation
Click these for more on Neil Young’s music and the artists that he influenced.

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