You can go to Vegas for a quickie marriage, but what if you want a quickie divorce? In the early ’70s, Haiti made it easy, allowing foreigners to divorce with hardly any restriction; the big sell was that only one member of the married party had to be present and request it.
For Haiti, this was a tourism ploy, as travel agents would send Americans looking for a quick and easy divorce to the island, where they would often spend some time on a resort. In many cases, these divorces were requested so that the person could immediately get remarried – a service Haiti also provided. So it was not uncommon for a married man to show up in Haiti with his mistress, get a divorce, and marry the new girl all in the course of a weekend.
Who played guitar on Haitian Divorce?
Steely Dan used a talkbox on this track, which is the same processor Black Sabbath used on “Iron Man” to create the robotic sounds. In “Haitian Divorce,” hired hand Dean Parks played the guitar, Walter Becker processed it though[sic] a talkbox to his specifications.
The song uses a moon motif, which Young has mentioned as being very important to him and having quasi-religious undertones. It is a tribute to his wife Pegi Young, and the two are dancing in a bar in the music video. Linda Ronstadt provides the backing vocals. According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the song is composed in the key of D Major with Young’s vocal range spanning from D3 to F#4.
Rolling Stone ranked “Harvest Moon” as the #37 all time Neil Young song. Allmusic’s Matthew Greenwald strongly praised the song, stating that the song epitomized the album and “the power of nature and music, as well as a feeling of celebrating lifetime love are the focal points here, and Young captures it all in his typically literate, artless style.” Greenwald praised the melody as “positively gorgeous, and it’s one that could have easily framed a heavier song.” “Classic Rock Review” called it an “absolute masterpiece of a title song” that “celebrates longevity in relationships and love affairs with a flawless melody backed by a perfect music arrangement.” They went on to say that “from the upfront acoustic riffing to the picked steel guitar, subtleties of ethereal sounds, soft brush strokes on the drums, and beautiful background vocals, this song captures the essence of beauty and romance as well any song ever.”
Dire Straits and Sting performing at Live Aid in front of 72,000 people in Wembley Stadium, London on the 13th July, 1985. The event was organised by Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for the Ethiopian famine disaster. Broadcast across the world via one of the largest satellite link-ups of all time, the concerts were seen by around 40% of the global population.