Divine Wind

Album: Cultösaurus Erectus (1980)


  • The September 11th attacks brought on a wave of songs dealing with the subject, often with hostility toward the attackers, but occasionally with a look at the roots of the problem.

    Twenty-two years earlier, there was another attack on the American way of life when the Iranian government took 52 US citizens hostage. There weren't many songs written about the crisis, but there was extreme anti-Iran sentiment in America. Blue Öyster Cult guitarist Buck Dharma took a different approach when he wrote this song dealing with the misguided patriotism of many Americans. Dharma explained in a 1980 interview with the NME: "It's not one of those bomb, bomb, bomb Iran songs. There is a song like that that's popular in the States. In a way it's more to do with America than Iran. I was annoyed when the hostages were taken but I could see how the Iranians would justify it. When you know everything that's bad in our country, the fact that we have the capacity to destroy, that we screw up Third World countries when we could be helping them economically, our greed with oil, the things expected as a right... maybe if the Iranians really think we're evil, the devil, then perhaps we are. We could be rushing headlong into Armageddon.

    The crux of the problem was that Iran disregarded diplomatic immunity and while no one doubts that people spy in embassies that's another frightening breakdown in worldwide convention. The UN is reduced to the old League of Nations, everyone trying for the hammerlock and no one's kidding each other anymore. Actually I've always thought aliens are the only answer, though if they're anything like us they won't necessarily be benevolent."

Comments: 3

  • Mike P. from OhioI agree with Philip from Illinois. Both times I saw them perform, they ramped up with "this is for the Eye-Ah-Tol-Lah Kho-Main-Nee! The Eye-A-Tol-La Ass-A-Ho-Lla..... Let's Send 'Em To HELL!" And Buck was wearing a rubber mask that looked like Khomenhi. No mixed signals, no mistaken intent. They were getting us fired up for the song. PERIOD!
  • Philip from IllinoisWhen BOC toured in support of Cultosaurus Erectus and performed this song, the on-stage intro comments were very anti-Iran, not the PC-revisionist pablum sludge that Buck embraces in this interview. The narrative of the song doesn’t support his comments.
  • Cj from Florida I always loved this song, but omg I thought Dharma was singing about Iran sucks for what they did. Always loved this band as a kid. Godzilla was awesome, but this sucks knowing I love a song basically blaming the USA is not cool guys and hell no l don’t fear the reaper.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Boz Scaggs

Boz ScaggsSongwriter Interviews

The "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" singer makes a habit of playing with the best in the business.

Justin Timberlake

Justin TimberlakeFact or Fiction

Was Justin the first to be Punk'd by Ashton Kutcher? Did Britney really blame him for her meltdown? Did his bandmates think he was gay?

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al YankovicFact or Fiction

Did Al play on a Beach Boys record? Did he have beef with George Lucas and Coolio? See if you can spot weird but true stories.

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star RidersSongwriter Interviews

Writing with Phil Lynott, Scott saw their ill-fated frontman move to a darker place in his life and lyrics.

Booker T. Jones

Booker T. JonesSongwriter Interviews

The Stax legend on how he cooked up "Green Onions," the first time he and Otis Redding saw hippies, and if he'll ever play a digital organ.

Director Mark Pellington ("Jeremy," "Best Of You")

Director Mark Pellington ("Jeremy," "Best Of You")Song Writing

Director Mark Pellington on Pearl Jam's "Jeremy," and music videos he made for U2, Jon Bon Jovi and Imagine Dragons.