James Flint on Thu, 5 Jun 1997 23:39:06 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> This is what i call a conspiracy theory

>      Follow the Yellow Rock Road Floydian analysis of 'The Wizard of Oz'
>      Daily News Staff Writer
>      Call it Dark Side of the Rainbow. Classic rockers are buzzing about
>      the amazingly weird connections that leap off the screen when you
>      play Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" as the soundtrack to The
>      Wizard of Oz."
>      It sounds wacky, but there really is a bizarre synchronization
>      there. The lyrics and music join in cosmic synch with the action,
>      forming dozens upon dozens of startling coincidences the kind that
>      make you go "Oh wow, man" even if you haven't been near a bong in
>      20 years.
>      Consider these examples:
>      Floyd sings "the lunatic is on the grass" just as the Scarecrow
>      begins his floppy jig near a green lawn. The line "got to keep the
>      loonies on the path" comes just before Dorothy and the Scarecrow
>      start traipsing down the Yellow Brick Road.
>      When deejay George Taylor Morris at WZLX-FM in Boston first
>      mentioned the phenom on the air six weeks ago, he touched off a
>      frenzy.
>      "The phones just blew off the wall. It started on a Friday, and
>      that first weekend you couldn't get a copy of 'The Wizard of Oz'
>      anywhere in Boston," he said. "People were staying home to check it
>      out." It's fun, he said, because everyone knows the movie,and the
>      album which spent a record-busting 591 straight weeks on the
>      Billboard charts can be found in practically every record
>      collection.
>      Dave Herman at WNEW-FM in New York mentioned the buzz a few weeks
>      ago. The response more than 2,000 letters was the biggest ever in
>      the deejay's 25-year on-air career.
>      "It has been just unbelievable," said WNEW program director Mark
>      Chernoff. "I've never seen anything like this. "
>      The station plans to show the movie using the album as soundtrack
>      at a small private screening tomorrow.
>      Rock fans always have loved to speculate about hidden messages in
>      their favorite albums. But seeking connections between the beloved
>      1939 classic kid flick and the legendary 1973 acid-rock album
>      pushes he envelope of the music conspiracy genre.
>      Nobody from the publicity-shy band would comment, but Morris asked
>      keyboardist Richard Wright about it on the air last month. He
>      looked flummoxed and said he'd never heard of any intentional
>      connections between the movie and the album.
>      But the fans aren't convinced it's just a cosmic coincidence. "I'm
>      a musician myself and I know how hard it is just to write music,
>      let alone music choreographed to action," said drummer Alex Harm,
>      of Lowell, Mass., who put up one of the two Internet web pages
>      devoted to the synchroneities. "To make it match up so well, you'd
>      have to plan it."
>      Morris is convinced that ex-frontman Roger Waters planned the whole
>      thing without letting his fellow band members in on the secret.
>      "It's too close. It's just too close. Look at the song titles. Look
>      at the cover. There's something going on there," Morris said.
>      Here's how it works. You start the album at the exact moment when
>      the MGM lion finishes its third and last roar. It might take a few
>      times to get everything lined up just right. Then, just sit back
>      and watch. It'll blow your mind, man.
>      During "Breathe," Dorothy teeters along a fence to the lyric:
>      "balanced on the biggest wave." The Wicked Witch, in human form,
>      first appears on her bike at the same moment a burst of alarm bells
>      sounds on the album.
>      During "Time," Dorothy breaks into a trot to the line: "no one told
>      you when to run." When Dorothy leaves the fortuneteller to go back
>      to her farm, the album is playing: "home, home again."
>      Glinda, the cloyingly saccharine Good Witch of the North, appears
>      in her bubble just as the band sings: "Don't give me that do goody
>      goody bull ---t."
>      A few minutes later, the Good Witch confronts the Wicked Witch as
>      the band sings, "And who knows which is which" (or is that "witch
>      is witch"?).
>      The song "Brain Damage" starts about the same time as the Scarecrow
>      launches into "If I Only Had a Brain."
>      But it's not just the weird lyrical coincidences. Songs end when
>      scenes switch, and even the Munchkins' dancing is perfectly
>      choreographed to the song "Us and Them."
>      The phenomenon is at its most startling during the tornado scene,
>      when the wordless singing in "The Great Gig in the Sky" swells and
>      recedes in strikingly perfect time with the movie.
>      When Dorothy opens the door into Oz, the movie switches to rich
>      color and and that exact moment the album starts in with the
>      tinkling cash register sound effects from "Money."
>      Anyone who has ever nursed a hangover watchin MTV with the sound
>      off and the radio on can tell you how quick the brain is to turn
>      music into a soundtrack for pictures. But this is uncanny.
>      The real fanatics will point out that side one of the vinyl album
>      is the exact length of the black-and-white portion of the movie.
>      And then there's that iconic album cover, with its prism and
>      rainbow echoing the movie's famous black-and-white-into-color
>      switch not to mention Judy Garland's classic first song.
>      The real clincher, though, the moment where even the most
>      skeptical of cynics has to utter a small "whoa!," comes at the end
>      of the album, which tails off with the insistent sound of a beating
>      heart. What's happening on screen? Yep, you guessed it: Dorothy's
>      got her ear to the Tin Man's chest, listening for a heartbeat.
>      Maybe it's just a string of coincidences. Maybe the mind is just
>      playing some really cool tricks. Maybe some people just have
>      waaaay too much time on their hands. Or maybe, as Pink Floyd
>      sings to close out the album, everything under the sun really is
>      in tune.

Jim Flint

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