“Yes, you see, there’s no such thing as coincidence. There are no accidents in life. Everything that happens is the result of a calculated move that leads us to where we are.”
― J.M. Darhower, Sempre: Redemption
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I want to talk about a bald guy who is all hot air and no substance and still manages to deceive a lot of people. No I am not talking about the SONA. I am talking about the movie which spawned the expression “what’s behind the curtain”. All of you had heard all the alternate theories that the landing on the moon was faked , 9/11 was an inside job and that JFK was killed by a Call of Duty character.
I want to propose something that has been around for some time now. That the American Film Institute’s #6 movie of all time (The Wizard of Oz) is joined at the hip with longest charting record/ CD in the history of Billboard Magazine (Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon). Most urban legends you pretty much have to go on the word of the story teller, with this one the proof will play in front of your eyes.
The Wizard of Oz has been beloved around the world for decades as a book, movie, and a musical. A musical often used for elementary schools. The movie along with being the AFI’s #6 movie of all time is also their #1 fantasy of all time. The story itself brings up so many themes that resonate with all of us: disorientation, finding courage, heart and intellect, being bullied, having something taken away, being deceived by people who are not what they claim to be and the yearning to go home.
Dark Side Of The Moon was not only a record that was standard among audiophiles with all its innovative sound effects but it is a seamless album great playing and great songs. It holds the record in the Billboard charts for staying on their album chart for 736 consecutive weeks. Rival albums do not even come close. The songs themselves bring up so many themes that resonate with all of us: alienation, materialism, disenfranchisement, fear, chaos, perspective, erosion of sanity and the eventuality of mortality.
For some the mere thought of a link between these two iconic works of art is ridiculous, I might as well claim that the Queen of England is related to Kris Aquino. But to quote Lenny Kravitz ” the difference is why”. If writers can’t ask why then there will be no fun in writing and I presume reading.
It was November 1997 and I was in Los Angeles airport. I bought USA Today to pass the time while waiting for my flight and I came across an article claiming that Dark Side of the Moon was an alternate soundtrack to the Wizard of Oz. I can not remember why I did not save that article since I am not exactly known for throwing away a lot of irrelevant things but for a few months all I had was the memory of that article. It was only in the Spring of the following year did I finally get acquainted with this thing called the Internet.
So I now had access to Internet to look up what was supposed to happened and how to make it happen. What we did not have back then was any kind of streaming video the way we have now. You guys have it so easy, just click here. To see this play out for myself I had to go to the corner video store and rent out the VHS of Wizard of Oz. The Dark Side of the Moon CD I already owned for 12 years at that point. My vinyl version, I turned into a fully functional clock by buying an attachment. I synched the movie with the CD while I recorded the blended media with another VHS. What came out made the hair of a friend’s arm stand on end.
What can be denied is that song changes on the album are on cue with scene changes in the movie. This happens even after the CD repeats. The black and white portion of the movie ends as side one of the record ends (originally) and the color scenes begin as side 2 begins. There are too many scenes where the music and or lyrics coincide with what’s happening in the movie to list but here are few of my favorites:
- Claire Torry’s instrumental vocal (Great Gig in the Sky) is so perfectly timed with the duration that Dorothy’s house is being carried by the tornado. Even the part where Dorothy gets knocked out.
- Toto’s mouth in cue with the laughing man in On The Run
- The chimes of Time introducing the eventual Wicked Witch of the West as well as the ensuing dispute between Auntie Em and Miss Gulch timed with the percussion and other rhythm instruments.
- The ” Up Up Up, Down Down ” in Us & Them coinciding with the Witch going up and down the stairs .
- ” Down Down and Out ” in Us & Them coinciding with Glinda leaving/ disappearing
- The Cowardly Lion playing the sax solo of Money on the second play through of the album
- The Scarecrow twirling to “the lunatic is on the grass” from Brain Damage
- The Munchkins retreating to their flower camouflage to the lyrics ” Money get back”
- Marching Munchkins to the beat of bass guitar in Money with their arms.
- The Wicked Witch of the West hand forms a gun to the lyrics “said the man with the gun , there’s room for you inside”.
- Munchkins dancing to the guitar solo of Money.
- The chimes of Time introducing the balloon in the third play through of the album.
- The clinking change of Money introduces the new world of color.
Go ahead watch the whole thing and if you think I am just imagining it and want to call me nuts , I really don’t care. There are a lot of things that are timed even with three plays of the CD and the most obvious explanation is this was a perfect storm of coincidences. The one idea I have that suggests that this could never be on purpose is that back in the early seventies when Dark Side of the Moon was being recorded the SOP of playing music for audiophiles was two 22 minute sides of a vinyl record. Sure there was the cassette and the absolutely clunky 8 track. None of those had any sort of automated standardized repeat function that allowed the precise synchronization that would allow any of these coincidences to fall into place past the 19 minute mark. That is where Side A ends on the record and the cassette.
For the record (pardon the pun) both Nick Mason ( Pink Floyd drummer) and Alan Parsons (producer of Dark Side of the Moon) both deny any such manipulation of the album to suit the movie. Mason however brings up an interesting point. Who the hell figured out this would work? There is no definitive origin to this and that would be nice to know. Barring that though this is curious viewing if you are not familiar with both the album and the movie and mandatory viewing if you are familiar with either or both. If you agree with me that this was in all likelihood just a mother lode of coincidences coming together and not a choreographed piece then even that is fascinating. And to whoever did figure this out, THANK YOU!!!!!!
Documentary style video 45 minutes total playing time, time lapse over instrumentals with accompanying text explaining links with the actual lyrics. Link
Unabridged video two hours playing time. CD repeats three times. Dorothy watermark at the start eventually goes away. Link
Putting a very sharp needle into the balloon known as Pinoy Pride since 2012.