Thursday, April 02, 2009


It was winter term my freshman year at Franklin College. Just another uneventful night of sitting around with my fraternity brothers while watching basketball games in the upstairs chapter room. Then one of the guys came up the stairs with copies of The Wizard Of Oz in one hand and Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon in the other.

I suspect it was Jason Scheele who was the culprit, if I had to use deductive reasoning. He's the only one off the top of my head that I know was from the Ft. Wayne area. That fall, there was an article in one of the newspapers up there that was the first on record to detail the phenomenon I'm about to describe. I had not read the article so I had no idea what was going on when the CD was cued up and they pressed play when the MGM lion roared for the third time.

Now I must preface this by saying that the comsumption of five or six beers (none for me, thank you, but well beyond that for some of my fellow Tekes) has a great way of making you more susceptible, more receptive to seeing things that may or may not have happened over the following hour. But even in my stone-cold sober state, there were a number of things during "Dark Side Of The Rainbow" that flipped my lid.

There are over a hundred documented places where you can see eerie things when the movie and music are synched up, most of which fall into two main categories. One is that the lyrics of the song seem to be describing events taking place on the screen. The other is places that the mood or tempo of the music provide an impressive soundtrack for the movie. In particular, there were a handful that, when seen in the context of the first run-through of the CD, were pretty mind-blowing.

The best symbolically is when the house lands in Oz and Dorothy is making her way to the door to see what's outside. The soundtrack falls silent as she tentatively walks to the door, then as she steps off the front porch (and the film transitions from black and white to color) the familiar slot machine sound of "Money" kicks in.

The eeriest for me is the intensity of the shrieking of the female singer in "The Great Gig In The Sky" as the storm picks up and the tornado starts sweeping onto the farm, then fades off as Dorothy rolls over onto the bed after being knocked out (this leads into the scene mentioned in the paragraph above).

The most jarring comes with the Wicked Witch makes her first appearance (while still in Kansas), riding along the dirt road on her bicycle as she comes to the farm to take Toto away.

One of the more subtle coincidences comes as the album ends for the first time, with the rhythmic sound approximating a heartbeat while the gang are meeting the Tin Man ("if I only had a heart") for the first time.

Taken out of context, these clips probably seem rather random. Which watched in the flow of the movie and album, it's well worth taking a few hours out of your busy schedule. BTW...if you set your CD to repeat, you can make it all the way through the movie and see more incidents. Personally, I think one time through the CD gives you a good enough idea.

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