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Synch the Pink

A couple of years ago, Oprah Winfrey's O Magazine broke the news about the amazing synchronicities between the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz and the Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. The strange coincidences seemed to capture the imagination of DJs and fans everywhere. Suddenly pundits around the world were talking about this astounding confluence of light and sound. Cable networks even broadcast the film with Dark Side as a soundtrack.

Is this all just made-up?

Some readers may rightly question the likelihood that Pink Floyd would bother to synchronize their music to films. Some readers may very well question our theories. Some readers...

Well, what? You don't believe us? Are you calling us liars? You think we made this up and put it on the Internet just to fool people into believing us and inflating our sad little egos, wrecked from years of alcohol abuse and impotence?

No! No, I say! Though this may (or may not) be the case with the alcohol and the pee-pee problems, our motives are pure. We seek only to illuminate you, the unwashed, with the truth, the pure light that only the knowledge of seemingly pointless coincidences can bring to you.

They laughed -- LAUGHED -- when we told people that Skynyrd's "Free Bird" is the perfect soundtrack to Hair Down There: Your Changing Body! But we showed them! And then that whole debacle about The Beatles' White Album synchronizing perfectly with those home movies of my mother when she was a teenager. Ohhh yes!

Years of playing movies and Floyd albums together while ingesting huge amounts of marijuana and/or rum finally paid off when we (okay, me) spotted the synchronization between Dark Side and Oz. But did I get any credit for it? NOOO.

Bastards. I hate you all.

No, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that. You know how I feel about you, baby. Please, come back. I'm really sorry. I didn't mean it. You just make me so crazy sometimes, baby. Like that time you subscribed to Oprah Winfrey's G Magazine. C'mon... give me a kiss.

Another less-widely publicized Pink Floyd synch involves "Echoes", and the closing segment of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is possibly even more mind-blowing. Kubrick was a huge fan of the early Floyd. He had named one of the characters in 2001 "Floyd" and had given him a wild-eyed, wise-cracking, street-smart sidekick named "Pink." Also one of the gaffers who worked on the film had the middle name "Floyd." Kubrick's father once knew this one guy with the first name Roger and the guy really, really liked to drink water. Seriously.

As a hint to the fans that "Echoes" was meant to synch to Kubrick's film, they often performed the song in front of a surfing film called Crystal Voyager --as in the Voyager space probe that traveled to Jupiter. (Jupiter... as in the planet in "2001". Yeah... who's laughing now?) And during the "spacey" soundscape section of one such performance in Brussels, Roger reportedly (according to a 1972 article in Oprah Winfrey's R Magazine) clubbed a small defenseless monkey with a black obelisk, although this could be entirely unrelated as early Floyd shows often culminated in Roger bludgeoning small, defenseless animals and/or DJs to death with large objects.

Careful research shows that the Floyds have been doing this for years (that is, the synchronizing, not the clubbing to death of small animals. Pretty much.) The Floyds were always trying to get into the film industry. They did soundtracks for Zabriskie Point, More, La Vallee, and Gini: The Movie. They made forays into rock films such as Pompeii and The Wall. Rick himself auditioned for the part of Deep Throat in All the President's Men and was even offered the part, but he quit in disgust when he found out it was a political film.

One of the earliest Pink synchs goes all the way back to the album A Saucerful of Secrets, which was planned to synch with the legendary sci-fi classic Plan 9 From Outer Space. The sight of (supposedly) Bela Lugosi rising from the dead was to be accompanied by Syd's infamous line, "It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here/And I'm most obliged to you for making it clear that I'm not here." Devotees of movie trivia will know that Lugosi was actually dead, and this scene was filmed with a stand-in! Another creepy synch: "Another time, another day/A brother's way to leave" was to accompany the "aliens" final defeat. And the "another drop of gin?" line? Right when one of the characters was TAKING A DRINK! I KNOW!!! Creepy!

Even in recent years, the Floyds have not abandoned their interest in synchronizing their works to films. In an interview that appeared in Oprah Winfrey's L Magazine in 1974, David Gilmour listed Beyond the Valley of the Dolls as one of his favorite movies. It was therefore no surprise when fans discovered that A Momentary Lapse of Reason synchronizes with the film perfectly. Perfectly! Pretty much.

The film deals with a girl rock band that goes to Hollywood looking for a big break, but they quickly become caught up in the sordid debauchery of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll. In the film, the lead singer, Kelly is introduced to the sexy lesbian Roxanne, who beckons her to join in the fun as Gilmour sings, "Then drowned in desire, our souls on fire... I gave in to my decadence".

What follows is a series of steamy, tasteful and not-at-all exploitative lesbian love scenes between Roxanne, Kelly and her bandmates, two cheerleaders, the L.A. Rams defensive line, Oprah Winfrey, and a hooker dressed as a Catholic schoolgirl, all accompanied by the strains of songs like "Yet Another Movie", which passes quite nicely for the soundtrack of a soft core porn film. The music enhances the thematic elements of the hand-carved wooden dildo, the studded dog-collar, and the industrial-sized can of fruit cocktail in heavy syrup, which were, of course, hinted at in the album's artwork and the films used during the Momentary Lapse tour. Not to mention the album's cover art--beds lining the shore, which clearly represent Kelly's bawdy adventures on this trip to the coast. (Could they be any more obvious?!?)

Eerily, if you repeat the album at the moment it ends, it again synchs up with the second half of the film, with the entire second half of the album providing the soundtrack for the intense, spicy, and not-at-all exploitative extended 25-minute lesbian scene between Kelly, Roxanne, Zsa-Zsa Gabor and thirty-three post-op transsexuals from Amsterdam (one of whom worked as a literary critic in Oprah Winfrey's now-defunct B Magazine). Only the credits go without music, though, reportedly, Gilmour intended this portion of the film to be synched up to "Blue Light (Extended Dentist's Office Mix)".

"Magic Pee-Wee on his wheel chair..."

Meanwhile, the Roger was launching his newfound solo career by creating a rock soundtrack to the greatest film by the 80s' chief spokesman for peace and love--Pee Wee Herman. Pee Wee's Big Adventure was not only Herman's greatest commercial success, but it was also the compelling tale of a young boy (or, at least, a grown man dressed in a young boy's clothing... and lipstick) and his trip across America in search of happiness, making friends along the way. Roger's Radio KAOS was very similar in scope--a young boy travels far from his home and befriends a DJ in order to fool the world into thinking there was a nuclear holocaust. The culmination of the album is Billy's prank--a giant "made you look" to the entire world! At the end, Billy is even heard to deliver the typical Pee-Wee line, "I'm sorry... I'M NOT SORRY."

Perhaps the greatest Floyd synch of all, however, uses their greatest album, The Wall, which synchs perfectly to the comedy classic Weekend at Bernie's 2 (which, incidentally, features a stellar breakout performance by the newly discovered Oprah Winfrey in the role as Emma C. "Magazine" Jacobson, the effervescent and perky but deeply suicidal designer of the world's first four-pronged fork; utensil historians everywhere lauded Winfrey's performance as a "stunning achievement" and a "masterful portrayal, except for the annoying way she constantly foams up at the corners of her mouth while delivering the quirky but dour 'fork over my destiny, o damn you, cruel Fate!' soliloquy.") Although both the album and the film are masterpieces in their own rights, they work much better in combination, with the visuals enhancing the music, and vice versa. And even though this film was released 13 years after the album, the band still had the vision to create the perfect synchronization.

In "Another Brick in the Wall, part 1", the lyric "Hurt the children anyway they could" is timed to sync with Bernie getting hit in the crotch. And he gets hit in the crotch again moments later during the line "Thrash them within inches of their lives". In fact, the infamous disco beat of "Brick 2" matches perfectly with the rhythm of the famous testicle-bashing montage sequence coming up.

This theme of testicular trauma is perhaps the central metaphor in Weekend at Bernie's 2, and to the trained ear there are many, many hints at the importance of this theme to understanding The Wall. Pink is, after all, stifled by the women in his life--his mother, his wife, the groupie--as they symbolically emasculate him through word and deed. Timed perfectly, assaults on Bernie's nads take place on key lyrics such as "Mother will she break my heart?", "run for shelter", and "the pain lingers on". And perhaps the most savage crotch-beating takes place during the line "Mother do you think they'll try to break my balls?"

I think the answer is yes, Bernie. Yes indeed. Pink Floyd's greatest works synchronize with the world's greatest films. It's all true.

Pretty much.

Mike McInnis, Patrick Keller, and Rick Karhu are staff writers for Spare Bricks. And leave their pee-pee problems out of it.