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Alan Parsons Charity Project

submitted by Dave Titus of Mammoth Lakes, California

I've been a dedicated Pink Floyd fan for a long time. One of the coolest things I've come across regarding Pink Floyd is the Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard of OZ audio/video combo. It's truly a work of art to watch the classic Wizard of OZ while listening to the incredible album Dark Side of the Moon. My enjoyment of these individual masterpieces has increased ten-fold since discovering the combination. It's amazing to me that such a thing is even possible but Pink Floyd pulled it off brilliantly. And behind the scenes of the 1972 album Dark Side of the Moon was producer Alan Parsons of the the still touring Alan Parsons Project.

I had the pleasure of meeting Alan Parsons by chance at a Santa Barbara Television studio during the Unity Shoppe's Annual Telethon in 2006. The Alan Parsons Project was performing and my wife, my son and I were graciously invited to attend at the studio. We were excited to have a chance to meet Alan Parson especially since we had tickets to the benefit concert that night. Oddly enough, When the band showed up there was no fan fare except for the three of us. As some of the band members milled around out in front of the studio I got enough courage up to approach one of them, the drummer I later found out but never retained his name, and make small talk.

"Hi, are you with the Alan Parsons Project?" I said, knowing full well that he was.

"Yup, how's it going?" was the response.

"Man," I said, "I've always enjoyed your music. My favorite album is..." I was cut off in mid sentence.

"Let me guess" said the drummer, "I Robot."

"Yes." I said, taken aback by the disturbed look on his face. Then he said something that I can't remember but it was probably about how he's sick of the same old conversation, and he walked away.

Well, this experience kind of threw me off a bit. I felt embarrassed, a little confused, but most importantly I lost track of a very important task I had planned. That plan was to ask Alan Parsons himself if there was real truth behind the Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard of OZ phenomenon. You see there is a lot of controversy surrounding the connection and whether or not these two works of art really sync up when played together, and whether or not Pink Floyd did it intentionally. Supposedly band members have not fessed up and there are many sceptics.

To me it's obvious that it was intentional. How can you deny the fact that when properly aligned the song on Dark Side of the Moon titled "Great Gig in the sky" begins at the exact moment that the first whip of wind from Dorothy's tornado blows through the Kansas plains, then when Dorothy's house finally lands in OZ after being carried off by the tornado and the wind finally stops, The Great Gig in the Sky ends on the album, in perfect unison. Just one of the many wonderful moments of the full experience.

Anyway, this was the chance I had while we attended the Telethon performance that December in 2006; to ask Alan Parsons, The Dark Side of the Moon's GRAMMY winning record producer, if it was all true. The chance of a lifetime. Alan Parsons walked in, larger than life, a big man, must be about 6'3" and 270 lbs. He seemed personable enough to approach but at that moment I was star struck. I literally forgot what was going on and when he walked by I reached out my hand and said "hey Alan" and he grabbed it and said "Hi."

"Looking forward to your show tonight" I said.

"Thanks" he said. And that was it.

Only later when we watched the band play on live television from our bench seat at the studio did I realize that I had blown my one opportunity to see if I could set the record straight about the Pink Floyd Connection to the Wizard of OZ. Maybe I didn't really want an answer. Maybe just the thought that I could ask somebody involved who really knew was enough of a thrill and getting a real answer might take away from my enjoyment of something I treat myself to regularly. Maybe I'm just a groupie when it's all said and done. Whatever it all means it was a memorable experience and one that I'll never forget, but as long as there are sceptics that don't believe the Pink Floyd/Wizard of OZ connection I'll always wish I had asked Alan Parsons the Million dollar question.

Dave Titus


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