San Francisco Chronicle, June 10, 1997,
Datebook Section, Page D-3, "Letters to Datebook"

Dear Editor,

About this Pink Floyd/Judy Garland deal: I'm addicted to watching the "Friends" program, but I find the theme song annoying (I think it's a Monkees cover). So when the music starts after the opening, I use the TV remote's Mute button and the CD remote's Pause/Play button to substitute the Velvet Underground song "Sister Ray" over the credits; it really helps. (It's best if you pre-pause the CD someplace in the first twelve minutes of the track, when there's still a lot of singing.)

There are always several parallels between the amusing visuals in the "Friends" credits and the words of "Sister Ray." (Examples: "Couldn't hit it sideways" when Rachel jumps on Ross's back; "Aims it at the sailor" as the drill bit appears by Chandler's head). Because I never do an exact synchronization, the matches are different each week, but they're usually intriguing.

If I leave the song on for the subsequent commercials, the effect continues, and usually accelerates, no matter what products are advertised.

Anyway, all this makes me think the effect would work if I used Pink Floyd with "Friends" (though I wouldn't enjoy it as much). I also think it would work with The Wizard of Oz and "Sister Ray."

I think it would work with "Oz" and the Floyd's "Dark Side" songs played in random order.

I think it would work with "Oz" and Syd Barrett's solo album, or with any record ever recorded.

I think it would work with the soundtrack from "Meet Me in St. Louis."

I think it would work with a Radio Shack police-band receiver set to "Scan" mode.

I think it would work with the recordings on the Chronicle's customer service phone line ("If your paper is wet, press 1").

I think if you looked hard enough, you could find arithmetically coded prophecies about earthquakes and assassinations, but let's leave that for later.

What it means, of course, is that in some fundamental way, all human expression is the same.

Thank you for your attention,

Angus MacDonald

the Velvet Underground webring
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