At first, Dan Gable brushed off rumors that Pink Floyd deliberately synchronized its classic Dark Side of the Moon to The Wizard of Oz. For one thing, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and crew probably didn't have the technology back then to pull off the stunt.
But Gable's Pink Floyd tribute band, Any Colour You Like, started to experiment with the urban legend. "I went into it as a total skeptic, thinking, How many bong hits do you have to do before Dark Side and The Wizard of Oz link up?" asks Gable, the band's bassist.
For two years, Gable and his bandmates played the songs and watched the movie in their Barberton rehearsal hall, looking for "sync points." "If there were one, two, maybe three [synchronicities], you would say it was all a coincidence," offers Gable. "When there are 12 or 13, it exponentially becomes almost impossible to be such a coincidence." The band found 62.
Now Gable doesn't know what to think. Pink Floyd has denied the rumors. Still, among those not-so-accidental pairings: In "Us and Them," Gilmour sings "black" when the Wicked Witch of the West first appears on the screen. "And she's in full black, with green around her from the smoke," notes Gable. "Then [he sings] 'blue,' and it shifts over to Dorothy, who's in the blue dress. It's uncanny."
Any Colour's vocal imitations of Waters and Gilmour are also eerily similar. Gable handles all of Waters' leads; guitarist Dan Johnson sings Gilmour's parts. With the first 40 minutes of Oz unspooling on a super-huge screen behind them as they recreate Moon, they've sometimes been accused of lip-synching. Like the time in Buffalo, when two guys in the audience challenged them. "It so happened the sound guy was there, and he said, 'I just did a sound check. There's no lip-synching going on here.'
"But hey, I'll give them my bass and my mic," laughs Gable. "Have a good time. I'll sit back and watch anytime."