Monday, March 5, 2012

Musical Monday - Wheel in the Sky by Journey

The Musical Monday song for today is Wheel in the Sky by Journey. This is a song that pretty much has nothing at all directly to do with anything geeky. It doesn't really have geeky lyrics. It isn't on a geeky topic. It isn't sung by a geeky band. It wasn't used as a the theme song for a geeky movie or video game. There is nothing actually geeky about this song at all. So why is it being included as a Musical Monday song?

This is why
In 1981, Nicholas Correia wrote and directed what was for the time a fairly high budget fantasy adventure, which was clearly intended to be the pilot of a television series named The Archer: Fugitive from the Empire. The hero, Toran of the Hawk Clan, is the son of the murdered king of the plains nomads who has been framed for his father's death and gone on the run. He has to find the sorcerer La-sa-sa in order to clear his name and regain the throne all the while pursued by the dreaded snake warriors of the Drakon Empire. To aid him in his quest he has the magical Heartbow, which makes arrows explode when they are fired from it. For companions he picks up a sneaky fellow named Slant and a scantily clad woman named Estra, who is the daughter of a goddess and holds a grudge against La-sa-sa for unspecified crimes against her mother. The whole movie, with exploding arrows (and eventually, a corresponding evil glove that makes weapons used by its wielder explode as well), bad acting, cheesy dialogue, and a hackneyed plot, is pretty awful, even by the standards of the day - one has to remember that both Dragonslayer and Excalibur were released in the same year as this movie, and both were leaps and bounds better in pretty much every way possible. But it was fantasy, and for a D&D-playing 12 year old, it was the source of endless ideas to be ripped off and copied for campaign elements.

But why does The Archer result in Wheel in the Sky being featured as my Musical Monday selection? After all, the song has absolutely nothing to do with the movie. Because the plains nomads revere a deity named Oman who apparently has a wheel that represents it vicissitudes of fate, and one of the sayings that is used more than once in the movie is "Oman's Wheel will turn", meaning that no matter how good or bad things are right now, the current condition will not last forever, so be prepared for change, either good or ill. And so, because of Oman's Wheel, the song Wheel in the Sky has become permanently intertwined in my mind with the crappy 1980's fantasy movie The Archer: Fugitive from the Empire.

Previous Musical Monday: Sisters of the Moon by Fleetwood Mac
Subsequent Musical Monday: No Easy Way to Say This by The Doubleclicks

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