Track Five: Superstar/Loxycycle


ROUND ONE: 12 3456789
ROUND TWO: 12 3 45678 9

  • Track 5 is another massive one at 12:23, starting on the establishing shot of the hotel, and going throughout the entire tour of the hotel.
  • As this starts, a woman passes Ullman wearing a jersey that is most likely referencing Claude St. Louis of the Trois-Rivières Ducs. And again, One By One was directed by Claude Du Boc. Duc looks like Du Boc. Was St. Louis a superstar? Wendy will crack Jack’s skull with a Louisville slugger…
  • And of course, this shot introduces us to Danny’s “three-wheel mate”. And while the first song with singing seemed to be condemning the blind ambition of some drivers, this one will celebrate the awesome sophistication of its subject. So there’s good drivers and bad drivers is the point, I guess. Also, I never noticed before, but Danny’s vehicle is introduced only moments after the last time we see Jack drive. Every other shot of the yellow Beetle will show it stuck in place.
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  • The track is split into two parts: Superstar and Loxycycle. The singing in Superstar starts just as Ullman starts rubbing his hands. “Well well well well well well well well…” the pairing is pretty funny. You can read the lyrics here.
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  • “People point” Ullman breaks off from hand rubbing and points at Watson and the Torrance luggage. Jack will point in a second to indicate the direction of Danny.
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  • “Say he’s the one” I don’t want to repeat why, but this is another lyric that pairs well with my section called The Murder Awards. Danny wins the “race” of the movie by being the best. Cuz he’s a superstar.
  • “Oh, faster than a bullet/Hot from a gun” The award-winning Bomber Pilot is under the lamp here, a story about being a soldier in WWII. Also, you know, we shoot bullets to murder people. And this guy’s faster than that, even.
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  • “Well, who is he? Some mother’s son.” The “who is he?” part starts when he get all the close ups of those photos, one of which features some people standing around in what might be a presidential office. In any event, I’m very curious about the identities of these people. Just as the viewer might be curious about to what extent Tony has taken over Danny. In fact, it’s sort of unclear exactly when Danny returns to being Danny, but it’s some point between him looking terrified in the Suite 3 bathroom and him reacting to Hallorann’s murder. As for the “some mother’s son” line, Wendy reemerges from behind the pillar on “mother” where she’ll remain overlaying with the Tony/Danny form on the other side of the film, throughout the entire writing of REDRUM. I never noticed that before.
  • As Abu sings about the driver being “fast”, a “badass”, and “the top of his class”, the 5-year-old Danny Lloyd executes a very tricky physical performance. He does it very slowly, but he repeats 43 “redrum” sounds, in bursts of 11 per section of action (10 for the drawing of the word), and draws the word exactly as it’s shown in the novel, with the backward DR. I imagine this was the result of lengthy training for the child actor (or perhaps there was some sort of invisible tracery on the door), but he still does it like a badass. As for the forward action, Wendy and Ullman are gushing over the peerless majestic of the building, and all the illustrious guests it’s contained over the years.
  • The singing takes a break for a bit, returning when we see Danny in the games room with the line “People stare/Oh, yes he’s aware”. Putting aside the fact that Danny Lloyd does a commendable job of acting like there isn’t a giant film crew observing his every move, this line makes it sound like Danny already senses the Grady twins watching him. Also, that Gene Hoffman poster behind him, for the 1976 Olympics (possibly that’s what it is), might contain someone taking a photo off some sort of ski pole, which suggests Danny’s being watched even without the lyrics. Also, if you’ve read my section on what I call the Grady Twin Paintings, the one of those is hanging directly above both Dannys here, while the other reflects in the giant mirror. So, perhaps he’s “aware” of those paintings watching him, too.
  • In a second he’ll pass a pool table, where we can see that 42-points-worth of balls have been sunk, and in his first scene he had “42” on the arms of his baseball Bugs Bunny shirt. Here he’s wearing a Dayton Flyers jacket. Daytona Beach, Florida, is a mecca for speed racing, arguably one of the most famous in the world, and not far from Miami, where we’ll see Hallorann living later.
  • “Cuz he’s a superstar/Almost everywhere” This might seem like a bit of a stretch, but there’s two posters here advertising Steamboat, Colorado. Danny will later be seen wearing a sweater with Steamboat Willie himself, Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse is the most famous icon of the most famous film studio in the world. He’s a superstar almost everywhere.
  • “Doesn’t care about what she wears/Well, he knows how to share” There’s a neat thing here where the twins, who resemble the original Alice from Alice in Wonderland, are overlaying with a couple of Crime and Punishment. These two novels are theorized to be what I would call “mirrorform” novels. Disney, of course, altered her appearance for the 1951 film because he don’t care about what she wears. But does he know how to share?
  • Actually, on the “he knows how to share” line we’ve cut back to Danny seeing the twins, and in that moment he’s got the Kaiser mountains painting in his head. Kaiser comes from the word Caesar, men who famously did not know how to share.
  • Also, there’s a copy of Burda magazine seen beside the sleeping Wendy in this scene, which was last seen during the first shot of Jack entering the building. So it’s cool that we’d get a fashion mag during this line about a smooth operator not caring about his partner’s fashion choices.
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  • “Ain’t got no monkey on his back/Oh he’s back round the track/Oh, you should see him go” I’m struck by the way there’s two ovular images here: the Cattermole landscape and the Denver flood poster. Also, the girls turn and leave on “you should see him go”.
  • As for the “monkey on his back”, I’m sure what to make of that, but I’ve long thought of the Monarch poster with its resemblance to the minotaur and The Cowboy poster, with its inversion of those elements as suggesting the real difference between Jack and Danny. Danny doesn’t get ridden by the monkey, he rides the monkey.
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  • “Watch him go/Watch him go/Watch him go/Watch him go” Right after Danny watches some twins leave, Ullman is bid farewell by some ladies who resemble famous women seen elsewhere in the film (if they are not in fact those actual women). The first woman might be the star of Summer of ’42, Jennifer O’Neill, while the second might be Christine Brinkley, who was on the cover of the Glamour magazine seen at the beginning of this song when Jack was axing the entrance to Suite 3, which Ullman is here entering.
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  • Then we get the first scene of backward Dick driving the snowcat, and the transition to Loxycycle happens a second after pantry Jack appears, talking to Grady.
  • In the forward action, Superstar transitions to Loxycycle just before the fade from the tour of the labyrinth to the tour of the Gold Room, while Ullman is asking if they can both drive a car. They say yes, and he says the snowcats are just like cars and won’t take long to get the hang of. Now, I don’t know if there’s actually such a thing as a “loxycycle” (some sites show the track being called Loxcycle, but that doesn’t seem to be a word either–also, if you check the album itself by clicking on the image here, you’ll see that the back cover lists it as Loxycycle, while the face of the record itself lists it as Loxcycle), but it’s neat that the track would kick off in the moments between the last shot of Hallorann driving a snowcat and the first appearance of the Overlook’s.
  • Then again, I could be wrong about the transition, because there’s another major shift in the music that happens right as Hallorann’s opening the door to the storeroom, and all the music that comes between these two points doesn’t appear in One By One. From the end of the singing in Superstar to this new triumphant tone, all this music was possibly some jam that got left on the cutting room floor, or maybe it was part of some other edit of the film (a few versions were released, remember). In any case, if the later shift is the real start of Loxycycle (7:57 into the track, 70:03 into One By One, and 27:20 into the mirrorform Shining), then this still overlays with Wendy finding the dead snowcat. So this weird chunk of sonic jammery works to connect the introduction and destruction of the Overlook snowcat. As for the backward action, it’s all Jack talking to Grady, so that’s a pretty perfect division.
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  • There’s a slew of cool little tempo and groove shifts throughout the introduction of Hallorann, the kitchen and the storeroom, but you really have to see them to appreciate them. There’s also a cool moment at 27:31, when sleigh bells come in just as the snowy outdoors starts to show behind backward Wendy, echoing how that happened in the first track.
  • Loxycycle enters a mellower phase after the “How’d you like some eye scream?” bit, right as Ullman and the gang rejoin Wendy. This new mellow phase carries on till Hallorann says, “She called it shining” at which point there enters a rapid, mounting percussion that keeps building till the song’s over. At this same moment backward Jack taps his head, while pretending to be hurt so Wendy will let him out: his lame attempt at shining on her. This carries throughout Wendy’s locking him up, and ends as he’s being dragged across the floor. The forward action ends right after Dick asks if Tony’s ever shown Danny anything about the Overlook. Remember, this section started with the offer of Eye Scream while backward Wendy was finding the dead snowcat. And what Tony’s shown Danny is the bloodfall, the twins, and his own screaming face. So he has shown Danny his own version of an Eye Scream. But while Danny tries to dredge up the memory, the song shifts, and so does the conversation.
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Click here to continue to Track Six: Nürburgring