The Matrix 4 Trailer Song White Rabbit Has Cut Holes in Reality for Years

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Written by Grace Slick, “White Rabbit,” has been wresting reality from surrealistic pillows since it first came out. Dropped like a tab of acid during 1967’s Summer of Love, the song closed Jefferson Airplane’s set at Woodstock in 1969. Slick wrote it in late 1965 or early 1966, reportedly after listening to Miles Davis’ 1960 album, Sketches of Spain, for 24 hours straight during an acid trip. This inspired the Spanish march feel of Ravel’s “Bolero,” which propels the music.

“White Rabbit” song was on most copies of Jefferson Airplane’s 1967 album, Surrealistic Pillow. The album got its name from the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, who gets a credit as “musical and spiritual advisor.” It was released as a single and peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the group’s second hit single, along with “Somebody to Love,” which Slick had brought from her former band.

“White Rabbit” wasinitially released while she was still in the San Francisco raga-folk band the Great Society. Slick joined Jefferson Airplane to replace Signe Toly Anderson, who left the band after the birth of her child One of Grace.

“We are the people our parents warned us about,” Grace Slick promised audiences during shows. She wasn’t singing a children’s lullaby. “I always felt like a good-looking schoolteacher singing ‘White Rabbit,’” Slick said in the 2016 book Anatomy of a Song. “I’d sing the words slowly and precisely, so the people who needed to hear them wouldn’t miss the point. But they did. To this day, I don’t think most people realize the song was aimed at parents who drank and told their kids not to do drugs.”

“White Rabbit” is one of the defining songs of the counterculture. It celebrates the great divide. When Charlie Sheen’s Chris Taylor takes his first hit of pot in Oliver Stone’s Platoon, “White Rabbit” brings him out of the battle zone. It is the song Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro)  wants to die in Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It evokes stranger things in the first episode of Stranger Things, playing as Eleven flees a diner.

The Matrix 4 trailer flashes on the cover of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. There’s gonna be a lot of Alice in this movie. Just like the song, which features hookah smoking caterpillars, Red Queens, White Knights, and some kind of mushroom. The first chapter of Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel is called “Down the Rabbit-Hole.” The White Rabbit appears on page one, just as he cameoed as a woman’s tattoo in the original The Matrix in 1999. It’s good to see that tattoo got a reboot too here, literally on the lyric “white rabbit.”

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