I'm working on a longer discussion of the nature of the whole book, sort of expanding your ideas J.I.B., but thought I throw these questions/ideas out for discussion.
Why aren't Ridcully & Ponder Stibbons affected by the music of Music With Rocks In (hereafter MWRI)? I have a theory or two but what do the rest of you think? They seem almost the only humans not affected.
I think that this book has left-over ideas that are used in different ways. For example, I am personally convinced that the dog described as being with the canting crew when DEATH joins them is Gaspode. The paragraph says:
"Foul Ole Ron made a small living by following people until they gave him money no to. He'd also got a dog, which added something to Foul Ole Ron's smell. It was a grayish brown terrier with a torn ear and vast patches of bare skin; it begged with an old hat in its remaining teeth, and since people will generally give to animals that which they'd withhold from humans, it added considerably to the earning power of the group."
If you compare that description with the physical description of Gaspode in the Companion, or almost any of the other books, the only significant difference is that the dog does not appear
to talk, based on this description.
Finally, I wonder if the motorcycle that the librarian constructs has any relation to the James Dean legend, that Dean's death by the "special car" was predicted by Alec Guinness
. Wiki reports "When Dean introduced himself to Alec Guinness outside a restaurant, he asked him to take a look at the Spyder. Guinness thought the car appeared 'sinister' and told Dean: 'If you get in that car, you will be found dead in it by this time next week.' This encounter took place on September 23, 1955, seven days before Dean's death." I associate (although others may not) Dean with Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run".