Radiohead Said The Rock Hall Of Fame Feels More Like ‘Show Biz’ And An ‘American Thing’

Contributing Writer
06.08.17

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Radiohead are a band that declined to release a single because they thought people would like it too much. They’re a bunch of spotlight-averse Brits who just happen to play arenas full of folks who would rather die than be in their shoes. A quick listen to any of their songs gives off the feeling that something as self-aggrandizing as a Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony probably wouldn’t be this band’s bag. And it turns out that inkling is right.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, each member of the band ragged on the idea of being inducted into the Rock Hall in their own way. Drummer Phil Selway balked at the “25 years from your first album” requirement.

“It’s a bit like having the free bus pass in the UK when you reach a certain again,” he said. “Blimey. Have we got to that point? God knows [if we’ll go]. We’d have to sit down and talk about it, but it’s probably not at the top of my list of things to do. But who knows? I don’t know.”

Both Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien chalked it up as an American thing.

“Maybe it’s a cultural thing that I really don’t understand,” Greenwood said. “I mean, from the outside it looks like… it’s quite a self-regarding profession anyway. And anything that heightens that just makes me feel even more uncomfortable.”

“I think it might be a quintessential American thing,” O’Brien agreed. “Brits are not very good at slapping ourselves on the back. It seems very show-biz and I’m not very show-biz. We haven’t even been asked. I don’t want to be rude. But if you ask me what I’d rather be doing that night, I’d rather be sitting at home in front of the fire or going to a gig. I realized years ago that I didn’t like award ceremonies. You walk in there and you feel self-conscious. It’s just really uncomfortable.”

Thom Yorke declined to answer, worrying that he’d put his foot in his mouth. Leaving bassist Colin Greenwood to joke about performing at next year’s ceremony — the first year that the band would be eligible — all by his lonesome.

“I’d be grateful if we got in,” Colin said. “Look at the other people that have been inducted. I don’t know if everyone else will go though. It might be me just doing bass versions of everything like, ‘Come on, you know this one!’ I’d have to play the bass part to ‘Creep’ five times.”

In addition to their shaming of the Rock Hall, they revealed an old scheme with a current Hall of Famer that could have sent them down a very different career path. O’Brien said he briefly considered bringing in Dr. Dre to produce Kid A.

“It was sort of like a dream,” he said. “I kept on saying, ‘Oh I’d love to work with Dr. Dre.’ I knew it would likely be shouted down or laughed at. Also, it might have been be a little bit forced. But at the time, in my head, it made perfect sense. The problem would have been finding modus operandi because Dre obviously works in a certain way. Could he have handled a rock band? Who knows? But it came from being a fan of N.W.A and his productions around that time.”

Take a look at the whole interview over at Rolling Stone.

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