Thom Yorke ‘nearly walked off stage’ during Radiohead’s 1997 Glastonbury performance

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionHighlights of Radiohead’s performance at Glastonbury 1997

Thom Yorke says he nearly walked off stage during Radiohead’s headline performance at Glastonbury in 1997.

The show, which took place just two weeks after the release of OK Computer, was beset by technical problems.

During the encore, Yorke told the audience “all the speakers have been blowing up and stuff”, before thanking them for their patience.

Speaking to BBC 6 Music’s Matt Everitt, he revealed he had been on the verge of abandoning the performance.

“At one point I just went over to Ed [O’Brien, guitarist]. I tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘I’m off mate, see you later,'” he told Everitt.

“He turned around and went, ‘If you do, you’ll probably live the rest of your life regretting it.’

“I went, ‘Good point.'”

Image copyright Rex / Shutterstock
Image caption Radiohead in 1997, as they prepared to release OK Computer

Although the band were disappointed by the technical aspects of the show, fans and television viewers barely noticed. Q Magazine once named it the best gig of all time, while Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis lists it among his top five sets from the festival, calling the band’s performance “very, very moving”.

Speaking to 6 Music, Yorke admitted he had been against playing the show from the outset.

“I’d burnt myself out,” he said. “We had a meeting about what we were going to do for the shows and I was like, ‘I can’t do Glastonbury’.

“I just needed a break. And in fact I didn’t get one for another year and a bit, by which point I was pretty much catatonic.”

The full interview will be available on the BBC 6 Music website this Sunday, 11 June. The station will then broadcast the interview at 13:00 BST on Sunday, 25 June.

Image copyright Glastonbury festival
Image caption The band’s “angry bear” logo was painted onto the field in front of Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage last year, shortly before it was announced they were returning to headline the festival for a third time.

Radiohead return to headline the Pyramid Stage for a third time later this month, on the 20th anniversary of the release of OK Computer.

The band recently announced a limited edition box set of the album, which will contain copies of Yorke’s notebook from the era.

The singer said he had thought they were lost until recently, when they turned up in a box in the band’s office.

It was “fascinating” going through the pages, he said, “and making friends with whoever this nutter was”.

“Oh my God,” he laughed, describing “pages where [I thought], ‘Seriously, mate, you need to take a break'”.

‘This is my job’

Among the pages are “30 or 40 different versions of Paranoid Android”, the album’s ambitious, multi-faceted lead single.

Yorke described how he spent days “endlessly writing out and re-writing” the lyrics.

“I’d only change like five words. It was like a meditation,” he said.

“Underlying this, for me, was the sense that I didn’t have a real job, but this was work and my notebooks at the time were my point of focus – pulling everything together, whether it was ideas about arrangements, or observations or random drawings.

“It was like, ‘I have a job. This is my job’. Which is nuts, but that’s how I dealt with the fact… There was a bit of guilt involved.”

View the original article:

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email

In the same category are

How INXS Kick-started their career Image caption Kick was the band's international breakthrough albums Five albums into their career, INXS had clawed their way up from Australia's p...
Review: Will Gompertz on George Clooney’s Suburbicon ★★☆☆☆ Matt Damon's latest film opens with an in-movie advert selling the virtues of living the American dream in a post-war new town. It promises a nice h...
Mugabe and me: A personal history of growing up in Zimbabwe Image copyright AFP Image caption Robert Mugabe is seen as the father of the nation - Zimbabweans aged 37 or younger have known no other leader As...
Egypt attack: Fake Sinai photos on social media Image copyright @alaraby_ar Image caption This photo is actually three years old and not from Friday's attack How do you know if the photographs a...
Week in pictures: 18-24 November 2017 Our selection of some of the most striking news photographs taken around the world this week. Image copyright Susana Vera / Reuters Image caption Ro...
The early Christmas gift everyone’s buying Image copyright Marks&Spencer Image caption Marks and Spencer had a waiting list of more than 45,000 online customers for its 2017 calendar Ad...

Dont forget to “Like” us on Facebook

Need something to share, visit our sister site for the

‘News in the last 30 days”

in a clear concise package ….


If you are an artist or interested in art, visit our art website and read about todays artscene and browse some of our artist profiles


Comment on this story