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the right chords, but no one could hear a note

peer group thought. Yet at least some of their

I played... The euphemism they kept coming up

contemporaries at school held them in high

with was, ‘Well, these keyboards sound like you

regard. Rick Clark and Simon Cranshaw, two

can’t hear them but if you took them away, then

fellow Abingdonians interviewed by Jonathan

you’d notice they were missing.” This minimalist

Hale, claimed that Thom’s musical proficiency

tactic had positive effects. Finally, grudgingly,

impressed many students, and that he got a lot

Jonny was allowed a guest spot in the band —

of attention on campus because of it.

on harmonica.

James Lister Cheese, who came to Abingdon

With their final lineup nearly complete, On A

in the same year as Thom and Colin, told me

Friday began making occasional live appearanc-

much the same. Lister Cheese’s name is forever

es around town at parties and the like. Fearing

linked to Thom’s in the pages of The Abingdonian

parental disapproval of his activities, Thom

due to a joint interview they conducted with

would make up stories for his mum and dad

master Charles Parker in 1986 on the fascinating

whenever the band played anywhere, telling

subject of rewriting maths textbooks. Now an

them he was staying at a friend’s house. Colin

investment consultant in London, he confesses

later recalled one of those early gigs with much

that both he and all the Abingdon friends he’s

good humour: “We all wore black and played

kept in touch with over the years are ardent

very loud, because we thought that’s what you

Radiohead fans, owning all the band’s albums

had to do.”

and following their career with pride. “Thom

The band has always maintained that at

Yorke was always very much a part of the music

this time they were making music primarily

scene at the school,” he says. “Whether it was

for themselves and no one else. “It’s not like

mainstream or less so I don’t think really mat-

we wanted to go play in London and be noticed

tered. Everybody was aware of his talent, and

straight away,” Colin said. “We’ve never done

the fact that it was, and is, a very unique talent.

the music as paving the way to recognition or

Although it’s fair to say that most of the guys

fame.” Even though their audience consisted

in Radiohead were not part of the main school

mainly of Abingdon classmates, they professed

framework, there was no sense in which their

not to be incredibly concerned with what their

obvious talent was subjugated to fit in with the

42

Exit Music Radiohead_Story  

The reedition of Mac Randall's take on Radiohead's unnoficial biography, revised with all-new photography on the band's shows. A part of the...

Exit Music Radiohead_Story  

The reedition of Mac Randall's take on Radiohead's unnoficial biography, revised with all-new photography on the band's shows. A part of the...

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