(Might be NSFW – Features Mermaid cartoon boobies, and hamster humping)
I’m going to see Radiohead live this Wednesday in Tampa. I know it’s a cliche to say this, but no one, absolutely no one, loves this band as much as I do. So I’m in a reflective mood about it, listening to the albums and trying to remember the first time I heard them. Like most people, the first song I heard from them was Creep, but it wasn’t a song that really stuck out. It wasn’t a song that made me go out and buy Pablo Honey for example. I think that was the case for a lot of people. For a while, Radiohead was thought of as this British one hit wonder that jumped too late on the Grunge bandwagon. It’s probably because there were so many songs like that in the early 90’s; self-loathing lyrics with soft/loud, chorus/verse Pixies influenced songs. You had Beck’s Loser and even Stone Temple Pilots had a song called Creep.
Unlike most people though, I don’t think that’s their best song, not even in their top 5 best for me, and people who think that’s their best song, are probably not real Radiohead fans. But the first song I remember being blown away by, having that “holy shit moment” when a piece of music gives you shivers down your spine, was the first time I saw and heard the video for Paranoid Android. It was 1997 and it was a time when MTV aired actual music videos. My memory is kind of foggy, but I think I saw it on the 120 Minutes program hosted by Matt Pinfield. One of the things that struck me about the video was a scene were the Angel in the helicopter saves the dude with the brown pants, while Yorke is angelically howling “Rain down, rain down on me.” I know the video is meant to be funny and absurd, but I found the imagery of an Angel in a helicopter saving your life and playing ping pong with you as something deeply profound
From that day on I was convinced, got OK Computer, and the rest is history.