Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien has reflected on the band’s historic Glastonbury ’97 set.
The group headlined Worthy Farm for the first – but definitely not the last – time, and their set sealed their Imperial phase.
A wonderful performance that focussed on (a then recently-released) ‘OK Computer’, it’s gone down in festival lore.
“Thom (Yorke) had a terrible time,” said the guitarist. “He couldn’t hear himself sing and it was really about literally getting through that gig in one piece. That’s what it felt like. Phil played a blinder that night and he sort of held it all together. And I think we came off stage and I think we thought we’d blown it.”
“It’s interesting to hear Stormzy talk about his appearance last year. Because he lost his monitors in his pack and apparently came off stage and he had the same thing. He was crying. He was upset. He thought he’d blown it. And we had exactly the same thing. It was only in the reviews afterwards, it was suddenly… I remember the paper on the Monday reading. It was like: Oh really? And then Michael Eavis came out and said it was his favourite Glastonbury moment ever.”
“And so yeah, it’s funny how there’s the reality of how we felt and the perception of it was totally different. It was almost like everything after that was a little bit of a let down.”
Radiohead have returned to headline Glastonbury, and it’s a place the band clearly hold dear to their hearts. Ed O’Brien comments:
“The intention and the heart of Glastonbury comes and that’s the key, I think. It’s not about making money and everybody who plays there knows you get paid half, if not less, than what you normally would.”
“The other thing is you’re at the mercy of the weather. I’ve had some of my best years when it’s muddy. It’s easier when it’s not muddy. When it’s sunny, it’s amazing. For me and my wife and my friends, we go every year, regardless of whether I’m involved musically or not. And it’s a time to reconnect with your fellow human beings. We’re inundated about how crap we are to one another. The news is full of how awful we are, but you come away and you go, human beings can also be incredibly kind and loving and fun with one another and creative, and that’s what you get there.”
Ed O’Brien’s new solo album ‘EOB’ is out now.
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