Radiohead is one of the most distinctive bands in the world of pop, rock, and jazz music. The band has been going for more than 35 years now since the band was formed in 1985. Radiohead has given the world some of the most iconic songs like Paranoid Android, Everything in Its Right Place, Street Spirit, How to Disappear Completely, and many more.
While the band carries a perfect sense of individuality among its members, one member stands out as more elusive and mysterious than the rest. Thom Yorke, full name Thomas Edward Yorke, is an English musician. He’s been with Radiohead for most of his adult life. However, he has built a successful career as a solo artist too. His solo debut album, The Eraser, came out in 2004 and was nominated for several awards as well.
Yorke has to be in front of flashy cameras and sizzling TV screens, owing to the popularity of his band’s music. But did you know that he is not fond of the dazzling lifestyle and chooses to remain shrouded in mystery instead? This is the reason why most people don’t know a lot about him. However, that is about to change as we have done some digging.
Keep reading to know some facts about Radiohead’s Thom Yorke that you might not have heard before.
If you are a Radiohead fan, you may be able to book Thom Yorke and Co. through their booking agent. According to some reports, Thom Yorke shares the same agent as Dua Lipa. Let’s find out more such hidden gems about the Radiohead singer. Dig in!
1. Thom Yorke’s Playlist
Have you ever wondered what the music sensation of Radiohead himself listens to on his iPod? There is quite a striking mixture of favorite artists, according to his Office Charts Playlists. It includes several tracks from Holden, Can, and Traxman. He also listens to Brighter Dayz by Dj Rashad and Ennio Morricone.
2. The Drooping Eyelid
If you have ever watched Yorke perform, you must have noticed his drooping eyelid. According to the lead singer, he was born with an eye defect where his left eyelid was completely shut. He stayed in the hospital for a long time dealing with this disability. Yorke had to undergo four to five operations where a muscle from his buttock was used to enable the eyelid to create the open and shut movement.
Yorke had been extremely self-conscious of his drooping eyelid throughout his younger years and said that he felt that was all anyone would notice about him.
3. Yorke Wrote “Creep” after Being Rejected
Thom Yorke wrote the famous song “Creep” after being rejected by a girl he loved back in his days at Exeter University. Another member of the band, Jonny Greenwood, said that the girl who rejected Thom showed up at one of the band’s concerts in Exeter. This incident left Yorke completely shaken and broken.
4. Thom Yorke’s First Recording was with Headless Chickens
Thom did his first recording before getting into the band, Radiohead. Before that, he DJed at another band called Headless Chickens. The band released a song called “I Don’t Want To Go To Woodstock.” This song came out in the summer of 1989 and was released by Exeter label, Hometown Atrocities.
5. Yorke Went through a Breakdown after “OK Computer”
In 1997, Radiohead’s “Ok Computer” was released. It turned out to be a chartbuster song for the band. The band jolted into the center of immense fame right after the song hit it out. There was a subsequent tour after the album was released, and that is when Yorke experienced a severe mental breakdown.
The breakdown was quite intense, and all Yorke wanted to do was escape his public persona. He even managed to dodge the security and soundcheck team once to hide in a train compartment. But that was all he could manage.
6. Yorke’s Partner for 23 Years Died of Cancer
Dr. Rachel Owen had been Thom Yorke’s partner for 23 years. They had two children, Noah and Agnes. Owen died of cancer in 2016, after battling it for a long time. However, Owen and Yorke were separated at that time. A statement that was issued after their split revealed that the separation was amicable.
7. Yorke’s Father Tried to Get Him into Boxing
In an interview, the ace singer revealed the occupation of his father. He said that his father was a boxer, a champion at college. He tried to get Yorke to take part in the sport as well. At his father’s insistence, Yorke tried his hand at boxing during the days of his boarding school but got beaten up every time.
This initial experience with boxing is what made Yorke get into a punk band before ditching it to form Radiohead.
Thom Yorke has had an accomplished career as an artist. Radiohead had sold about 30 million albums as of 2011. Yorke has been actively involved in doing work for climate change as well and has several awards to his name.
How many Yorke songs can you count by memory?