THOM E. YORKE "BIOGRAPHY"

(Radiohead transform Emotional Turmoil Into Kinetic Pop by John Wiederhorn Rolling Stone, 7 september 1995)

Thomas Edward Yorke was born in Wellingborough, Northhamptonshire in the UK on October 7th in 1968. His father sold chemical engineering equipment, a job that took the family north to a remote part of Scotland when Thom was still a toddler. His father had been a champion boxer at university and tried to encourage his skinny, delicate-looking son to have a go. "One of the first things he ever bought me was a pair of boxing-gloves," remembers the 5’5" singer. "He used to try to teach me to box, but whenever he hit me I’d fall flat on my ass. (Awwww..) (Thom does insist though that he in fact is taller than 5’5".."at least an inch higher", he said..since Ed O’ Brien’s father, who’s a doctor treats his back....).Yorke’s obsession with medical imagery in Radiohead songs is rooted in his childhood. "when I was born my left eye was completely paralysed. My eyelid was permanently shut and they thought it would be like that for the rest of y life. Then some specialist bloke realised he could graft a muscle in, like a bionic eye. So I had 5 major operations between the age of nought to 6. They fucked up the last one and I went half blind. I can kind of see. I can judge when I hit smth but that’s about it. They made me wear this eye patch on my eye for a year, saying, "Oh, well, it’s just got lazy through all the operations, ‘which was crap because they damaged it. The first operation I had, I was just learning to speak, and apparently I said, ‘what do I got?’ I didn’t know. I woke up and I had this huge thing on my eye, and according to my parents I just doubled and started crying.

The singers problem’s got worse when he was seven and his family moved to Oxford, where he attended the Standlake Church of England School. This self-confessed "strange child" was older and more self-conscious, and now had to face new classmates. "The only thing affected me really badly was walking around with a patch on my eye for a year, with everybody taking the piss out of me. I was starting to become more self-conscious and that was about the worst that anybody could possibly have done, esp. as my family moved twice in six months. It meant I had to face a new classroom, where, unlike my old school friends they weren’t used to the problems I was having with my eye. When he started at his second school in a few months, Abingdon Boys School, a private school, his new mates gave him the nickname "Salamander". I didn’t like it. I got into a fight with the guy who originated the name but that didn’t stop it. I t was a very malicious school and everyone had a very malicious nicknames, so Salamander was par for the course.
Yorke’s interest in music was initially fuelled by long hours listening to the radio - his only form of escape. When he was eight his mother encouraged growing enthusiasm for music by giving him a small Spanish guitar.(Bless her..) Even if all he could strum was ‘Kumbaya’, he still had stars in his eyes. "First of all", he remembers, "I wanted to be Brian May. I went into guitar lesson when I was eight and said ,’ I wanna be a pop star’.. I’d never really wanted to do anything else. Before that it was Lego!" By the age of 10 he formed his first band.
Thom met his band mates at that particular school in Abingdon. The first to be recruited for his band was Ed (ward John) O’ Brien, because he looked like Morissey, if you squinted.

Next to join with his bass was Colin (Charles) Greenwood. He and Thom were in the same grade and they used to end up at the same parties playing around with the stereo. Phil (ip James) Selway joined the band after their drum machine broke down. The last to join ‘On A Friday’ was Colin’s younger brother Jonny ( that’s for Jonathan Richard Guy) Greenwood, who learned guitar and song writing with Thom’s ‘equally talented brother’ (quote form Jonny from spring ’95) Andrew (2nd name unknown ) Yorke, who has recently signed with his band ‘The Unbelievable Truth’ to a major label called ‘Virgin’. (Their 1st single was recently released and is called ‘Building’..very good for a debut..the single is with limited 1000 copies very rare and if you should ever stumble over it in a record store..i’d say you buy it..it’s really good..). On A Friday signed to the major label ‘Parlophone’ around 1990/91 and changed their name to ‘Radiohead’..after the least annoying Talking Heads song.

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