Welcome to the latest exciting instalment of Radiohead's quarterly information service! This quarter, Colin will be taking you through all the bowel-shattering events that have 'rocked' our recent world: the My Iron Lung UK tour, dates in Thailand, Mexico, and acoustic shows in America. Also, we have details of our new album, 'The Bends', and provisional dates for our March '95 tour.
Right! After the summer jaunts to various festivals, it was back to heads down and some serious studying at the Royal Academy of Rock, as we released 'My Iron Lung' on September 26th. Our first release for some time, it reached 24 in the charts, and we have sold 30,000 copies to date. Thanks to you who bought it, and thanks to those of you who came to see us jump up and down on stage, (except me), on the UK tour. It was our first headline tour since May 1993 and a fab time was had by all. Of course, no WASTE newsletter would be without the traditional 'Phil Selway - who he?' anecdote, and this tour's corker was said drummer being mistaken in Glasgow for Thom's personal bodyguard. The whole band made a bid for anonymity at the Sheffield gig when the smoke-machine got stuck, and a thick white fog enveloped the stage. Our lighting designer Andi Watson, who has worked with The Mission and Sisters of Mercy, was obviously having a bit of a Goth flashback.
Two days after a great final show at the London Shepherds Bush Empire, we flew out to play a couple of shows in Bangkok to around 4,000 mad Thai fans. The audience already knew all the words to 'My Iron Lung', as well as all the usual golden oldies.... A visit was, of course, paid to the legendary red light district of Patpong. We decided not to take up the offers of watching bizarre sex shows, and walked past a row of bars, where one 'covers' band was playing Creep, and another Stop Whispering.
On 17th October, just one day after our retum from Thailand, we flew out to Mexico City for what turned out to be a tour quite unlike any we've ever done. Braving unsafe venues with technical nightmares and squadrons of mosquitoes, Thom led the band in a series of great gigs; we were the first English band to do any kind of Mexican tour. When he wasn't busy videoing images for the new album's artwork, Thom spent his time writing some brilliant new songs and grappling with the problem of being a vegetarian in a very 'meaty' country. Jonny was DJ on a Mexican radio show spinning Blur, Suede and the Smiths on the 'wheels of steel'. Misinformed, the Spanish phrase rd learnt to wish the listeners a good afternoon actually meant "how's it hanging mother fuckers". We left the radio station shortly after...We also did two packed- out record store signings, and 'My Iron Lung' entered the charts at number 11. Aside from the gigs, we spent time doing a little sightseeing. One of the most impressive places we visited were the Pyramids Of The Sun And The Moon, just outside Mexico city. Thom scaled the heights with his camcorder, whilst Jonny's obsession with Clint Eastwood led him to buying a poncho, wearing it and asking people how 'lucky' they felt.
At the end of the tour, myself, Thom, Jonny and Ed flew to Miami, leaving Phil and the crew to return to England. As their plane was about to take off from Mexico City airport, two women on board started freaking out, saying that something bad was going to happen to the plane, and insisted on getting off. After an hour's delay, the plane took off....Four hours later, over America, the captain announced that there was a fire on board, shut down two of the four engines, and made an emergency landing in Boston. When our guitar tech Duncan Swift was woken and told "We've lost two engines!", he merely sighed, remarked "How careless!", and returned to his slumbers. When he next woke, the plane was on a Boston runway surrounded by firetrucks and ambulances. In fact, there was no fire: a batch of badly packed vegetables in the hold had given off fumes which set off the alarms.
Meanwhile, back in Miami.. Thom and Jonny appeared on 'MTV Latino' performing 'My Iron Lung' and 'Street Spirit' from the forthcoming album. The performance and interview was broadcast to South America, and was so successful that it was re-edited for the Portuguese speaking MTV Brazil. Next stop was New York with an acoustic show at a small club called The Mercury Lounge. It was the first time that Thom and Jonny had played our songs to a live audience in this way: Thom thrashing an acoustic, and Jonny playing furiously on his electric. The new songs were brilliantly received, with one lone request for Creep being shouted down by the rest of the crowd. Two days later in Los Angeles, Thom and Jonny played an even better set, despite the constant chattering of the 'music biz' audience. Meanwhile, Ed and I were despatched to a radio show called 'Lovelines' on the alternative radio station KROQ. A two hour show, where people with 'emotional problems' ring in to receive advice from a doctor, a DJ, and of course, Ed and myself The queries ranged from drug addiction to sexual identity crises. The doctor's sage advice was drowned out by myself and Ed being very British and shouting "Look, just pull yourself together, all right, and have a cold shower whilst you're at it!" Ed delivered some heartfelt impotence advice whilst I tackled the problem of gracefully turning down the advances of beautiful women. Back again three weeks later Jonny and Thom did more acoustic shows in New York, Philadelphia & Seattle. Thom got drunk in New York with the head of the American record company, although he doesn't remember very much. In Seattle a boot was thrown at Thom's guitar; a painful silence ensued until they resumed to great applause. The offender would have thought twice had Jonny been wearing his poncho....
After America it was back to blighty for some hard earned rest and Yuletide cheer to prepare ourselves for 1995 and promoting our new album, The Bends which will be released world-wide in March (UK:13th). You may recognise some of the songs on the album from our recent gigs...hope you like it!
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