You find us here at the near-debut of out US and indeed first OK COMPUTER album tour. Here is Minneapolis, which I'm sure will have been mentioned more than once, so I will only mention it once. There. Two good things I have recently purchased; Fred Goodman's 'The Mansion On The Hill', about America's music history and its collision and collusion with commerce: also Lee Scratch Perry's 'Arkology' 3-CD box set. Mighty! This tour is our first sold-out tour in America. We have been playing some beautiful old theatres and movie-houses. We have a big silver bus with a broken-in-half and washed-up boat on a beach airbrushed on the side.... Nice!
Chris, our fantastic driver, has just recovered from a 1,765 mile drive from Portland to "here" via Montana. Chris, just how did you feel after that? "Felt like ten pounds o' shit in a five pound bag."
Waste, Today has been a day off for us in Minneapolis - but I've nothing much to show for it. The city has been eaten by shopping malls - you trek through one, finally reaching a street, cross the road, and - it's another mall! Cool! So I tried out that Shopping-As-Pastime thing, but the bookshops were meagre, and I don't need anything else, tempting though The General Nutrition Center's 'Multi Ultra Plus Vitamins' looked. Ultra and Plus! Must be great! Cool! Needing a challenge, I bought a CD called 'The Japanese/American Noise Treaty', featuring Japan's 'Third Organ' playing their seminal "yagamania Part 6'. and America's 'Taint' playing their less seminal, but somehow more urinal, 'Gagging on Piss'. Sounds like the title, though.
Jonny, 6th August, 1997
If you read the previous copies of w.a.s.t.e., and have watched the development of Radiohead over the past five years, then you will no doubt be as bemused as us by the reception OK COMPUTER has received so far. On its week of release the album went to number one on the UK, Eire, Israel, and New Zealand. Also, the reviews for the record were extremely flattering, if not slightly puzzling at points. On the live front, we've played at some incredible events, including headline shows at the RDS in Dublin and then Glastonbury festival the following weekend.
However, all this pales into insignificance when compared with what has happened the other night. We were on a long bus journey from Portland to Minneapolis and decided to stop at a diner in Bismark, North Dakota. Parents were seen rushing their children inside and locking their shutters as our bus pulled into town. However, when out identity became known, people started to warm to us and eventually a small crowd gathered round us. For five dishevelled musicians and one long-suffering tour manager, this attention was very welcome. We hadn't realised how much impact we'd made, though, until we were just about to leave and we heard one girl's parting comment; "You're the most exciting thing to have happened in this town since Angus Young stopped here for a club sandwich two years ago."
With that we disappeared into the night, having left our mark on the little-known rock legend that is Bismark.
Love Philip XXX
dear sir or madame,
i dont know what to write. our world has turned upside down or maybe nothing has happened at all. when we finished ok computer we were so nervous. our world seems increasingly to be turning upside down now. we got to meet a lot of heroes. people say they like the record we have made. we are travelling round in a bus and i am trying to figure out whats happened and what to say. there was doing the tibetan freedom concert for milarepa. i think that was the most positive, emotional and mindbending experience we have ever had. there arent many people who can stand up and voice their concern over what the chinese government has done to tibet. it seems that a lot of people have vested interest in saying nothing. tibet stands against the genocide, cultural and spiritual destruction that china is hell bent on with little more than nonviolence, passive resistance and a leadership in exile. (hopefully you know all this...) and yet governments mumble and twiddle their thumbs and take the backhanders. its just the law governing western politcs pure blind greed- economics is an unquestionable sacred law above all humane considerations (is this just me), it is a justification for slave labour, genocide, environmental and spiritual destruction. everyone wants their cheap sneakers and bloody stupid keyrings and plasticware above all else, and are happy to leave china unchecked, happy to condone their blatant violation of human rights. after all how can we justify our cathedral-like shopping malls and rusting capitalist monoliths, other than finding the next oppressed population and get them on the payroll? "thank you tesco thankyou tesco." all our hands are dirty.
despite this there did seem, that weekend, an enormous almost awesome wave of hope as each band stood on stage, hope that perhaps something will change, soon, even if we were just a bunch of pop stars, it was an incredible privilege to be involved.
i will never forget the look on the tibetan monks faces as the day went on and the sun shone, such an incredible serenity and strength. i cried for ages, it was very overwhelming. i dont really care if this sounds crass or like one of those leaflets you get handed on the street.
i guess thats it, i hope that you are okay.
Much has obviously happened since out last 'postcards'; the album was released; Glastonbury poured, as did Dublin RDS; we played alongside and met musical heroes and heroines at the Free Tibet concert; United won the championship, but Eric retired; shook the hand of Evander Holyfield; the Labour Party finally returned to power, and what a heady night that was. Election night, those who live in the UK will know what I mean, a barmy May evening and even in Oxford there was a great atmosphere in the streets. Jonny came over and we watched the results coming in. Do you know that you can get edited highlights on a BBC video, a must if only to see David Mellor defeated and the ensuing slanging match between him and the late Jimmy Goldsmith. Even politics is about entertainment these days.
Thank you to those who came to the gigs and bought the album; to have our first number one album was a bit like winning the FA cup for me. So thank you for making that possible.
See you soon,
T.O.O.T.R.G : Eric Cantona The Great No. 7.
THE RADIOHEAD WORLD SERVICE FANZINE HAS UNFORTUNATELY BEEN DISCONTINUED. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY MORE ORDERS FOR IT. THANKS TO PAUL FOR ALL HIS WORK.
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