We have finished working on OK Computer. After two years of recording, promoting and touring the album, it seems unsettling to be released from its grip.
The response that the album has received has been flattering, even if it has felt over-inflated at points. However, the most important thing for me has been the way that the five of us have worked together on OK Computer- I'm proud of that, we are becoming the kind of band I hoped for when we started.
Thank you to everyone who has listened to our music and come to see us play. Your interest us greatly appreciated. Anyway, we're taking the summer off to seek spiritual instruction in India, attend to the problems arising from multiple international residences, have a brief stint in re-hab, and then write the book about how we got through it all.
I don't think we've lost it.
Love Philip xxxx
Home again, home again, jiggady-jig. Bored already. I'm doing some music myself which is about as fifth as good as Radiohead, so I'll leave it as far from all of your ears as possible. It sounds like a lot of bleepy keyboards falling down the stairs, followed by a drum-kit or two.
Why? My record collection is increasingly infested with electronic music of the kind that was taken very seriously in the 70's. Dishevelled Professors in thick-rimmed specs and corduroy jackets using Moogs as "serious compositional media" for their music. But then, it dated instantly, I suppose, ("an infinite array of sounds"!) and the suspicious length of a typical track (15:00 or 5:00 exactly) suggest it's all a bit soulless.
And yet... one record especially interests me - "The Wild Bull" by Morton Subotnik. It holds my attention, where the others are just too rigid. It might just be his name, though....
Otherwise, it's waiting to play some music with the others, and waiting for Suzanne Charlton to predict windier weather.
It's almost exactly a year since we started playing the new songs from O.K. Computer. In some ways it was a bit arse about it because we played out biggest shows first, notably Dublin RDS and Glastonbury a week later. I fear some aspects of the ensuing year appeared a tad anticlimactic because of kicking off with these bowel-shatteringly fearful shows. However there was a lot f pleasure and wonder to be had; indeed, on more that one night I almost managed to tear myself away from the contemplation of Phil's shapely calves and FACED THE FRONT. Almost.
Playing the Tibetan Freedom Festival in June in New York was good. I got to see U2 play for the first time. Proper rock stars. They we're fantastic. We've had the privilege of playing with some fine bands this year: The 'fannies', Sparkly horse, Laika, D.J. Shadow, and Spiritualized. I hope you got to catch at least some of them, they were all wonderful and lovely people to boot. Time off. We're taking the summer off to relearn how to stay in one place for more than a week and to cook and to rekindle old friendships. It's our first long break since 1992, our first uninterrupted summer at home, and Blighty is lovely at this time of year. In fact, I have already planted some sweet peas in the garden, and look forward to seeing them blossom by September, hose-pipe ban permitting
My favourite book of the year was Bernhard Schrink's "the reader", a translation from the German; like Guibert's "To the Friend Who did Not Save My Life", it had a devastating ending. Music: I have bought a Nad 533 turntable, and am now trying to follow the giant footsteps of Jonny "Vinyl" Greenwood. When we're on tour, we can now both be spotted scouring the dusty record racks of local second-hand music shops. I also like "Seductive Barry" from the new Pulp album - that Chris Thomas, he's a bit good, isn't he?
The one sour note for me this year has been the ticket scalpers outside the gigs, selling tickets to our fans for vastly inflated prices. We are looking into ways of preventing this for the future, and will keep you informed about our developments.
Thanks again for your kind support. I'm off to bruch up on my French, so I'll leave you with "Heureux Vacances",
i am glad we have finished touring
(this is my third attempt at writing this)
i live in a new house by the sea, it is windswept and peaceful, i am left alone here.
(so) i am very lucky.
i am glad the ground has stopped shaking.
people got overexcited. we found it too difficult to take seriously all the ink that got wasted on ok computer, all the intelligent journalists scratching chins intelligently. we were ready to move on to the next one the day we finished! yet a year later we were still going.
we all need a holiday.
i will reply to some of your letters soon. i couldn't think of anything to say, that's no excuse i know. sorry.
everything after glastonbury was a weird aftermath which seemed to go on forever. that's not to say we didn't do some really good shows and didn't enjoy it. but...
some nights on tour i didn't have whatever was needed in me. we may not have fulfilled all your expectations. i am sorry for that. that is a shame. there's this Charlie Mingus track 'the clown' where the character beats himself up and falls over and discovers he gets huge cheers the more he beats himself up, until one day...
i am trying to shake the feeling of being robbed.
i must take a break (this is what everybody tells me!)
i hope i can see more clearly soon
i just bought some record decks and a mixer
i am reading this book by john pilger called 'hidden agendas'.
i want us to start all over again from scratch.
there have been a lot of concerned letters sent. you obviously know us better than we thought. it's cool to know people care, but there is nothing to worry about.
we are not about to give up or go off the rails.
after all it's just pop music, and this is only our third album. soon as the dust settles we can all move on.
thom x x x
p.s. we enclose some postcards that you might be interested in filling out and sending to the president of the united states. it is from milarepa, the organisation running the tibetan freedom concert in washington d.c. on june 13th and 14th, also there is a march on the 15th. if you can make it to the show or the march, it would be great. it could really change something for good. we will be playing so we'll see you there.
"they think it's all over"... well it's not quite. We are playing at the free tibet show in washington d.c on june 13. but that is the only thing we are doing band-wise in four months. already two weeks into that four months, i am finding it quite bizarre as we haven't really stopped for six and a half years. my body is telling me that i should either be preparing to go on tour again or going into the rehearsal studio, whereas it should be telling me to prepare for a summer at home and of course the summer's most important event, the world cup. I'm quite certain, however, that i will quickly turn into football pundit man. why is it that when you get a bunch of blokes watching football they always seem to feel the necessity to turn into football managers for the evening? you see them in all pubs and bars saying things like:
"what the hell is hoddle doing? he shouldn't start with sheringham, it's got to be owen every time up front alongside shearer".
"no mate you got it wrong. you start with the experience of sheringham then you introduce owen later when the opposition's legs are tired"
blokes are funny things in packs. i've already found myself telling anyone in the near vicinity who will listen as to why utd. did not win the league. i am trying very hard to be philosophical and objective but it's hard. "it's good for football" is my most used phrase of late.
before i end i would just really like to thank all those who came and saw us in the last year, and willed us on even when we weren't playing that well.... and thank you to all those and particularly tique for the birthday messages. twenty-one again! have a good summer/ winter.
love ed x
listening to: any bossa nova (particularly any jobim or tamba trio0
reading: anything with lots of pictures and few words
t.o.o.t.r.g : the milarepa organisation (organisers of the free tibet show)
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