As we reported yesterday, Radiohead will be performing “15 Step” alongside the USC Marching Band tomorrow night for the Grammys. EW.com’s Pop Watch has a recap of how today’s rehearsal went. The photo above is from the same rehearsal.
When I walked in at 9 a.m., there were already tubas glinting under the shiny, American Idol-style metal gridwork of the space stage, the thunder of the rhythm section bouncing around like buckshot. They did a rough run-through with crew and directors clustered on stage, after which Yorke politely asked, “Can you make my voice sound a little less shiny? I like the idea that I’ve got to belt it out over these guys, you see.” Between takes, he beatboxed a bit into the mic; the band kids sat on the risers and mostly just grinned in disbelief. Yorke wandered down to the lip of the orchestra pit and asked a nearby stage manager, “Is it okay if I stand here?” Sure, said the guy, “but just so you know” — he gestured to the floor beneath Thom’s feet — “this is a wall that comes out of the ground.” Thom took a step back. “All right! Here we go! Standby!” said another stage manager, and the wall did indeed come up. The band members stirred with excitement. A stand-in who was not Gwyneth Paltrow began reading the intro off the teleprompter, and by the time she got to “Nominated tonight for Album of the Year…” the wall had lowered again to reveal Thom making a my-head-is-exploding gesture to Johnny, I assume because even Thom Yorke still gets jazzed about the Grammys. And then a snare drummer in the front row counted things off, the bass players raised their sticks, and the awesomeness began.
You can view more photos of Radiohead’s rehearsal here. The L.A. Times has additional coverage as well.
In other news, there’s an amazing exclusive interview with Thom Yorke for you to read here.