Everyone knows that Thom Yorke is passionate about climate change, that he purchased the entire Warp Records catalog after OK Computer, that he was born with his left eye fixed shut. But did you know that he can’t read musical notation? Did you know that he said he’d “start skanking dancehall style” if Radiohead were to split up? Did you know that today marks his 42nd birthday? If not, this list of 42 things you didn’t know about today’s birthday boy might very well shift your paradigm.
Also, because this past weekend marked the 10th anniversary of Kid A’s release date, we have included 10 things you didn’t know about Kid A. Who says important cultural transmissions need to be in paragraph form? Post comments if you have interesting facts to add!
1. Thom was born in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire (not Oxfordshire).
2. Thom’s old pager number was 1426148550. It appeared on Radiohead’s Airbag EP.
3. Thom was in a band called Headless Chickens. His first band with Colin Greenwood was called TNT.
4. Thom’s fear of transportation (cf. “Killer Cars,” “Stupid Car,” “Airbag,” the “Karma Police” video) derives from a car accident in 1987.
5. Thom has expressed regret over including “Electioneering” on OK Computer.
6. Thom’s brother Andy nicknamed him “Dodo.” He was known as “Salamander” in school.
7. Thom drank heavily when Radiohead first started out, to the point where he was occasionally unable to perform live.
8. In liner notes, Thom’s art contributions are credited to Tchock, Tchocky, and Dr. Tchock. During The Bends, his pseudonym was The White Chocolate Farm.
9. Amnesiac was dedicated to Thom’s son Noah, and his solo album The Eraser to his daughter Agnes.
10. Thom said he’d like to end his final concert with Neil Young’s “Fuckin’ Up.”