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Thom Yorke Is A Nice Guy

All this Radiohead fever, due to the new album, made me think about a memorable episode that happened a few years ago. In August 2008, the band was playing two sold out consecutive nights at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Bowl is quite a big place, with more than 17,000 seats.

The show had been exceptional, I remember the place being on fire with multicolor lights and multilayered sounds, giving me the impression there was way too much there to absorb at once: there are limits to what the brain can absorb at once, and this had definitively gone beyond my limits. It’s a little bit too far away in my memory to describe it with precision, but I know I saw many sonic fireworks that night, and the sound became a huge solid wall filling the large arena.

After the show, I hung around a little bit, checking the band merchandize, and I saw a group of people gathered along barriers in the left exit, visibly waiting for something. I decided to know more about it, and as expected, they were waiting hoping to get a glimpse at their heroes when they will be leaving the place.
I must say, I was quite skeptical, don’t these people leave in limos using underground tunnels to avoid the crowd? However, some of the Hollywood Bowl guards had let fans hope for the miracle, saying they were just there, and ready to exit. One of the female guards had candidly said to the fans she had never heard of Radiohead,…’Er,… they are quite big’ said politely a fan with a smile. I remember the girl next to me being so anxious, I thought she would not survive the night, and although the adrenaline level was high, most of the people were quietly waiting.
Drummer Phil Selway was the first one to show up, and he signed autographs on everything, while flashed by all the cameras at the same time. So there was hope! Shortly after, Colin Greenwood made an apparition, not too close though, announcing that Thom would come.
I don’t remember exactly when it happened but the girl next to me began to repeat ‘I’m gonna die-I’m gonna die’… not all fans were impressed to that degree, but still, Thom Yorke was expected like a semi-god.
And he came and he was very nice. He signed my ticket, with a polite ‘Hi’ while waving his hand. It was brief and calm, nobody was pushing or screaming, everyone was in awe.
One last thing, we had been told he didn’t want pictures, and we were warned before his arrival he would leave if someone dared to shoot one. Was it a diva request? I don’t know, but nobody tried.

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