Paranoid Postcards from 1997. January-June.

January.

I spend a lot of time swapping emails and tapes with Roger, a guy who has made a Radiohead website in Canada. Rumours abound that the new album is finished, but it might not be out until June. More rumours that the band have been holed up in a big old house belonging to Jane Seymour.

February.

A letter from Julie at the management – It will take at least 3 months to mix, manufacture and market the record. Exit Music is “staggering” and likely to be on the album. I try compiling a complete gigography for Roger’s site.

March.

My friend and former flatmate JC is living in London and goes to see Drugstore play at ULU. After the gig she phones me, Thom showed up to sing a new song with Drugstore. She was so surprised she can’t remember what the song was. I’m laughing and crying so hysterically (because I’d nearly caught the bus down to go to the gig myself) that my new flatmates are worried about me. I go to see Bax Lurhman’s Romeo + Juliet at the cinema, Talk Show Host soundtracks a character’s angst and then at the end I have to strain to hear Exit Music over the credits, as the cinema is full of noisy teen Di Caprio fans. It has a crescendo that sounds like The Smiths’ Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want and it contains the line the killer line “ we hope that you choke.”

April.

The album, now entitled OK Computer, might be released early in Japan. The Canadians have picked up a tracklist – but where are Lift, I Promise, True Love Waits and Man–O-War? According to NME the working title was Zeros and Ones, after a Sadie Plant book… she wrote the Situationism tome that I was so into a while ago. Paranoid Android is 7 minutes long with choral arrangements. I’m frightened! There is a show in Dublin on June 21, K is keen to go and make a trip out of it.
The latest rumour is that Parlophone is going to make videos for all 12 songs and have a tape in the shops by Christmas.

May.

Labour win the election by a landslide. I keep missing Paranoid Android on the radio. Radiohead are in Q magazine. Thom’s got black hair and it’s really short. The Dublin gig is going to be huge. Sekiko sends me a tape of OK Computer, a copy of a Japanese promo, there’s a lot of hiss on it but I sit in the sun and listen on my headphones. It feels like I’m imagining it. I figure out the words to Let Down and No Surprises and feel a bit emotional. Unprompted, my brother points out the DJ Shadow references in Airbag. Paranoid Android still doesn’t quite feel like a Radiohead song. There is a poster for it across the road from my bedroom window with the lyrics in different sized type, “The Yuppies networking- ah, The panic the vomit, the panic the vomit.”

June.

The single goes into charts at number 3, kept off the top slot by girl band Eternal and Hanson’s MmmBop. The album gets a completely mental 10/10 review in the NME. I’m in Nottingham when OK Computer comes out on the 16th. I go into the city to marvel at the window displays and hunt for a cassette…