How Thom Yorke almost walked offstage during Radiohead's 1997 Glastonbury set

26 June 2020, 10:03 | Updated: 26 June 2020, 10:11

Thom Yorke performing with Radiohead at Glastonbury 1997
Thom Yorke performing with Radiohead at Glastonbury 1997. Picture: Mick Hutson/Redferns/Getty ImagesMick Hutson/Redferns/Getyt Images

Find out what Radiohead played at Glastonbury 1997 and how Thom Yorke nearly left the Pyramid Stage during the iconic set.

One of the all time greatest Glastonbury performances has to be Radiohead's Pyramid Stage headline set in 1997.

It was one of the muddiest years on record, but Thom Yorke led the band through a 20-song set that showcased their new album, OK Computer, released earlier that month.

However, despite the acclaim, Yorke admitted he nearly cut short Radiohead's iconic 1997 headline Glastonbury performance.

Speaking to the BBC in 2017, the frontman revealed: "At one point I just went over to Ed [O'Brien, guitarist]. I tapped him on the shoulder and said, 'I'm off mate, see you later.'

"He turned around and went, 'If you do, you'll probably live the rest of your life regretting it.'

"I went, 'Good point.'"

The show went on.

More: What does the title of Radiohead’s OK Computer mean?

Radiohead - Glastonbury 1997 - Creep

Radiohead at Glastonbury setlist, 28 June 1997

My Iron Lung
Planet Telex
Exit Music (For A Film)
The Bends
Nice Dream
Paranoid Android
Karma Police
Climbing Up The Walls
No Surprises
Talk Show Host
Fake Plastic Trees

The Tourist
High And Dry
Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Radiohead - Glastonbury 1997 - No Surprises

Why did Thom Yorke think about abandoning ship halfway through the gig?

"I'd burnt myself out" he recalled. "We had a meeting about what we were going to do for the shows and I was like, I can't do Glastonbury'.

"I just needed a break. And in fact I didn't get one for another year and a bit, by which point I was pretty much catatonic."

The OK Computer tour officially kicked off at the end of May in Portugal, but rumbled on for the best part of a year, with the final curtain falling at the Radio City Music Hall in New York on 18 April 1998.

Radiohead Paranoid Android Glastonbury 2017

To give you some idea of how rapid Radiohead's rise to fame was, 1997's headlining set was only their second appearance at Glastonbury.

They'd first graced Worthy Farm in 1994 on their Pablo Honey tour, when Radiohead played on the NME Stage (now the John Peel Stage), slotted in between Inspiral Carpets and Blur.

Since then, Radiohead have topped the bill on the Pryamid Stage in 1997, 2003 and 2017.


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