“The members of Radiohead have been surprised to learn of the band’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2019,” the group said in a statement. “The band thanks the Hall of Fame voting body and extends congratulations to this year’s fellow inductees.” Also inducted in the Hall’s 2019 class are Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Def Leppard, The Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies.
The remainder of the statement is a brief overview of the group’s recording history, awards and honors, which is mostly written in a neutral tone except for a sentence that calls the group’s fourth album, “Kid A,” “the strangest #1 album in U.S. chart history,” and deems its 2007 outing “In Rainbows” “brilliant.”
Radiohead was not inducted in 2018, its first year of eligibility, perhaps partially because the group has long been wary of traditional music-industry celebrations and conventions — a documentary video of their 1997-98 “OK Computer” tour, which includes footage of dull interviews and endless meet-and-greets, is sarcastically titled “Meeting People Is Easy” — and has spoken with indifference of the Hall in the past. A rep for the group did not immediately respond to Variety‘s question about whether or not the group plans to attend the ceremony.
In a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone — which is essentially the house publication of the Rock Hall — the group spoke indifferently although humorously about the possibility of being inducted.
“It’s a bit like having the free bus pass in the UK when you reach a certain age,” said drummer Phil Selway. “Blimey. Have we got to that point? God knows [if we’ll attend]. We’d have to sit down and talk about it, but it’s probably not at the top of my list of things to do. But who knows? I don’t know.”
Guitarist/keyboardist Jonny Greenwood added, “I don’t care. Maybe it’s a cultural thing that I really don’t understand. I mean, from the outside it looks like … it’s quite a self-regarding profession anyway. And anything that heightens that just makes me feel even more uncomfortable.”
Guitarist Ed O’Brien said, “I don’t want to be rude about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because for a lot of people it means something, but culturally I don’t understand it. I think it might be a quintessential American thing. Brits are not very good at slapping ourselves on the back. It seems very show-biz and I’m not very show-biz. We haven’t even been asked. I don’t want to be rude. But if you ask me what I’d rather be doing that night, I’d rather be sitting at home in front of the fire or going to a gig.”
For his part, singer Thom Yorke added, “It wouldn’t be the first place … don’t ask me things like that. I always put my foot in my mouth.”
Alone in relative enthusiasm was bassist Colin Greenwood. “I’d be grateful if we got in,” he said. “Look at the other people that have been inducted. I don’t know if everyone else will go, though. It might be me just doing bass versions of everything like, ‘Come on, you know this one!’ I’d have to play the bass part to ‘Creep’ five times.”