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Jean Paul Bavard | interview | Radiohead | Thom Yorke | Dan Davis | fiction | Lollipop
Jean-Paul Bavard's Tête a Radio-tête
An "interview" with Radiohead's Thom Yorke
by Dan Davis
illustration by Ans
"Please to transcriptize these tape records of interview of the famous Tomas York of the Radio Head. Many truly incroyable revelations and insights discussed. I leave to your hands, as I must return to the Continent immediately due to misunderstandings with legal authorities and immigrations personages most belligerente et mule-headed. Merci. Best, JPB." The tape, oddly labeled "New Unrel. Demos," begins with approximately 30 seconds of intensely beautiful instrumental guitar-based rock music, followed by a loud clicking noise, and then what is apparently the voice of Radiohead's Thom Yorke, beginning in mid-sentence. The following is as complete and accurate a rendering of the tape as is possible.
Yorke: ...so I wanted to get this to you as soon as possible. I think it's our best yet, but I wanted an outside opinion that I really respect, so I brought it over here. I think that... hey, are you okay? Jean-Paul? Are you all right?
JPB: (groaning sounds) Too... weak to take... notes, must have permission to record... interview...
Yorke: Um, sure, right, whatever. You know, you don't look well. Are you okay? (Long pause) Well, I've got to get back to the studio. Just take a listen and tell me what you think. But I need that DAT back, it's the only copy we've got. I didn't bother to even make a backup. I just wanted to get some feedback as soon as possible, so I ran right over here.
Yorke: Erm, right. Well, like I say, I need it back... But take a listen and let me know what you think, right? Thanks. I've got to run.
JPB: (unintelligible mumbling)
A 20-minute segment of silence follows, interspersed with moans, whimpering, and what sounds like vomiting noises (as well as occasional mutterings in French and English.)
JPB: Monsieur Yorke? Halloo? Are you still... present here in my posh... hotel suite? I must apologize for my behavior, but alas I am... taken quite ill, as you may have noticed. It has seized hold of me quite the sudden, as I was in the finest of fettle last evening, which I spent... in the magnificent company of many fabulous... celebrities, including the famous thespian Robert Downey, Athletic Sports Superstar Darryl Strawberry, and the fabulous rapmusique combo known as... The Cypress Hill. (Long pause) Suddenly, this very morning, I find myself un peu... below of the weather, as you say. Pay it no mind, it makes not a difference, I shall persevere with our interview and proceed with the utmost of professionalisme et uncomplaining selfless... courage. (Long groan)
Ah, padonez moi. I am very weak but will continue to bravely soldier onward despite the overwhelming agony which I now experience. Now then... there are so many topics of vast import which we must discuss in this groundbreaking exclusive interview. There is, of course, the music, which is surely of some significance. Music has truly been une... important segment of... Western culture for literally... decades now. The Radio Head Band, of which you most certainly are a part, has unquestionably been a musically performing and recording act, so the connection is obvious. This fact is beyond all refutation. No one may deny this! No one! I defy anyone to deny this! It cannot be done! (Approximately 15 seconds of unintelligible shouting and gurgling noises)
Pardonez moi once again, for I seem to have become distracted momentarily. Now then, which fascinating and controversial topic were we discussing? I am quite certain that it was something to do with the genius artist Piet Mondrian, or else perhaps we were instead discussing the incredibly posh and stylish... Los Angeles bistro called Mondrian. It surely makes little difference, as I am amazingly well-informed and knowledgeable on either... topic. Art, for example, is a subject that many boast a superficial knowledge of, but few actually possess... (Coughing, wheezing)
Music is obviously... music... Foghat... eponymously-titled... burgeoning... Heaven 17... (more gurgling noises) Truly, all of the world agrees that... neo-trance turntablist superstar group Area Man's groundbreaking debut is one of... surely I am dying. I swear before all powers that I shall never consume the demon rum ever again! Never! (More groaning)
As everyone knows, the great Country Western Cowboy Hillbilly music star Tim McGraw recently... or am I perhaps thinking instead of Depeche Mode? (More mumbling) Still, duty summons me, and the harsh demands of professional journalism require me to carry on without complaint... Carry on... carry on my wayward son... peace when you are done... (Approximately 15 seconds of off-key humming)
Ah, the vastly underrated Superstar Group known as Kansas, the Genius innovators that influenced generations of... bands even such as your own famous Radio Head Band, as can be heard clearly on the latest... recording of your ensemble entitled Kid Hey, with all of the genius bleeping and blooping and the fizzing... noises that show the genius musicalityness of your songwriting prowess. Kansas of course... from the groundbreaking The Know of Point Return, to the... "Dusting the Wind" was of course the "Hotel California" of the 1970s... or perhaps more aptly described as the... "Macarena" of Symphonic Arena Rock. Without which, of course, the world would never have heard "A Fifth of Beethoven." Which of course... led to Retro Goth Disco Revival of the mid-1990s, which then... directly led to Nirvana's legendary Never Mined album and its influential hit, "The Odor of Teenagers." Certainly, Uriah Heep was... (Approximately 10 seconds of muttering)
Therefore, I can now predict that the Proverbial Next Big Thing of Rock Music shall be... the brilliant Terrence Trent D'Arby... future of rock... perhaps at long last finally taking up the mantle of greatness from the legendary Cyberpunk innovators Dexy's Midnight... clearly the greatest post-grunge/jazz fusion supergroup since Jesus Jones. But, of course, at the same time, one cannot forget... the contributions of the great singer/Actress/Infomercialist Superstar Cher, with her superb new Comeback Hit Single, the chart-topping ballad "With Arms Wide Open." Truly unbelievable. (unintelligible mumbling)
And in speaking of this year's Academy Awards, one must certainly agree that the Crime of the Century was the... scandalous overlooking of the Genius film called... known as... um, it was the one with Leonardo DiCaprio on the big sinking ship... my memory fails me, clouded by my severe illness... the title of which was... you know the one I am referring to... what is it titled? Ah yes, "The Big Ocean Boat Versus the Iceberg." No, wait, that is incorrect. Of course, it was "The English Patient!" Criminal neglect! Criminal! One must speculate if perhaps Institutionalized Sexism is to blame for this travesty! Can anyone prove it to be otherwise? Of course not! But one wonders why must things always be so, rather than some other way? (Long groan)
As I was recently... discussing with Biz Markie at Chez Del Samoa, the newest Franco-Polynesian restaurant on Barcelona's... fashionable West side, sometimes people are stupid, and disagree with me. This is the... heavy burden that must be borne by all Geniuses. I accept it dutifully, as does the great Ricky Martin. Monsieur Yorke, as a Tremendous Genius yourself you must have fascinating opinions on this crucial matter. (Long pause)
Monsieur Yorke? Hello? Are you there? Has something gone horribly wrong? Allow me to stop the recording of this exclusive groundbreaking interview for a moment, while I... (Clicking sound)
A few seconds of music follows, and the tape ends.