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Guest Hot List: Ed O'Brien of Radiohead

Ed names his favorite studio toy, rock-star move, white boy

September 14, 2000
Radiohead, Radio head, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Phil Selway, Ed O'Brien, Creep, Grammy, Rollingstone, archive, magazine
Ed O'Brien signing autographs on June 15th, 2000 in Barcelona, Spain.
Mick Hutson/Redferns

It's been three years since the orchestrated alienation of Radiohead's OK Computer drove drooling rock critics to proclaim the band saviors of the genre. Guitarist Ed O'Brien's been busy during that time, recording two albums' worth of new material with Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and the rest of the band while chronicling the process online at their assiduously maintained fan site, radiohead.com. Kid A, the first offspring of Radiohead's long hiatus, hits stores October 3rd.

Hot Studio Toy: Logic Software.
"It's our hottest studio toy at the moment. You can do hard-disk digital recording on it. You can sample onto your computer, as opposed to having an external sampler. It makes it so easy to manipulate and create loops. It's basically an extraordinary box of toys, and they keep giving us free stuff to go with it."

Hot Trainspotting: "Grits," by Niall Griffiths.
"It takes place in West Wales, and the protagonists, they've opted out of society. It's a relentless book. There's a lot of drug-taking, there's a lot of drinking, there's nothing very optimistic about it. That's part of the charm. You carry on reading, thinking, 'How much more drunk can they get? How much speed can they possibly take?'"

Hot Record: Granddaddy – "Sophtware Slump."
"I like the sounds that are in there. I like the songs and the keyboards that are thrown in, and I like the American Folk influence."

Hot Gripe: Globalization.
"A lot of the time, now, it would seem that the power doesn't reside with politicians. So much power has been given over to corporations. I think a lot of people are finally waking up and realizing that we don't live in a democracy."

Hot Rock-Star Move: Only Touring When You Want To.
"We've discovered an interesting parallel relationship: The less time you spend on the road, the more sane you are. So we are not doing the traditional album, tour, album, tour, album, tour anymore. We're going to tour when we want to, regardless of whether we've got a record out. What we're going to do is a month here and there, rather than the huge rock & roll circus that we did for OK Computer."

Hot Spot: Spain.
"The greatest country in Europe. It's got a real sense of community that we've lost in England."

Hot Artist: Rachel Whiteread.
"She'll go into a room and make a mold of the whole thing, so you just get this huge sixteen-foot-by-twelve-foot-by-ten-foot inverse effect of a room. You see all the details of what would be around the walls – the fireplace, the plug points, the window frames."

Hot White Boy: Ali G.
"In the new Madonna video, he plays the chauffeur. He has his own show in the U.K. He's influenced by a lot of gangsta rap from America – he wears all the Fubu gear. He's not actually black, but he thinks he is. He plays this kind of member of Puff Daddy's entourage. He's actually a nice Jewish boy, but the way he talks about his 'bitches' and appropriates phrases . . . it's so brilliant. His show takes the piss out of white guys trying to act street."

This article is from the September 14th, 2000 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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