Thom Yorke Feels Roger Waters Thinks Radiohead Is ‘Retarded’ And ‘Disrespected’ Band


Thom Yorke discussed Roger Waters and other artists publicly pleading with Radiohead to boycott Israel in a new interview with with Rolling Stone. Yorke said, “I’ll be totally honest with you: this has been extremely upsetting,” Yorke admitted. “I don’t agree with the cultural ban at all.”

Yorke was especially bothered by Waters and co.’s decision to publicly rebuke Radiohead. “It’s deeply distressing that they chose to, rather than engage with us personally, throw shit at us in public.” He continued, “It’s deeply disrespectful to assume that we’re either being misinformed or that we’re so retarded we can’t make these decisions ourselves. I thought it was patronizing in the extreme. It’s offensive and I just can’t understand why going to play a rock show or going to lecture at a university [is a problem to them].”

Yorke also noted “how offensive” the boycott is to Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, who is married to an Arab-Israeli. “And imagine how upsetting that it’s been to have this out there. Just to assume that we know nothing about this. Just to throw the word ‘apartheid’ around and think that’s enough. It’s fucking weird. It’s such an extraordinary waste of energy. Energy that could be used in a more positive way.”

“This is the first time I’ve said anything about it,” Yorke added. “Part of me wants to say nothing because anything I say cooks up a fire from embers. But at the same time, if you want me to be honest, yeah, it’s really upsetting that artists I respect think we are not capable of making a moral decision ourselves after all these years. They talk down to us and I just find it mind-boggling that they think they have the right to do that. It’s extraordinary.”

Watch the video for Radiohead’s new music video for a previously released OK Computer track titled “I Promise.”

  • Chris Ross

    That headline is confusing….I read it as “Thom Yorke Feels Roger Waters Thinks Radiohead Is A ‘Retarded’ And ‘Disrespected’ Band”.

    I guess what it should be is “Thom Yorke feels Roger Waters thinks Radiohead are retarded, says he disrespected the band”.

    Anyways, I have two tickets to see Roger Waters this month and judging from the photos of his production, it will be an awesome show. I’m pumped! I’m much more inclined to listen to Waters performing Pink Floyd hits recently than anything Radiohead have put out in the past like, 10 years (yawn).

    • Eddie Yarler

      How come Roger Waters is against Israel? I’m just curious cause I don’t think I ever found out.

      • halcyon

        Probably because he thinks that Israel was founded on stolen land and that the Israelis are the ones who prevent the Palestinians from creating their own independent state and that they practice apartheid (judging by Yorke’s comments).

        • dakotablue

          There’s evidently a large wall that contains the Palestinians in Jerusalem.

  • RUFKM?

    The irony is that Yorke using the phrase “we’re so retarded” in this context is, in itself, “disrespectful” and “insulting”.