Monday, June 12, 2006

Life, The Universe, And Radiohead

Calum Marsh

Thom Yorke loves The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. We all know that. Everyone's quick to point out that OK Computer's 'Paranoid Android' is a reference to that book/radio show/mini-series/Hollywood movie franchise, but fans often forget about or overlook a plethora of other equally-obvious Hitchhiker shout-outs. Today I present to you, dear readers and Radiohead fanatics, the comprehensive list of Radiohead-Hitchhiker connections. None of these are officially verified, but I'm sure you'll find that my conclusions are undeniably accurate nonetheless.

The Song: 'Just' (The Bends)
The Line: "Don't Get My Sympathy/Hanging Out The 15th Floor"
The Reference: In The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, the second book in the Hitchhiker series, Zaphod Beeblebrox is mysteriously transported to the head office in charge of the 'Hitchhiker's Guide' book. As he searches the building for a man named Zarniwoop, an alien named Roosta shows up and rips the building in two. Half of the building - the half that Zaphod is in - is moved to a planet called Frogstar World B. Zaphod, confused, is left hanging on the side of the building, and he happens to be on - yep, you guessed it - the fifteenth floor.

The Song: 'Paranoid Android' (OK Computer)
The Line: " When I am king, you will be first against the wall"
The Reference: When asked about his creators, Marvin (the Paranoid Android himself, no less), declares that they are "a bunch of jerks who'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes". Coincidence? I think not.

The Song: 'Paranoid Android' (OK Computer)
The Line: "The Panic, The Vomit"
The Reference: The line "The Panic" kinda sounds like "Don't Panic", which is the famous inscription on the front cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide and which is the most prominent line from the series.

The Song: 'Sail To The Moon' (Hail To The Theif)
The Line: "Maybe You'll Be President...Sail To The Moon"
The Reference: Well, Zaphod was President of the Galaxy, and he flew a ship in space, and ships usually sail, and, um, the moon is in space. Right...?

The Song: 'Motion Picture Soundtrack' (Kid A)
The Line: title
The Reference: The Hitchhiker's Guide was turned into a motion picture, and that motion picture had a soundtrack.

The Song: 'Subterranean Homesick Alien' (OK Computer)
The Line: "I'd show them the stars and the meaning of life."
The Reference: He'd show them that meaning of life, the Universe, and everything, is 42 - just like in the book. Oh, and there were a lot of stars in Hitchhiker's (because they're in space, obviously).

Radiohead - Creep (Live)

Thom Yorke - The Eraser

Comments on "Life, The Universe, And Radiohead"


Blogger Patch said ... (12/6/06 7:51 pm) : 

Wow... you just broke my mind. I'm sending you my doctors bills. Thanks!


Blogger Calum Marsh said ... (12/6/06 9:04 pm) : 

This post is so silly, I don't know what I was thinking. Is it even remotely funny? Anyone?


Anonymous moe said ... (12/6/06 10:39 pm) : 

uh... i found it amusing...


Blogger Jonathan Migneault said ... (12/6/06 11:17 pm) : 

I really like it. Not every article needs to be a serious piece of journalism.

And at least you're posting stuff...


Blogger Calum Marsh said ... (12/6/06 11:18 pm) : 

haha, I guess.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (13/6/06 5:57 pm) : 

"2 jumps in a week, I bet you think you're pretty clever, don't you boy"


Blogger Calum Marsh said ... (14/6/06 12:45 am) : 

I'm turning into something I'm not?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (14/6/06 8:38 pm) : 

I recently read the first Hitchhiker's Guide and was surprised to come across the word 'myxomatosis'.

I'd never encountered it before Hail to the Thief.


Blogger Fabio has something to say said ... (17/6/06 6:34 pm) : 

I stumbled across your blog on a search for "fabulous blogs" I know why you are considered fabulous! It looks like we have more in common than blogging!


Blogger Skvid said ... (22/6/06 11:42 pm) : 

I thought it was funny, but I'm an anonymous stranger on the internet so you probably shouldn't listen to me...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (19/2/07 10:09 am) : 

I find this funny and actually Agree on a couple...

I'd say OK Computer as an album title would be a reference as well. Zaphod adresses Eddie (the Heart of Gold computer) as such a couple of times.


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Blogger Naneek1 said ... (10/9/10 12:57 pm) : 

It is also worth mentioning that in the OK Computer song "Lucky" there is a guitar line that recurs during the chorus as Yorke is saying "Pull me out of the the aircrash..." that is almost exactly the same melody as the one played by the strings in "Journey Of The Sorcerer" which is the theme for the Radio show, TV show, and the second theme for the film of HHGTTG.


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