Radiohead Knowledge Base

Before the band Radiohead chose the name they go by today, they went by the name On A Friday - so called because Fridays were the only day when they could rehearse in the music room at Abingdon school. Thom Yorke and Colin Greenwood were in the same school year, with Ed O'Brien and Philip Selway in the year above, and Jonny Greenwood two years below.

At its conception, the band consisted solely of Colin, Ed and Thom jamming together using a drum machine, before they enlisted Phil to drum for them. At one time, the band featured a three-person saxophone section, one of whom (Raz Peterson) can be heard on some of the very earliest of the tapes from the band.

Jonny Greenwood was initially not part of On A Friday, but used to hang out in the rooms while the band practiced, since his older brother Colin was playing bass. He eventually persuaded the band to let him play the harmonica, then the piano, and eventually ended up playing lead guitar.

On A Friday existed on and off through the latter half of the ’80s, dependent on where and when the various members were away at university, but they continued to get together on weekends and during holidays. During his days at Exeter University, Thom played with a band called Headless Chickens.

By 1991, they started to work on music more seriously, and played at various locations around Oxford, such as the Jericho Tavern. There they found the interest of Chris Hufford - the producer for the band Slowdive - and his partner Bryce Edge, who produced a demo tape and took on the role of being the band's managers. Chris Hufford and Bryce Edge both remain managers for Radiohead today.

After a chance meeting between Colin and a talent scout, the band signed a six-album recording contract with EMI, and changed their name to Radiohead, taken from the title of the Talking Heads song "Radio Head".