Thom Yorke Says He Stands on His Head Before Shows

He claims to do it "for about three or four minutes" before going on stage

Photo: Philippe Ruel

BY Alex HudsonPublished Sep 8, 2023

Many musicians have some sort of a warmup ritual before live performances, but we've never heard of one quite like this before: Radiohead singer Thom Yorke says that he stands on his head "for about three or four minutes" before a show.

Yorke said this in a conversation with Jason Thomas Gordon in his upcoming book The Singers Talk, which was excerpted by Rolling Stone. Yorke discussed his pre-show warmup, which includes 10 to 15 minutes of scales, including "weird scales" inspired by bandmate Jonny Greenwood.

Gordon asked him if there was anything else he did to get ready, and Yorke responded, "I meditate for about 20 minutes if I can. What else? Stand on me head."

Understandably, Gordon asked him if that last part was true, to which Yorke replied, "Yeah. That's for about three or four minutes. Then, there's a mad dash at the end of all this. I never allow myself quite enough time between doin' all that nonsense, and then I've got, like, 'Oh fuck, get changed! Shit! GO!'"

This actually isn't the first time Yorke has spoken about standing on his head before a show. Back in 2013, during an appearance on Alec Baldwin's Here's the Thing podcast [via YogaDork], he spoke about meditating before a show and said, "I stand on my head for a bit and basically I'm completely on my own until five minutes before we go on, and then we're all in a room together pacing up and down like wild animals and then we're on."

Alright, Thom — pics or it didn't happen.

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