I found myself flicking through Welcome to the Machine the other day. No, I haven't quite yet descended into the Norma Desmond zone, transfixed by the flickering image of my own lost glory. I've been asked to contribute to a new Radiohead-related project, and I was trying to calculate how much of the previous text I might be able to recycle without matters slipping through the hazy fence that separates postmodern self-reference from tedious repetition and self-plagiarism.
Anyway, my finger happened to stop leafing at the picture section in the middle. Now, I didn't want pictures in the book to start with, and I had nothing to with the selection or the design. But there is an intriguing collage on the 12th page, just under the representation of a tiresome student's bookcase. (Franz Kafka next to Philip K Dick may be an Alan Bennett joke, but I suspect not.)
It consists of a number of portraits of people I mention in the book as having some sort of influence, however tenuous, on OK Computer. They are: the White-Album-period Beatles; JG Ballard; George Orwell; Samuel Beckett; Kraftwerk; Louis Armstrong; Miles Davis; Kurt Cobain; and someone who I thought might be Umberto Eco (which would have been pretty shrewd thinking on the part of the designer, because I didn't actually mention Eco in the book, although I really should have done) or perhaps the possibly-done-in-by-spooks weapons expert David Kelly, but now I'm pretty certain it's the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki.
Which in turn got me thinking: what a bloody incredible band they'd make. OK, some of them aren't strictly musicians, but those guys could write lyrics and hit cowbells. In fact, I'd like to see Beckett as an on-stage dancer, like Bez, or the naked lady from Hawkwind. I just can't think of a good name for them. Anyone? And is there a deliriously unfeasible dream supergroup you've concocted in your own idle moments?