The song was around during the sessions for Kid A
already, and was mentioned three times in Ed's Diary
under two early titles. 'Neil Young *9' was a title made up by Ed for the otherwise untitled song, and was replaced when Thom titled it 'Bombers' around late 1999:
thursday, july 22nd 1999
thom arrives & plays a new song on the acoustic. sounds great but has no name, so now on referred to as the song with no name
. we move on to "lost at sea/in limbo"
after only nine months work its starting to sound like its getting somewhere. good in fact. The others sound ok too.( everything
, everyone/the national anthem
). highlight of the day is attempting 3 part harmonies on "neil young *9"
- not the harmonies themselves, but phil cracking up because he feels a bit like that drummer from the eagles. a fucking brilliant rehearsal. its great to be in our band.
friday, july 23rd 1999
start by working on 'optimistic'
. i really love the words, especially the line "this one just crawled out the swamp" reminds me a bit of PJ Harvey's blues stuff. cool. a couple of interesting jams. one of them is jonny's who bemoans the fact that his stuff never turns into proper songs. its good but he doesnt realise it, as hes already bored of it by the time he plays it to us. finished by playing 'neil young *9'
or as cozzie calls it the 'phil is don henley' song. It sounds even better today. don't go on too long as its warm and unusually summery today so drive home and get caught in the inevitable friday traffic jams.
monday, january 10th - wednesday, january 19th 2000
happy new year and many many thanks to all you lovely cardsenders.
i think we all arrived at the studio with that same dread of starting where we left off.to plough back into the old tracks seemed like a daunting task. nigel suggested a different plan of action to ease us back into it over the next couple of weeks. the idea was to spend this time working in a completely different way; no acoustic instruments ie any guitars,drums or vocals......everything has to be electronically generated. it means that we can't fall back on what we've done before and forces us to work this equipment. it's actually an incredible amount of fun - which is not something we've had in abundance over the last year or in studios in general. we've been working on four 'bits' and because they are fairly abstract it will be interesting to review it in a few weeks. the important thing is that you are constantly learning even if something doesn't necessarily work out. and actually it's something we've been meaning to do for a while. again it's the need to change the methodology in how you actually make the music - only by doing this will we actually produce stuff that sounds any different. and conversely by finding another approach to recording, it enthuses us in the way that we've worked together as a 'live' band. the rehearsals last week were fantastic precisely because we had not picked up those instruments and recorded them.
this week we have cast the experimental net further afield to include material like 'true love waits'
and 'feeling pulled apart by horses'
. the former has been kicking around for about four years now and each time we approached it we seemed to be going down the same old paths.........it actually sounds like the start of something exciting now.
did an interesting band version of 'bombers'
which thom has attached to what i used to call 'the neil young' song...we may play it some time later this evening.
thankyou to everyone who sent in their demos......maybe i was a little naive to assume that a handful of people would send in theirs' or others' offerings......what i realise has happened is that various publications and radio stations have visited this diary and announced that radiohead are embarking on a fucking talent search or something. bastards. it's probably pay-back time for being miserable and contrary on our last round of interviews.....anyway i've started going through it and will listen to it all, eventually. it's actually very interesting as it strikes me from what i've listened to so far that there are alot of really good musicians out there, but what distinguishes the good from the not so good is having taste. ie for instance you could be simply red (apologies for the easy target) and send in a demo and i'm always going to think it's totally shit in spite of its technical 'proficiency'. having said that there's little that sounds like that. but what i'm saying in an around-about way is that it doesn't matter if i don't think something's that good; if you really love what you're doing then that is all that matters........there is absolutely no point in making music that you think will help you to get signed..........second-guessing what people want to hear is a completely fruitless exercise as it is almost completely impossible to predict what people want to hear; by the time people actually get to hear that music it's more than likely that it's old-hat and most importantly you will never stumble upon something that is truly fresh and exciting.