Main Index On a Friday 1985-1988 On a Friday 1989-1991 Pablo Honey The Bends OK Computer Kid A Amnesiac Hail to the Thief In Rainbows The King of Limbs A Moon Shaped Pool Thom Yorke Jonny Greenwood Ed O'Brien Colin Greenwood Philip Selway
Thom, Jonny and Ed played the song acoustically for Signal Radio February 11th 1993. It's possible that this is the live debut:

"What I really hated about Britpop," fumes Colin, "was all that tiresome irony. As if bands shouldn't be serious things."
"We don't do irony," confirms Ed. "The only times we've tried were when we were in America, where it just goes over everyone's heads, and on 'Pop Is Dead', which was rubbish. Surprisingly, those Saturday morning TV show offers didn't come pouring in."
ED'S DAD sounds like a great bloke. He rates Primal Scream, reads the music press and rips the piss out of old Radiohead videos. He actually throws parties, bringing all of his mates around for a few beers, for some banter and the inevitable rerun of the 'Pop Is Dead' promo. That's his favourite.
"What's going on there, then?" he'll ask his boy, jabbing at the remote control switch. "You call that a music video? So why is there a lizard in that scene? Explain it to me." He rewinds the tape just for the hell of it, thoroughly enjoying himself, as his guests chortle at the grand pretentiousness of it all.

"Look. A lizard. Call yourself an O'Brien? Do you, son?"


Ed: "The thing is, when 'The Bends' was released, we felt we were still fighting people's preconceptions. We thought it was great – we don't release a record unless we think it's really good. But we'd had no critical acclaim, which is fair enough, because we were an incredibly inconsistent band.

"It's not surprising people thought we were crap. And we'd released dodgy singles. 'Pop Is Dead' – I have to admit that was a rubbish record."

Colin: "Keith Richards would say, it's the price of an education..."
In March 1993, a studio demo, that is considerably slower than the final version, was recorded at Courtyard Studios during the same session that also produced the released version of 'High & Dry'. It became available on the Radiotick bootleg along with studio demos of 'Nice Dream', 'Banana Co.' and 'The Bends':
The song was released as a single in the UK in April 1993. Thom described it as "a king of epitaph to 1992". At the time of the release the band was still very excited about the song. But following the lack of chart success and the scathing reviews the song received, all band members came to see the track as one of their weakest. From then on they intended to avoid irony of this kind in their songs, convinced that it doesn't translate and only results in embarrassment.
The last known live performance of 'Pop Is Dead' took place during a Japan tour at the Liquid Room in Shinjuku on June 24th 1995.