Is there any awards-granting institution in the American pop culture landscape whose honorees are more likely to offer up a shrugging “Eh, whatever,” than the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? Although it’s played host to the occasional fun or incendiary moment over the years, the Hall’s annual induction ceremony is just as likely to earn a hearty (and, frankly, earned) “Who gives a fuck?” from the people it’s meant to honor, leaving behind folks like Gene Simmons to start the same old arguments about whether, say, rap music should be allowed inside its fuzzily conceived, largely self-promoting walls, a blathering litany that will presumably echo from now into forever.
We can now add Thom Yorke to the list of artists largely unmoved by their induction into the organization; per a recent Variety interview, the Radiohead frontman has noted that he won’t be attending the band’s big entrance ceremony this year, because a) he’s already booked, and b) honestly, what would be the point? Yorke went so far as to suggest that he and his bandmates were just too British to get what all the hype here is actually about:
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame… we’ve always been very blasé about that stuff. So we don’t want to offend anyone. We just think that we just don’t quite understand it. We’ve had it explained to us, so it’s cool. But we don’t really understand it as English people. I think our problem is essentially that every awards ceremony in the UK stinks. We grew up with the Brits, which is like this sort of drunken car crash that you don’t want to get involved with. [Chuckles.] So, yeah, we don’t really know what to make of it.
Not that Yorke is entirely awards-agnostic; he’s actually quite pleased to be on the “Best Song” shortlist for this year’s Oscars, where his soundtrack for Suspiria will get some welcome attention before being almost inevitably destroyed by “Shallow” from A Star Is Born. “I hope it gets nominated,” Yorke noted cheerfully, as part of a larger discussion about his first scoring gig, attached to Luca Guadagnino’s divisive horror remake. “That would be great, because it was a year and a half in my life, and I worked bloody hard on it. So, you know, sometimes it’s nice to be recognized. Sometimes, if you understand what it means.” Hint, hint, Cleveland.