Radiohead's Ed O'Brien "Doesn't Understand" the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

He told Esquire that "it’s very lovely to be nominated, but we don’t quite culturally understand it."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is as American as apple pie, but sometimes, they're kind enough to let us lowly Brits in on the action. Amongst this year's British nominees are Kate Bush, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, and Judas Priest, standing shoulder to shoulder with US giants like Nina Simone and Bon Jovi, to name a couple.

Another British band nominated—and thought pretty likely to be inducted at next year's ceremony—are Radiohead. In a recent interview with Esquire, however, guitarist Ed O'Brien was a bit unsure about the whole thing. "As a British band, it’s one of those things that it’s very lovely to be nominated, but we don’t quite culturally understand it. It’s a very American thing," he said. "Us Brits are very bad at celebrating ourselves."


Ed also makes some pretty valid points about the current makeup of the Rock Hall, especially on the small amount of black artists included, considering their huge contribution. He said:

It’s a little bit thin on black artists and hip-hop artists. I’m just speaking as a fan of American music, I would have thought that Dr. Dre should have been in there two years ago. His name should be first on the list way ahead of Radiohead.

While Dr. Dre was technically inducted as part of N.W.A. in 2016, he hasn't yet been given a place on his own merit as an artist and producer, and is a pretty good example of the disparity that Ed cites.

More than anything, however, he's kind of approaching it in much the same way that British people look at most things concerning our American cousins: "I would never want to disrespect anything because obviously some amazing artists have been nominated. But if I’m honest I don’t understand it. It’s just kind of a British person going, "Okay, thanks, what does this mean?"

Respectful puzzlement. I dig it.

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