Follow me around

Inspiration pour la chanson : 1996
Premier live (soundcheck) : 21 janvier 1998 (dévoilé fin novembre 1998)
Travail en studio : juillet-décembre 1999
Premier live : 17 octobre 2000 (Toronto)
Travail en studio : mars 2009
Premier live (Thom Yorke solo) : 19 juillet 2009 (Lattitude Festival)
Premier live (Atoms for peace): 14 avril 2000

  avril 1996

Le magazine dazed&confused publie une “auto-interview” de Thom, et on y trouve quelques Questions-Réponses assez lourdes de sens :

Thom: Do you enjoy getting drunk on your own, then, Thom?

Thom: Stuff comes out, and I like it because there’s a sort of comfort in it. Being pissed out of your head and on your own, but it’s a bit softer. I think that I should ask you some questions now. You’re the one that’s been trying to pick a fight with me. Why do you follow me around everywhere?

Thom: What do you mean, ‘follow you around’? I’m just another voice in the tape recorder, part of the interview. What do you mean, ‘follow you around’?

Thom: You know what I mean. Why do you make me do that stuff? Why do you make me hurt people?

Thom: You sound like some dodgy John Hurt serial killer character.

Thom: I don’t mean ‘hurt people’; people say I get in a state, and I think it’s because you’re around.

Thom: I think you’re just creating this as part of a convenient excuse for your bad behaviour.

Thom: You’ve always got a fucking answer, haven’t you? You’ve always got a fucking answer.

Thom: I think this sounds a little bit too much like a very bad ’80s thriller, or something. You’re trying to create some sort of persona thing. Anyway I don’t think this is really for the public domain. Do you?

Thom: No, but this is the first time I’ve ever talked to you.

Thom: No it’s not. That’s bullshit.

Thom: Everyone has different sides, and at least I don’t go and harm anybody. Except maybe the fish in the pond. I think maybe this house is haunted. I tell you about the fish. It was during a Christmas and I bought this house and there were these two beautiful oriental fish that lived in a pond at the bottom of the garden and my other half went away for a few days and one of the things that was left on a note was ‘look after the fish’, because at that time there was ice and snow covering the ground. It was like two foot deep or something ridiculous. Now I let these fish die because I couldn’t even be fucking bothered to get my shit together to go down to the bottom of the garden and knock a little hole in the ice to keep these fish alive. So when I eventually remembered that they were there, I saw them belly up in the ice and one of them was, his little mouth was right next to the last hole that had been made there in the pond. A last gasp for breath of air and I couldn’t even fucking manage that.

Thom: Poor little Thom.

Thom: You’re the wanker that wants me to sleep with all these women. But I haven’t done it, and I won’t.

— Thom Yorke / Dazed&Confused, avril 1996


  le 21 janvier 1998

Lors des balances du concert de Fukuoka, Radiohead joue « Follow me around ». Il n’y a alors personne dans le public, mais la scène est enregistrée par les caméras de Grant Gee.


Les paroles de la chanson, alors :

I see you in the dark
Falling down the fastlane
Coming out to me
Warm lights belong to me
Crawling out to me
Crawling out to me
You follow me around (x4)
Even when you’re coming down
You are standing for the world
And I can see you now
And I’m being there, to come down
You follow me around.. (x4)


le 30 novembre 1998

Le reportage « Meeting people is easy », qui dévoile les coulisses de l’interminable tournée de 1997, sort dans le commerce. Le public peut alors découvrir « Follow me around ».


le 28 juillet 1999

Dans le journal qu’il tient en ligne (l’ancêtre d’un blog !), Ed raconte la période d’enregistrement de nouvelles chansons pour le futur album. Il explique que pour « Follow Me », le groupe a décidé de se réunir pour discuter de l’approche à donner à la chanson, contrairement à l’habitude qu’ils ont de jouer d’abord et réfléchir ensuite.

wednesday, july 28th 1999
it may well be that because we are working on completely new material it seems that we have not moved much today, like yesterday. but we discussed ‘ follow me around’ and how we would like to approach it, rather than just start playing and thereby fall into old habits. plank says he likes the ‘remain in light’ style jam we had which is good because we were pretty nonchalant about it. ‘de la soul’esque jam at end.
— Ed O'Brien / journal en ligne


le 5 août 1999

Le travail en studio continue. Le groupe teste de nouvelles sonorités :

thursday, august 5th 1999
much better today… the sun shines in and out of our rehearsal room and we get a lot done… start with ’optimistic’ (still sounding great – jonny tries some cool ondes martenot on it – the high stuff is good, not however when he follows the main riff). move on to ’up the ladder’ – sounds better with more space. segway into ’follow me around’ and a reworking of the ’cminor song’ (in a stax stylee). jonny meanwhile is attempting to put the vocal mic through his analogue filters – which looks like a remake of an old telephone exchange. « hello vicar, yes ill put you through to mr kipling »… so the last two songs are punctuated by sudden bursts of unearthly noises, both extremely good and extremely bad.
— Ed O'Brien / journal en ligne



le 1er septembre 1999

Il semblerait que le groupe soit insatisfait de l’avancée du travail sur follow me around.

wednesday, september 1st 1999 i read a rumour from the internet [never believe a single nuance – sd] that we are supposed to be collaborating with ’godspeed you black emperor’ on ’how to disappear’ – this person cited a number of chance occurences, including such impossible coincidences as ’they came to see us at a gig’. if that were sufficient corroborating evidence then, judging on the bands i’ve seen recently, you can hear us with ’the divine comedy’ and the mighty ’asian dub foundation’. twice around ’follow me around’ – mmm. not great, but salvaged by ’you and whose army’ – jonny thinks that voice and guitar are all that’s needed until the end part ; and it sounds right ; or at least it’s definitely a place to start. run through ’optimistic’, cuttooth’, and ’up on the ladder’ for nige, who’s down for the day to do some wiring and ’studio arranging’.
— Ed O'Brien / journal en ligne



le 8 décembre 1999

Malgré les difficultés, le groupe n’a pas abandonné « Follow Me Around » et tente des arrangements avec protools.

wednesday, december 8th 1999
started by playing ’cuttooth’ again – the song needs stamina – sounding better than yesterday….just have to keep playing it. one of those days when it doesn’t feel as though we’ve done much. maybe it’s because everyone’s tired. there was some protool arranging on ’follow me around’ and an attempt to do vocal, piano and drums on ’egyptian song’. was sounding ok. tried playing ’keep the wolf from the door but it’s too late and needs thom’s rant on it. a bitty day. time to go home. saw only four hours of daylight – how do they cope in scandinavia during these months ?
— Ed O'Brien / journal en ligne



  le 19 décembre 1999

Le public est fou de « Follow Me Around » et la réclame d’autant plus qu’il sait que le groupe y travaille. Sur le Message board de , Thom explique l’état du travail plus précisément, mais dit aussi qu’il a besoin de faire une pause.

there is a version running around. it is long. there is a cool drum machine on it. some piano. err. ed on bass. i need to take a break from it now. it has taken me months to write the words properly.
— Thom Yorke / Message Board, 19 décembre 1999



  le 25 février 2000

Tout le monde veut savoir si la chanson sera sur KID A ! réponse de Nigel Godrich sur le message board :

dont know yet. there is A version. very different now to MPIE.
— Nigel Godrich 25 février 2000, message board



  le 30 juin 2000

Le groupe joue 20 secondes de la chanson lors d’un concert à Paris.


  le 26 juillet 2000

Toujours sur le message board, le public veut savoir ce qui est arrivé à Follow Me Around. Cette fois, c’est Stanley Donwood qui répond :

been put in a cupboard wrapped in newspaper to see what happens to it. it was good though. i think. i dunno. im not very musical.
— Stanley Donwood Message Board, 26 juillet 2000



fin 2000

Dans le livret caché de KID A, on trouve ces paroles de Follow Me Around :


De même que l’on trouve quelques mentions à la chanson sur des pages ajoutées au site internet vers cette époque, comme par exemple sur la page ‘chickens bred bald‘ qui mèle des paroles de KID A et de follow me around.


le 17 octobre 2000

La chanson est jouée pour la première fois devant public et en entier à Toronto lors d’un show acoustique.

Il faut dire que la communauté canadienne de fans, cristallisée autour du site, s’est mobilisée et l’a réclamée. Le show a lieu le jour de l’anniversaire de Beryl, webmastrice du site, bien évidemment présente au concert.

Les paroles « did you lie to us, Tony ? » sont ajoutés par rapport à la version 1998. C’est bien évidemment une attaque contre Tony Blair, inspiration centrale du groupe à cette époque.


Le lendemain, dans une interview, Ed explique malheureusement pour le public que le groupe ne sait pas quoi faire de cette chanson, et qu’elle est remisée pour l’instant :

So there’re always songs, you know, every band has songs that they’ve got lying around, that they just haven’t got around, you know, on Meeting People is Easy there’s a song called Follow Me Around that Thom played last night, on his own, and it’s there, and it’s a good song, but we just haven’t done a good version of it. So who knows, you know. Maybe we’ll do it in the future.
— Ed O'Brien / Musique Plus, 18 octobre 2000
en 2001

quelques bribes de paroles qui apparaissaient au printemps 2001 sur le site :


De même sur la page ’and yu begin’.

  le 1er août 2002
Le facétieux Thom chante le refrain et un vers des paroles de la chanson à la fin de The National Anthem, lors d’un concert à San Sebastien. Forcément, le public adore !

21 novembre 2003

De passage dans une émission de Radio, Thom joue la chanson. Forcément, les présentateurs veulent en savoir plus…

Mark: “(laughs) Ok, Fair enough. What are you going to play for us?

Thom: “I’m actually going to do a song called Follow Me Around, which isn’t really out as yet….

Mark: “Great

Thom: “…as such, per se

Mark: “Right

Thom: “Just as I get my foot stool ready (shuffles about) (part eight ends here) (part nine starts here)

Thom: “Plays acoustic version of Follow Me Around (part nine ends here) (part ten starts here)

Lard: “(claps) Oh, yeah!

Mark: “(claps) Terrific!

Ed: “(claps) Yay!

Mark: “Terrific

Lard: “Oh, wow!

Mark: “That sounded…….that sounded really great. Have you got any plans to release that? Is that a newish thing?

Thom: “Well, it’s actually been kicking around since…sort of since the heady days of OK Computer

Ed: “(laughs)

Mark: “Right ok, so we might find that on one of the new EPs at some point?

Thom: “I don’t know exactly what to do with it really to be honest

Mark: “Playing it live, or…?

Lard: “I think you’ll probably find that on the internet later today

Thom: “Could be

Mark: “(laughs) Brilliant, thanks very much for that

Lard: “Fantastic

— Thom Yorke / BBC Radio 1 'Mark & Lard', 21 novembre 2003
  en 2004

En première page du site, on trouve une ligne des paroles de « follow me around » pleine de sens :



  29 juin 2006

Thom fait une nouvelle piqûre de rappel au public en jouant le début de Fog en intro de Everything In Its Right Place à Los Angeles :

  en janvier 2008

Ed fait frémir les fans de Radiohead en expliquant dans une interview pour Rock&Folk que parmi les nouveautés, on pourrait trouver « Follow Me Around », qui est sa préférée (mais souvenez vous, Ed est un blagueur)


1er avril 2008
Comme en 2003, Thom est de passage dans l’émission de Mark Radcliffe sur la BBC2. A l’époque, il avait joué Follow Me Around, et expliqué que la chanson pourrait sortir… mais en 5 ans, rien n’était venu. Le présentateur lui fait donc remarquer…

Mark: “I mean, do you have, do you have a big archive? I remember you came in on the afternoon show on Radio one and you did “Follow me Around”.

Thom: “Yes! We are very…

Mark: “Which is a good one which has never emerged.

Thom: “I know! We still haven’t got rid of it by now!

Mark: “NUDE took ten years to come around, didn’t it?

Thom: “Yeah…yeah.

Mark: “Are there loads more like that?

Thom: “Yeah.

Mark: “In your head, or on tapes, or what?

Thom: “Mostly in my head!

Mark: “Right!

Thom: “Or in our heads anyway.

Mark: “Yeah…

Thom: “Yes. Yeah Um: Yeah, it’s very confusing! There’s lot of hard disks with things I can’t remember on them!

Mark: “Yeah…

Thom: “But that’s just the way it is. You know…

— Thom Yorke / BBC Radio 2 'Mark Radcliffe', 1er avril 2008

le 19 mars 2009
Le groupe a décidé de changer un peu de stratégie de communication et offre de longues interviews à des fans, qui ne manquent pas de poser des questions plus précises que les journalistes.

Italo: … and his song was, you know, like, real nice. It sounds a lot like “Follow Me Around”…

Ed: Right.

Italo: … that’s what people say.

Ed: Well, okay… that’s interesting. [Laughs.]

Italo: Yeah, I mean, and talking about that song, is there any chance, you know– maybe your fans ask this all the time, I mean–to see, again, stuff like “Follow Me Around” or “Big Boots”, or “Lift”?

Ed: We rehearsed… we rehearsed, um… We rehearsed “Follow Me Around”, um… when we were in the studio two weeks ago. We played it.

Italo: Really?

Ed: Yup.

Italo: Is there any chance you might play it somewhere?

Ed: Obrigado…

Ed: Um, not on this tour… because it’s too rough.

— Ed O'Brien / Italo Rossi's Breakfast with Ed O'Brien, 19 mars 2009
  le 19 juillet 2009

Lors d’un show solo au Latitude festival, Thom fait la surprise au public de reprendre « Follow Me Around » (on est moins surpris maintenant qu’on sait qu’elle avait été répétée peu de temps auparavant.


  le 14 avril 2010

Cette fois-ci, c’est avec son groupe « Atoms for Peace » que Thom joue « Follow Me Around ».

Comme on le voit sur la vidéo, Thom explique à Flea les accords pour cette chanson, preuve que le coup n’était pas prévue et que les autres membres d’AFP ne connaissaient pas la chanson… On peut penser que Radiohead a du travailler en studio la chanson et que Thom a envie de l’essayer…

le 17 avril 2012
Italo Rossi obtient un nouveau moment privilégié avec un membre du groupe, cette fois COlin. A nouveau, on parle de Follow Me Around, et Colin ne laisse pas vraiment d’espoir…

Italo Rossi: There’s always people wondering whatever happened to other songs, and maybe you’re sick of hearing this but, what’s up with “Big Boots” or “Follow Me Around”.

Colin Greenwood: Oh yeah…!

Italo Rossi: Do you always keep trying to do these songs or you already…?

Colin Greenwood: No no, they might pop up in some strange shape or form.

Italo Rossi: Do you think there might be any chance to dig up into the archives of Radiohead at some point?

Colin Greenwood: I think it’s… no, I don’t… I don’t know… it’s always good to move forward and deal with it by going on tour and playing old songs and b-sides

Italo Rossi: But no obscure session versions or anything?

Colin Greenwood: Oh! I see what you’re saying… uh… I don’t think so… no, because anything we end up doing with these songs is just out there, so…

Italo Rossi: Because you know… I think it was Neil Young who did it.

Colin Greenwood: Ah yeah, that’s right!

Italo Rossi: and he reckons there was some good stuff and some crap stuff.

Colin Greenwood: Yeah, amazing!

— Colin Greenwood
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Amatrice du groupe, surtout en concert. Travaille sur ce site depuis 10 ans.

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