There is much confusion on the internet over whether or not Radiohead will be playing a "secret" show for the protesters in Lower Manhattan at 4pm. So we decided to check it out ourselves.
I'm here right now at Zuccotti Park and will be updating with pictures and words. Will Radiohead show up? Will a riot break out after Radiohead is a no-show? Will a riot break out after Radiohead shows up? Or maybe there will be both no riots and no Radiohead. It's all up in the air! Stay tuned.
So I'm down here and the place is packed: tons of cameras. There's got to be at least 1000 people. Everyone is talking about Radiohead—I don't think I've heard this many people talking about Radiohead since my dorm common room freshman year.
But things are not clear: a guy just shouted "Radiohead is NOT coming" and a bunch of people repeated him, which apparently how things are organized down here. But I also overheard a group of people discussing radiohead in an official-sounding way: guy says "we need to know one thing: are they prepared to do amplified stuff because we don't have a permit." Guy he was talking to says, "They're bringing their own shit." so, accruing to these random people, it's still on!
No sign of Thom Yorke; going to try to to find protesters' spokesman and figure out what the deal is.
The whole thing was a hoax! Here's the email from one of the protest's organizers that just went out:
From: Patrick Bruner
Subject: CONFIRMED - RADIOHEAD NOT PLAYING #OCCUPYWALLSTREET
I got hoaxed. Radiohead was never confirmed. Completely our fault. Apologies. The band were victims in this hoax as well.
People are hanging upside down from the lightposts screaming the lyrics of "Karma Police." Actually, people don't really seem to be that concerned.
Bullshit. Couldn't they at least play some Radiohead on a shitty boombox, and someone could make cardboard cutouts of the band and wave them around. A hoax!
They're making everyone sit down. People are talking about labor unions. Something is maybe happening?
While listening to the guy talk about unions, this guy was smoking a cigarette and said "I just came for Radiohead, I'll be honest."
His name is Gabe and he's an urban planner. Gabe heard about the show from the music blog Brooklyn Vegan. When I told him the Radiohead thing was a prank he didn't seem too disappointed. He's already seen them before and "it's worth the trip anyway, it's pretty cool."
Asked if he supported the protests: "I don't like people getting arrested. People got pepper-sprayed, it was kind of funny." And: "If someone brought a keg down here it would be awesome." And: "I grew up in New York, I saw 9/11. I saw people jump to their death, but this Wall street bullshit, yeah it's crazy."
A helicopter just flew overhead and Gabe joked, "That's Radiohead, they're coming down."
Managed to track down the Occupy Wall Street spokesman who was telling various media today—including me! Many times!—that Radiohead would be playing, a guy named Hero. Hero was standing sort of shell-shocked on the street and seems to be the last person to have not accepted that the whole thing was a farce, even after his colleague told the Observer they had been pranked.
"I'm still waiting on a phone call," he told me when I asked what the hell happened to Radiohead. "I feel horrible about it, but that's what I was told. I'm just the face."
I told him that it might seem to some that the whole thing was a savvy marketing ploy to boost numbers at the park. Hero disagreed, pointing out that when a speaker had asked the huge crowd whether this was their first day, only a few people raised their hands. "I don't think it was because of Radiohead."
I noticed Hero was standing next to a guy who looked like the quintessential Radiohead fan: horn-rimmed glasses, crisp sweater and wool slacks. Like a really cool uncle. I asked him what he thought about Radiohead not showing up.
"They're finished," he joked. "Nobody's going to listen to their music anymore."
All three of us were standing in the street and a cop told us to get on the sidewalk. I walked over but Hero and cool hipster uncle guy stayed in the street.
"See ya man," Hero said and glanced at hipster uncle guy. Hipster uncle flashed a police badge that was tucked under his sweater at the cop.
People are marching marching to One Police Plaza now. The park is emptying out, so I think I'll go home. Knowing my luck, Thom Yorke will pop out of a manhole right after I leave and play all of "The Bends."
<br clear="all"[Photos by Adrian Chen]