Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has moved to express his disappointment amid criticism over the band’s scheduled performance in Israel.
Thurston Moore, Ken Loach, Roger Waters, Maxine Peak and the Young Fathers are among the 46 musicians, artists, writers and actors to have signed the open letter in relation to Radiohead’s gig at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on July 19.
Yorke, in an interview with Rolling Stone, said: “I’ll be totally honest with you: this has been extremely upsetting,” when the question was put to him.
“There are people I admire [who have been critical of the concert] like Ken Loach, who I would never dream of telling where to work or what to do or think,” he continued. “The kind of dialogue that they want to engage in is one that’s black or white. I have a problem with that. It’s deeply distressing that they choose to, rather than engage with us personally, throw shit at us in public. It’s deeply disrespectful to assume that we’re either being misinformed or that we’re so retarded we can’t make these decisions ourselves. I thought it was patronising in the extreme. It’s offensive and I just can’t understand why going to play a rock show or going to lecture at a university [is a problem to them].
“The university thing is more of a head fuck for me,” Yorke said. “It’s like, really? You can’t go talk to other people who want to learn stuff in another country? Really? The one place where you need to be free to express everything you possibly can. You want to tell these people you can’t do that? And you think that’s gonna help?”