Watch Thom Yorke’s touching cover of Neil Young’s classic ‘After The Gold Rush’
Neil Young’s annual charity event for The Bridge School has seen some incredible acts grace its stage. One such memorable moment came from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke in 2002 as the singer covered Young’s classic ‘After The Gold Rush’.
The footage below shows the entirety of the two performances Yorke gave for the benefit concert and sees the star take on 1970 piano-number with a touching authenticity.
Thom Yorke wasn’t exactly the solo artist he is today back in 2002 when he was invited to perform at the annual event. With previous acts including the likes of David Bowie, Tom Petty and Young, himself, the stage had been graced by some of rock’s leading men. Though this was four years before Yorke’s debut solo record The Eraser would arrive, in the video below he shows he was more than capable of holding an audience all by himself.
The singer provided both nights of the event with a beautifully touching stripped back performance of some Radiohead stalwarts including ‘True Love Waits’ and ‘Paranoid Android’. But it was on the final moments of the first evening that Yorke would gather up the audience in his grasp.
Yorke is a huge Neil Young fan but his obsession with the songwriter started in curious circumstances. As a 16-year-old he sent some home recordings into the BBC. “They said, ‘This guy sounds like Neil Young,’” Yorke told the BBC in 2008. “I was like, ‘Who is Neil Young?’”
The singer soon found himself a nearby record shop to write his wrongs and picked up Young’s 1970 LP After The Gold Rush. “I immediately fell in love with his music,” said Yorke. “He has that soft vibrato that nobody else has. More than that, it was his attitude toward the way he laid songs down. It’s always about laying down whatever is in your head at the time and staying completely true to that, no matter what it is.”
After being asked by Young to perform at the event Yorke decided to pay homage to the artist and that first album purchase by covering the titular track as the final number for his first appearance. It starts around the 15:25 mark on the video below.
In the clip, Yorke says, sitting down at the famous piano on stage, “This is piano is Neil Young’s piano, and this piano is making me do this,” as he plays the first notes of ‘After The Gold Rush’. The crowd roars and Yorke cements the touching moment with a beautiful performance.
Watch Thom Yorke performing Neil Young’s classic ‘After The Gold Rush and his entire performance at The Bridge School Benefit in 2002:
‘Everything In Its Right Place’ ‘I Might Be Wrong’ ‘There There ‘Lucky’ ‘After the Gold Rush’ ‘Morning Bell’ ‘Nice Dream’ ‘True Love Waits’ ‘Paranoid Android’