Term one ended on a remarkable high as a rock legend shared his experiences with BIMM London’s students. News of the In Conversation from Radiohead guitarist, Ed O’Brien meant that the room was packed with students eager to hear the superstar discuss music, life and his career with BIMM Guitar Tutor, Les Davidson.
Ed was a truly inspiring guest and left the students in no doubt of Radiohead’s passion and creativity — and he helped BIMM’s rock-stars-to-be understand how the path to success can take many twists and turns. He also surprised the students by revealing that he shared a tutor with some of them! Ed had nothing but praise for BIMM London Head of Guitar, John Wheatcroft, calling him, “the greatest guitar teacher I’ve had. I was stuck in a rut, and he helped me when I needed it… he’s an absolutely amazing teacher.”
Ed discussed Radiohead’s early years when they met at school. He put their success down to the togetherness, planning, and good fortune. The band had the right heavy rock sound at a time when Nirvana became huge. But he stressed the importance of planning their future and discussing what they were going to do once they got signed and, for Radiohead, it all happened!
Renowned for creating innovative sounds and textures with his guitars and effects pedals, the students were rapt as he explained his ‘pedals addiction’. The one pedal he can’t live without, he told them, is the Electro Harmonix Delux Memory Man.
Songwriting students were excited to hear Ed share secrets of Radiohead’s writing process, and how the band work collectively on the “skeletons of songs” that Thom Yorke brings to them. He described Radiohead as a “soul machine” and how they put love into the process and turn the songs into something special.
As befits a member of a band who have remained consistently inventive for over two decades, Ed enjoyed being in the BIMM environment, saying, “I like being amongst young musicians. It’s a good vibe; it’s a pleasure to be here!”
Finally, Ed revealed he’s developing a unique guitar with Fender which he hopes will be affordable for students — he’s excited to see what young, up-and-coming musicians will do with it. We’re hoping that he’ll bring a few of his new guitars into BIMM so that he can find out for himself!