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Thom Yorke, Dazed April 1996
Thom Yorke, Dazed April 1996Photography Rankin

Radiohead’s sketchbook full of The Bends lyrics is auctioned for £5,000

Used during rehearsals for the band’s iconic sophomore album, the book features sketches, chords, and lyrics to unreleased tracks.

A sketchbook used by Radiohead during the recording of their 1995 album The Bends has been sold at auction, going under the hammer for £5,000. 

Left behind during rehearsals in an Oxfordshire barn in 1994, the A2 book contains sketches and chords related to the band’s sophomore album. The buyer also gets their hands on lyrics to unreleased tracks – ”Too Easy”, “Idiot Boy”, and “Dead Bank Clerk” – as well as classic songs such as the record-closing “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”.

“The sketchpad gives an insight into a crucial period in the group’s history,” says Paul Fairweather, an auctioneer at Omega Auctions. 

In a statement, the anonymous seller explains that he lent the band a sound system and instruments for the rehearsals. “When the sessions were over I went to retrieve my equipment and clear out the room,” he adds. “The A2 sketchpad had been left with some carpeting that had been used as acoustic treatment.”

“I was informed that anything remaining in the room was not required by the band and should be thrown away or kept by me if I so wished. I kept the sketch pad.”

In January, Gripe, an early demo by the group, recorded when they were still in school and going by the name On A Friday, exceeded estimates to sell for £6,000 at auction. Last year also saw Radiohead auction off Thom Yorke’s signed “Lotus Flower” bowler hat for charity.