Ongoing History Daily: Radiohead’s irregular passports

Getting in and out of foreign countries can be one of the biggest hassles any musician will ever face.  Radiohead has had their share of customs hassles, but none quite as weird as the time in late March of 1993 when they were on their way to play Tel Aviv, Israel. 

This was their first-ever foreign trip.  So why Israel?  Because that was one of the few places on the planet that was supporting this new song of theirs called “Creep” so the band was on their way to play a couple of gigs.  But you know the reputation the Israelis have for security, right? 

Legend has it that even though all of Radiohead’s paperwork was in order, customs officials still wasn’t convinced.  They wouldn’t let them into the country until the band performed “Creep” for officers, right there in the customs hall.  The audition completed, Radiohead’s passports were stamped and they were on their way.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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