Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Page 39: Radiohead's "Creep"

“Creep,” the first single from Radiohead’s debut album Pablo Honey (1992), is an amazing anthem that speaks to feelings of self-loathing and insecurity. Once I knew that this song was going to be the bonding song for my lonely-on-the-cutting-edge-of-cool hipsters Ione and Piper, I realized that the lyrics dovetailed perfectly with the events of this scene in The Billionth Monkey.

The cover to Radiohead's "Creep," the first single from their
Parlorphone/Capitol debut album, Pablo Honey (1992).
The song is popular enough that I didn’t feel the need to quote it; people would know what I was talking about. Besides, there’s also the legal issue of clearance. If you quote a song, however briefly, you need permission from the artist’s publisher. That takes time and money, and bigger artists can charge more. While I went that route with Yes (page 184–5) and Klaatu (page 189), I really needed permissions to make that scene to work. I didn't feel it was crucial for a song as well-known as “Creep.” Beside, since Chapter Three was the last chapter written for The Billionth Monkey, I didn’t have as much time to go through the legal procedures as I did with Yes and Klaatu.

For an idea of how I was imagining the music and action lining up, I encourage you to re-read this section while listening to the song. To make it easy, here’s the official video on YouTube:

For everything you could want to know about “Creep”—from its modal mixture to cover versions—read the article on Wikipedia.

In that alternate universe described by Don Webb wherein The Billionth Monkey is already a Hollywood blockbuster,  I hope the studio got the rights to use the song for this scene!

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