The Untold Truth Of Thom Yorke

English musician Thom Yorke is famously known as the frontman of the rock group Radiohead. He was born in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire in 1968 and became interested in music at an early age. In fact, he started a band at just 10 years old. Radiohead — formerly called On a Friday — was formed in the 1980s and their debut album titled "Pablo Honey" was released in 1993, per Britannica. The band didn't find immediate success, but the song "Creep" gained recognition in the United States. From then, Radiohead became one of the biggest bands of the '90s.

Apart from being the lead vocalist of Radiohead, Yorke also worked on other projects and debuted his solo album titled "The Eraser" in 2006. Throughout his career, Yorke has received a number of distinctions, with Rolling Stone even including him on its list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and describing his vocals as like a "disembodied instrument." Apart from his career in music, Yorke is also known as an environmentalist and often speaks out about various environmental issues. Here are other interesting facts about Yorke.

He was born with an eye condition

One of Thom Yorke's most distinct physical features is his droopy eye. According to the musician, he was born with one of his eyes completely shut due to the lack of muscles. "I think we're all born with something wrong with us and that was mine," he told Billboard. As a result, he had to undergo a few surgeries as a child to fix the condition. Muscle from his buttocks was grafted in order to get his eyelid to open, and he shared that his parents had to bribe him with a gift to convince him to have the surgery. The gift he chose was a red tracksuit (via Esquire).

The surgery succeeded in getting his affected eyelid to open, but it left him with a droopy eye. Initially, Yorke said that it was "not nice," but a patron at a pub he worked in told him otherwise. "I worked in this pub and this old woman — she was so funny — she used to come in all the time, and she was the first person who really said to me, 'It's the nicest thing about you,'" Yorke said, as reported by Metro. He has learned to embrace his droopy eye and likes that it makes him look different.

Thom Yorke is vegan

The Radiohead frontman has been vegan for a long time but started as a vegetarian in order to impress a girl. According to Glamour, Thom Yorke had been dating a girl and pretended to be a long-time vegetarian to get a good impression. However, he decided to stick with the diet and even transitioned to veganism, as it made him feel better. "I immediately felt a lot better, a lot healthier. I was concerned, as many people are, about that 'you're not going to get all the things you need in your diet, you're going to get sick all the time', but the exact opposite happened to me, so I never looked back," Yorke said.

Yorke also said that he was inspired to stop eating meat when he heard the song "Meat is Murder" by The Smiths (per Live Kindly). In the song, vocalist Morrissey sings, "The flesh you so fancifully fry / Is not succulent, tasty or kind / It's death for no reason / And death for no reason is murder." When it comes to transitioning to a meatless diet, Yorke has one piece of advice, as he told Esquire: "You really have to like lentils. Otherwise you're f***ed." In 2005, the musician was in the running to be the World's Sexiest Vegetarian but was trumped by Coldplay's Chris Martin.

Watching Jeff Buckley helped finish 'Fake Plastic Trees'

"Fake Plastic Trees" is one of Radiohead's most recognizable songs, which was part of their second studio album titled "The Bends" released in 1995. Producing the album was difficult for the band, and their record label was waiting for new material before giving them the option to release a new album. Yorke once described it as "a total f***ing meltdown for two f***ing months," as reported by Uncut. It was a struggle to get songs out, and "Fake Plastic Trees" was left unfinished. It was then that producer John Leckie decided to give the band a break and invited them to watch a Jeff Buckley gig.

Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood recalled that night and how they marveled at Buckley's performance, saying, "It was just f***ing amazing, really inspirational." Afterward, the band went back to their recording session and Yorke completed the song. In an interview with Farout Magazine, Yorke said that he just went with whatever was in his head. "I thought they were really funny, especially that bit about polystyrene," he said. He did the song in three takes and burst into tears afterward. "And that's what we used for the record," Greenwood said.

Thom Yorke wrote 'Creep' about his experience with a girl

The song "Creep" catapulted Radiohead to worldwide success, but for a time, the band refused to perform the song, as they said that it seemed to follow them around wherever they went. Radiohead's lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood told Farout Magazine that it became "incredibly stultifying." There was a time when Thom Yorke became hostile to fans when they requested the band to play the song, and Radiohead avoided it for years. In time, however, they slowly introduced "Creep" back into their playlist during concerts.

In an NME interview in 1992, per Citizen Insane, Yorke revealed that he wrote the song about a girl. "I was in the middle of a really, really serious obsession that got completely out of hand," he shared. The musician said that it lasted for about eight months and that he wasn't successful in pursuing the girl, and she knows the song is about her. In another interview, Yorke said that he regretted revealing that "Creep" was about his own experience, but added that the girl "didn't give a s**t." "She never gave a s**t. She wasn't even that nice, anyway," he said.

He's a fan of Billie Eilish and dislikes Muse

In 2019, Thom Yorke revealed that he was a fan of Billie Eilish. In fact, he accompanied his daughter to watch Eilish perform live. "I like Billie Eilish. She's doing her own thing. Nobody's telling her what to do," the Radiohead frontman said. In fact, as reported by Rolling Stone, Yorke even approached Eilish to tell her what he thinks of her. Brian Marquis, Eilish's tour manager, witnessed the exchange and said that Yorke told Eilish, "You're the only one doing anything f***ing interesting nowadays."

On the other hand, Yorke has also named other musicians he doesn't care for. In a backstage interview in 2001, he said, "I draw the line at Muse, because they openly slag us off, as well as openly rip us off. And that's like, 'How f***ing dare you?' You know there's one thing to imitate and then to slag off the person you are imitating. That's just not cool, that's incredibly bad karma," referring to the English rock band Muse, according to Consequence. The animosity between the two bands almost became physical when Yorke and Muse drummer and founder Dominic Howard saw each other. Howard said that the Radiohead frontman looked down on him. "I respect them musically, but the last time I met him we almost started a fight; he treated me badly, looking down on me," he said (via Rock Celebrities).