On A Friday >> Radiohead

It’s well-known that Radiohead first called themselves ‘On A Friday’ – reflecting the day of the week on which they usually rehearsed, it was the name they still had when they signed to EMI in the early 1990s.

In the early years On A Friday boasted three saxophones, as in this picture from 1986 …


onafriday sax


You can download some demos by the band here and here. Give them a listen – would you have picked this out as a great band of the future?

It took a reviewer of one of their early gigs as a ‘big label’ band to point out that this was a bad name for a band with ambition. ‘On A Friday’ made one think of a band consisting of old guys with big bellies, the reviewer said. It was the name of a band that would only ever play at pubs and weddings.

Apparently, they chose ‘Radiohead’ from a list of five possible alternative names that were given to them by their manager in response to this review. Radio Head was the title of a song by Talking Heads …



Thom and co. liked Talking Heads, so they chose this name.

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