You'll Never Guess Where Radiohead's OK Computer Highway Interchange Is

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
you ll never guess where radiohead s em ok computer em highway interchange is
Or maybe you will. Someone did.As the 20-year anniversary of the release of UK alternative band Radiohead’s monster OK Computer album approaches, an online sleuth has provided pretty compelling evidence as to the locale of the image seen on the album cover.Radiohead — a band you might have once been really into before worrying it was all a little too pretentious (and back again) — incorporated several automotive references into the album and associated videos. The album cover itself featured a scratchy image of a nondescript highway interchange. Probably a drawing. It’s not like the Blind Faith album cover, so no one thought anything of it.However, music fans are not known for being allergic to geekiness. The same goes for transportation nerds. One such nerd transportation infrastructure aficionado now says it took him just 10 minutes to figure out the very real U.S. setting for the album cover.On the Radiohead Reddit page, user Jordan 117 has apparently provided the answer. An OK Computer fan, the album cover had always intrigued him. When the band released concept art from the album, more details of the interchange emerged: It doesn’t show that much more, but you can tell that the area is urban, hilly, and probably American going by the signage and right-driving traffic. Unfortunately you can’t quite read the lettering, but hopefully it was enough for an expert to make use of. So I headed off to the forums at, a haven for “roadgeeks” who love discussing interstates, construction, road trips, etc.The roadgeeks immediately took up the challenge, with one user, “Mapmikey,” posting a detailed answer just six hours later. The scratchy image is a dead ringer for the eastbound I-84 interchange with I-94 in Hartford, Connecticut, right before the highway crosses the Connecticut River. Mapmikey described his search process:Took about 10 minutes. The middle BGS has a two word control city with just a single letter as the first word. The BGS on the right has a two word city but two actual words. I figured that it was east of the Mississippi because of the (IMO) tight footprint of the interchange.So what interstate junctions in the east might fit the that BGS criteria? E Hartford and New Haven.Jordan117 overlaid the album cover and actual image of the interchange in the gif seen below. The road network appears identical. Using his powers of fandom, he then uncovered an explanation for how that particular interchange made it to the album’s cover:Looking at the area in Google Earth, it looks like the photo was taken from out the window of the nearby Hilton. And looking at the band’s gigography, I think I can even pinpoint the date: August 20th, 1996, one of the last gigs before they went back to the UK to record OK Computer.Who says the internet is a waste of time? View post on[Source: The Independent] [Image: Parlophone Limited]
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3 of 31 comments
  • Land Ark Land Ark on May 10, 2017

    OK Computer is on my short list for best albums of the 20th Century. It's one of the few albums I feel needs to be listened to from start to finish to fully appreciate. For everyone who complained about their follow-up albums, keep in mind the next two albums were f-you's to their label. They wanted to get out of the contract and the label wouldn't let them, they were required to put out two more albums. So they put out two back to back albums that they hoped would be commercial flops. Turns out they couldn't manage that, some people think those two were their best albums.

    • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on May 11, 2017

      Landmark album of the late 20th century, approaching the new millennium, captured the angst of that time period. In the UK it was just before the "New Labour" Tony Blair leadership was ushered in, which was meant to be "Things can only get better", but ended up Tory-lite.

  • S2k Chris S2k Chris on May 10, 2017

    Taken that interchange literally hundreds of times visiting my grandparents on the CT/MA border from my home in SE CT.

  • Dukeisduke Oh, and I have one of those Chinese Club knockoffs - I got one recently for my youngest daughter's 2012 Forte Koup, that was for six years my oldest daughter's ride. It got her through her senior year of high school, four years of undergrad, and her one-year Master's program. She was then gifted my mother-in-law's 2017 Elantra Limited. It has pushbutton start, so it's not susceptible to the Kia Boyz thing.The "Club" is still in the package - there's no way in hell she's gonna remember to put that thing on every time she parks it.
  • Dukeisduke That instrument cluster is lame, like something out of an S-10 pickup.And why is the Purple Pantsuit Guy video still up? Is that some kind of punishment?
  • SCE to AUX "The MSRP for a 1992 Camaro RS coupe with 5.0, 5-speed and T-Top roof was $13,339 (about $29,655 after inflation)."That's a remarkable price, even for a base model. But even then people knew these weren't very good cars.However, kudos to this one for going the distance.
  • Oberkanone Install immobilizer for all affected Hyundai Kia. At no cost. Offer loyalty incentive $1000 toward new Hyundai Kia to all affected owners. Apologize.Road to redemption begins here. I believe Kong Fuzi would advise failure to fix the vehicles will result in greater damage to Hyundai and Kia.
  • KOKing Huh, I figured by end of production the TBI 305s were all gone. It just seems like by then every one had that 'TUNED PORT INJECTION' badge on the rear bumper.