You'll Never Guess Where Radiohead's OK Computer Highway Interchange Is
May 10th, 2017 12:01 PM Share
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 AARoads.com, 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 imgur.com[Source: The Independent] [Image: Parlophone Limited]
Published May 10th, 2017 12:01 PM
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