With the 20th anniversary of Radiohead’sOK Computer arriving in June, it seemed like we knew everything there is to know about the landmark LP. There have been quite a few think pieces dedicated to the record, and shortly after its anniversary, we’re even getting a special re-issue on June 23 via XL Recordings titled OKNOTOK 1997-2017, which includes some b-sides and unreleased material.
But here’s a little factoid we’re not sure anyone knew — the album’s cover art is quite possibly taken from a photo of a highway interchange in Hartford, Connecticut. The image, which you see with the LP’s artistic rendering below, is where Interstates 84 and 91 meet.
It’s a heavily trafficked area, and anyone who have driven from Boston to New York City has surely passed through this grid (and gotten stuck in it). But you probably weren’t listening to “Paranoid Android” at the time. Or hell maybe you were.
The visual below was posted to Imgur this morning, with the caption: “All credit to Mapmikey at the AARoads.com forum for identifying the location!”
And this graph from Reddit makes the case even more solid: “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.”
This certainly doesn’t make up for Hartford losing the Whalers, but this is a pretty cool part of the city’s history if it ends up being true (it sure looks like it). For Connecticut’s sake, we really hope it is.