Demo tape from Radiohead’s school band to go under the hammer

The "raw" tape features previously unheard efforts from the band

A demo tape featuring unheard tracks from the band which would go on to become Radiohead is going under the hammer.

The cassette was recorded when the group was previously known as On A Friday. They met at Abingdon School in Oxfordshire, with their name coming from the day of the week when they rehearsed.

Featuring six “raw” early efforts from the band, three of which have not been heard before, the demo tape is expected to fetch £2,000 at auction.


The previously unheard tracks, which are said to be an early indicator of the band’s talent,  are titled ‘Promise Me’, ‘Boy In A Box’ and ‘These Chains’.

Radiohead pictured in 1997 CREDIT: Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Auctioneer Paul Fairweather told PA: “The tracks are raw but certainly suggest something of the fantastic potential that the band would realise in a few years’ time.”

The cassette is set to form part of the online Punk and Indie Auction which will be held by Omega Auctions on January 26.

The earliest demo recording of an early Radiohead was captured in 1986, before Jonny Greenwood joined his older brother Colin in the band. The tape, which is said to be the “only copy in existence”, was previously sold by Omega Auctions for £2,000 to a US collector, in 2013.

Earlier this month, Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke led tributes to rapper and producer MF DOOM, following his death at the age of 49.


“Am so sad to hear MF Doom’s passing,” Yorke tweeted. “He was a massive inspiration to so many of us, changed things.. for me the way he put words was often shocking in it’s genius, using stream of consciousness in a way i’d never heard before.”

In December 2020, Jonny Greenwood also shared a letter to Radiohead fans in which he voiced his hope that the band will be “making music soon”.

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