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Near the end of Radiohead’s triumphant headlining set at the 2012 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, frontman Thom Yorke gave a special shout-out to Jack White, and hinted at an upcoming collaboration between the two alt-rock veterans.
“This song is for Jack White,” Yorke told the crowd, which dutifully erupted, before the band sunk its teeth into new song “Supercollider. “We saw him yesterday. A big thank-you to him, but we can’t tell you why. You’ll find out.”
And so the speculation begins. White’s Third Man Records is based in Nashville, a little over an hour away from Manchester, Tenn., where Radiohead delivered a two-hour set on Friday night. The Third Man studio in Nashville is where Beck recorded his limited edition single for the label, “I Just Started Hating Some People Today,” which features the former White Stripes frontman and was released last month.
Could a similar one-off come out between White and Radiohead, or White and Yorke? Or maybe it’s a more extensive collaboration, like Yorke’s Atoms For Peace side project with Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco. As Yorke told the crowd, music fans will find out soon enough. The Jack White name-check came at the tail-end of a headlining performance that focused heavily on the band’s more recent work and featured an ever-channging arrangement of flat-screen panels showcasing the group.
Yorke also gave a shout-out to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who will rock the same stage on Saturday night, before playing “In Rainbows” highlight “Reckoner.”
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Tracee Ellis Ross