Incognito: Ed O’Brien

Incognito is our weekly look at the neglected musical geniuses behind some our favorite live acts. Because these instruments don’t play themselves.

Maybe it’s easy to get lost in the crowd when you’re one of three guitarists in a band. It’s certainly easy when two of those guitarists are Johnny Greenwood and Thom Yorke. But even amid the talented innovators of Radiohead, Ed O’Brien stands out. O’Brien’s love of wonky, distorted bits of music and innovative use of effects pedals helped the band evolve from simply a very promising early 90s post-grunge act to the creators of the most ambitious widescreen rock in the world.

O’Brien creates the effects that are responsible for the unique sounds and deep, layered feel of such classics as “Idioteque,” “Karma Police,” and “15 Step,” among countless others. He’ was ranked #60 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists, and he’s a member of the supergroup musical project 7 Worlds Collide.

Check out this live version of “Idioteque,” performed by Radiohead in Prague, Summer 2009.

One Comment

  1. craigertiger|Posted Sep 21, 2010 at 11:39 am

    is that at the 930 club?

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