One of the biggest stories in Connecticut lately has been Senator John Larson’s plan to tear down I-84/I-91 interchange in Hartford and rebuild the area underground with a complex network of tunnels. The idea being that it would free up a lot of open air space in the East Hartford area, unite the north and south ends, and get rid of the giant eyesore where I-84 and I-91 meet.
What if it’s not actually an eyesore at all? What if it’s in fact a piece of music history?!
There are many reasons to hate Larson’s unrealistic horrible plan. Most of them having to do with lots and lots of money. To the tune of billions of dollars. Which Hartford simply does not have (Go Yard Goats!). Not to mention the time it would take to complete this massive project. We’ll be looking at years if not decades. Just ask anyone from Boston area who lived through the “Big Dig”.
All of these reasons can be debated to death at the Capitol, on Twitter, and in Hartford town hall meetings. The one reason that cannot be debated at all comes from a savvy reddit user with a lot of time on their hands.
Turns out this exact piece of Hartford highway that Larson wants to tear down MIGHT actually be the spot of the highway photo that was used on Radiohead’s iconic 1997 album OK Computer.
Listen, I’m all about buying into wacky conspiracy theories, but it does look exactly like it. This seems to be real. Especially this paragraph:
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.
The band was IN Hartford staying at the Hilton in 1996! Opening for Alanis Morissette which is ridiculous and wacky in itself (I will spare you my obligatory ‘Isn’t it Ironic’ bits). Somehow, some way, by some act of the indie music gods one of them decided to snap a photo from their hotel room of the “eyesore” we have all been stuck in terrible bumper to bumper traffic on. Then decided to use said eyesore for their upcoming 1997 album cover. (we think)
Congrats Hartford. You’re cool factor has gone up by about 7 billion points. You have all the cred in the world.
Now we just need to find a way to use that cred to stop Larson from tearing down OK Computer’s album art forever. I propose a Radiohead protest concert right in Hartford. They could even dedicate Karma Police to Larson! It would be amazing. I’ve got ideas. Someone text Thom Yorke for me.