June 1997
Length: 4:43
Disc: OK Computer | Airbag/How Am I Driving? EP
Tablature: Guitar | Acoustic | Bass

Other Versions:
Live @ Berlin - No Surprises single CD2
String Version - Strung Out On OK Computer

First played acoustically in 1995, this track was originally titled "An Airbag Saved My Life," a headline that Thom read in an AA (Automobile Association) manual that came in the mail. The song is "about the wonderful, positive emotion you feel when you've just failed to have an accident; when you just miss someone and realize how close it was and stop the car and just feel this incredible emotion." The title is also a play on the 1983 Indeep song "Last night a DJ Saved My Life."

The song reflects the influence DJ Shadow has had on Radiohead, as the band made the track with a drum loop based on a three-second sample of Phil's drumming.

As soon as this track begins, it explodes with the guitar riffs of Jonny's. Possibly one of the greatest guitar openings ever, this song, like Planet Telex on The Bends, is a different style to the rest of the album. The ending is probably the best the band have ever done. With slow beats morphing into fast beats... Thom's moaning getting louder and louder, and finally, Jonny's opening guitar riff returns to finish the track off. Amazing.

In the next world war
In a jack knifed juggernaut
I am born again

In the neon sign
Scrolling up and down
I am born again

In an interstellar burst
I'm back to save the universe

In the deep, deep sleep
Of the innocent
I am born again

In a fast German car
I'm amazed that I survived
An airbag saved my life

In an interstellar burst
I'm back to save the universe

In an interstellar burst
I'm back to save the universe
In an interstellar burst
I'm back to save the universe
Thom Yorke "Has an airbag saved my life? Nah...but I tell you something, every time you have a near accident, instead of just sighing and carrying on, you should pull over, get out of the car and run down the street screaming, 'I'm BACK! I'm ALIVE! My life has started again today!'. In fact, you should do that every time you get out of a car. We're just riding on those things - we're not really in control of them." - Thom

"Researchers are claiming that airbags sometimes open spontaneously. Think about that when you're driving around in your Mercedes." - Thom Colin Greenwood
"Airbags are dangerous things. They're lethal". - Colin
Ed O'Brien
"What would you know? You don't even have a licence." - Ed

"The song was first called 'Last night an airbag saved my life' as in 'Last night a DJ saved my life'. - Ed Colin Greenwood

"We wanted an opener like Planet Telex on The Bends: A song that is completely different than all other songs on the album. Airbag swings because Phil dances to drum & bass each weekend." - Colin
Jonny Greenwood
"Thom and Phil worked a whole day with the computer to cut up the drums and try to make it sound like DJ Shadow." - Jonny Phil Selway

"DJ Shadow has inspired me. How that man pastes rhythms to each other. The end result sounds a lot different than we intended by the way." - Phil
Colin Greenwood
"That's not the first time: We wanted 'Creep' to sound like Scott Walker. That too failed." - Colin
  Go to - Next Track | Lyrics & Song Info | Fitter Happier