Underappreciated Musician: Jonny Greenwood

Much more than merely an incredible lead guitarist.

Most bands of similar stature to Radiohead have several easily recognizable members, even if one is usually more prominent than the rest. For some reason, though, not many people know the guys in Radiohead apart from Thom Yorke. Maybe it’s because the band doesn’t live in the public eye or because they look like average guys. And while it’s true that Yorke is the main songwriter and has the most onstage charisma in the band, it’s a shame that Jonny Greenwood isn’t more of a household name.

One listen to the bipolar “Paranoid Android,” the simplistic, dreamlike “Let Down,” or the kickassedness guitar work of “Just,” and it’s clear that the lead guitarist is thinking outside the box. And not only is he technically gifted, he has that intangible ability to speak to your soul though his guitar and put you on a different plane of reality.

But guitar isn’t where Greenwood’s talents end. He also plays, take a deep breath if you’re reading aloud (I don’t know why you would be, but who am I to assume?), keyboard, piano, synthesizer, viola, violin, drums, glockenspiel, ondes Martenot, sampler, Mellotron, banjo, organ, celesta, accordion, bass, harmonica, recorder, trumpet, and crumhorn. And although it wasn’t listed on his Wikipedia page, I’ll bet he could play the hell out of the Samchillian Tip Tip Tip Cheepeeee.

Additionally, the guy has composed the score for five films, including Academy nominee There Will be Blood. Rather impressive, wouldn’t you say?

Check out the aforementioned “Just.” This is also one of the best music videos ever, in my opinion.


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