May 13, 2015

Thom Yorke is an unlikely cover model in Iran


In most circumstances, it wouldn't be such a bad thing to be in a group with John Updike and Thom Yorke.

In most circumstances, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to be in a group with John Updike and Thom Yorke.

It’s a fact of modern life, which we’d all do well to accept, that we can’t choose the product our image will ultimately serve to advertise.  Sometimes, you’re half of the lucky couple who lands on the cover of A Gronking to Remember, and sometimes, you’re one third of the unlucky trio staring out from the cover of Marital and Sexual Problems in Men.

The Iranian book has been making the rounds on Twitter for the past week, after it was discovered that Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead, was prominently featured on the cover.

For some reason, an old Thom Yorke promo photo seems to have been repurposed for the cover of an Iranian book about sex and relationship problems. As Buzzfeed points out, the artwork for مشکلات جنسی و زناشویی در مردان (which translates to Marital And Sexual Problems In Men) features Yorke plus two other unidentified men. Iranians who recognize Yorke’s face have been sharing photos of the book cover on social media throughout the past week.

Mashable took a look through some Radiohead lyrics, looking for clues.

Here are some Radiohead lyrics that are possibly about martial problems and/or sexual dysfunction for your consideration.

“We’re rotten fruit / We’re damaged goods / What the hell we’ve got nothing more to lose / One burst and we will probably crumble” – “Backdrifts”

“I want to have control / I want a perfect body” – Creep

“She lives with a broken man / A cracked polystyreneman / Who just crumbles and burns” – “Fake Plastic Trees”

Though it’s just being noticed now, the book apparently came out years ago. The one person that might have been happy about Yorke’s cameo is John Updike; the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s own appearance on the cover has, as tends to happen, been completely overshadowed by the rock star.


Julia Fleischaker is the director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.