Yesterday, as instructed on the website for the Universal Sigh, Radiohead fans gathered at the intersection of the city's Jefferson and 7th Streets NW, waiting for their free tabloid. Then they kept waiting. And kept waiting. And no one – not Thom Yorke, not producer Nigel Godrich, not one of their paid news interns – actually showed up.
Radiohead got the address wrong, according to the Washington City Paper. Although they told fans to meet at 784 Jefferson Street NW, that address doesn't actually exist. They meant to send them to Jefferson Street SW – namely the Hirshhorn Gallery, on the historic National Mall, more than 4 miles away. Instead, more than 30 people showed up at a sleepy intersection in residential Brightwood and, er, sighed the universal sigh.
"It makes me not want to listen to Radiohead," Carla Vizzini told the City Paper, annoyed that she wasted her lunch hour trying to get a copy of the Sigh. One group of five drove 200 miles, from Lynchburg, Virginia, to get their hands on the paper. Before the crowd learned that copies were waiting at the Hirshhorn, they squinted at every passing car, even a Cadillac hearse, hoping it bore Radiohead's inky prize. "Fuck them for not giving us something for free!" someone joked.
Geography can be confusing, especially if you're organising newspaper handouts in 61 locations worldwide. And Google Maps is not perfect. But in DC they are blaming Pierre L'Enfant, the civil engineer who designed Washington's "totally confusing" city plan. Imagine if he had helped design the Radiohead website.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
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