Sunday, 5 July 2009

Radiohead quote John on the cover of Com Lag: 2plus2is5

We were surprised when we were told last year that John's words had been printed on the rear cover of Radiohead's CD Com Lag 2plus2is5. We didn't really know who Radiohead were, and why should they use John's words? We wondered if the words of one of their songs might refer to John Symonds in some way.

Radiohead album Com Lag: 2plus2is5 back cover

We contacted Radiohead's manager Bryce Edge and asked him what was the reason for quoting John's words on the cover. Bryce asked the artist who had designed the cover, Stanley Donwood, and we received the following message on 28 July 2008:

... its a quote i found in the guardian, most probably from the same bloke
i think i liked what he said; very unrepentantly james bond...!


This must have come from the article written by David Rose in the Guardian newspaper of 14 September 1999, when John gave an interview to him at the time when the Mitrokhin Archive was being revealed in public for the first time. This is a full quote from the Guardian article:

[Do I have any regrets?] Well, I didn't do anything really, you know. What did I do? I just had a nice life. I'd say join the KGB, see the world - first class. I went to all over the world on these jobs and I had a marvellous time. I stayed in the best hotels, I visited all the best beaches, I've had access to beautiful women, unlimited food, champagne, caviar whatever you like and I had a wonderful time. That was my KGB experience. I don't regret a minute of it because I'd been forced into being a fugitive, to live off my wits abroad.

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