Few rock singers of the '90s were as original and instantly unforgettable as Thom Yorke, as his band, Radiohead, became one of the biggest bands of the 21st century after making a career out of specializing in challenging and unpredictable rock. Born October 7, 1968, in Wellingborough, England, Yorke was born with a vision ailment: his left eye was paralyzed and shut until the age of six. He underwent a total of five operations; the last operation was botched and he almost lost all sight out of that eye (only after wearing an eye patch for a year was he able to see, albeit slightly). His family moved often since his father worked as a chemical engineering instruments salesman, and by his teens, he had turned to music as an inspiration, namely Elvis Costello, Queen, and the Beatles. After his family finally settled down in Oxford, Yorke was sent to an all-boys school, where he first met future Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien and bassist Colin Greenwood, soon after discovering such '80s alternative bands as the Smiths, R.E.M., and the Cure. The seeds of what would eventually become Radiohead were planted at this point, as the trio jammed with a drum machine before replacing it with another friend, drummer Phil Selway, and inviting Greenwood's younger multi-instrument playing brother Jonny to join up, too.