10 years on: we recreate THAT Arctic Monkeys album sleeve

It’s been 10 years since the release of Arctic Monkeys first album, Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not.

It became the fastest selling debut album of all time and still holds up a decade on, but what of it’s cover star, Chris McClure?

“It’ll never leave me, man,” said Chris.

“I’ll get, like 30 friend requests from Mexico on Facebook one day and it’s because Arctics have done a press release in Mexico that day. It’s mental.”

Chris,who is now 30,was 19 when the photo was taken.

He had been friends with the lads from Arctic Monkeys for a number of years before creating the image.

They met on the number 74 bus, that used to go to the city centre from High Green.

He went on tour with them but admits that he could only loosely be described as a guitar tech, while he was still living and studying at University in Manchester.

He said: “It was bonkers, even then you knew it was going to kick off!”

He decided not to go on their world tour, instead deciding to carry on with his studies.

That was it for a while until he received a phone call out of the blue from Alex Turner asking him to take a few shots for what turned out to be the front cover of the album.

“The idea was it was going to be a week in this guys life, from Friday tea time to Sunday night. Every photo matched up to a song and I think originally it was going to be called, ‘A Weekend With.’

However, the original photos didn’t work for the cover as they were asking Chris to act drunk.

“Everything had to be authentic with them. They said you’ve got to go back to Liverpool to get bladdered, basically!” said Chris

“They gave us wads of hundreds and said don’t come back until you’ve spent it!

“I remember thinking I’m gonna need an ambulance after this!”

Things went back to normal and Chris went back to University life until the album came out and everything changed.

The week the album came out the papers were after him, he’d hear people whispering at uni, his mom even had two reporters turn up at her doorstep.

“It was like being dipped in fame for a month.” said Chris.

“I loved it.

“There were middle aged women who didn’t know Alex’s (Turner) face but they knew mine!

“We used to laugh about it, like where do you think the weirdest place my head has been? Has it been in Buckingham Palace? Jacko’s house?”

Chris with his brother, John McClure, better known as the Reverend
Chris with his brother, John McClure, better known as the Reverend

He partied for three months and had a less than successful semester, but gradually things settled back down to normal.

These days Chris is working for Sheffield City Council as a support planner but he still has ambitions of making it big on his own.

In 2014, he created the infamous Sunday league manager, Steve Bracknall, to much acclaim after being hosted on Rio Ferdinand’s website.

The idea has been snapped up by Production company Objective Fiction, the makers of Peep Show, and they are now looking for a broadcaster.

“It’s the story of a 40 year old electrician from Sheffield, facing a mid life crisis, he’s disillusioned with politics, he’s disillusioned with music, football is too expensive, all that’s left, that he’s got any sort of control over is this Sunday league team.”

Chris is hoping that this will put him on the map now in his own right but he has no regrets and fond memories of that messy few months back in 2006.

“You’re not going to go to bed early, are you?” he said.

So it is, our recreation:

arctic-monkeys