This is what the guy from the Arctic Monkeys album cover looks like now

23 January 2022, 13:00

The cover to Arctic Monkeys' Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, featuring Chris McClure
The cover to Arctic Monkeys' Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, featuring Chris McClure. Picture: Press

Who is the mystery man on the cover of Arctic Monkeys' debut album? Here's the story behind the iconic sleeve photo.

Radio X

By Radio X

Remember this famous face? A man taking a drag on his ciggy sat in front of a curtain. Kind of looks like a photo booth snap taken on a big night out.

It is, of course, the cover of Arctic Monkeys’ debut album Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not, released on 23 January 2006. The image pretty much sums up the lyrical content of that generation-defining record.

The man is one Chris McClure, who is the brother of Jon McClure, of Reverend And The Makers fame - and he's a pretty legendary character himself, as his Twitter account proves.

The shot was taken late one night at the Korova Bar in Liverpool by photographer Alexandra Wolkowicz.

McClure, who also fronted the Sheffield band The Violet May, told the Guardian about the shoot in 2016: “They said: ‘Go out and get drunk – come back after midnight.’ They gave us a wad of cash, literally hundreds of pounds. We were young and made the most of it.“

When I arrived back it was gone 2am. There was a venue below the bar and we did the pictures there, just me sat on a stool. They gave me more whisky and I threw up half way through. Everything was blurry.”

Once the album was out, Chris knew that his fame was assured. “That Monday, my phone never stopped,” he recalled. “It was bonkers; like being dipped into fame. Everyone in the world wanted to know who I was.”

McClure also appeared on the cover of Toddla T's 2009 debut album Skanky Skanky, reprising his famous role.

He was a mutual friend of both Toddla T and former Arctic Monkeys bassist Andy Nicholson.

You can follow Chris on Twitter @chrismcclure86

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