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50 Things You Never Knew About Arctic Monkeys

  • Last week saw the release of 'Arctic Monkeys At The Apollo' â

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  • Alex Turner and Jamie Cook taught themselves how to play guitar by working out the songs from Queens Of The Stone Age's third album, 2002's 'Songs For The Deaf'. So they were honoured to meet Josh Homme and co years later (pictured above) for an NME interview ahead of a gig at Houston's Verizon Wireless Theater. Homme is currently helping produce Arctic Monkeys' upcoming third album.

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  • Arctic Monkeys are big fans of the late Godfather Of Soul James Brown. At their very first gig they walked onstage to 'The Payback'. At college Alex Turner used to wear a pair of jeans on which he'd written "I've got soul and I'm super bad", in tribute to Brown.

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  • In a recent interview with 'The Sunday Times', Alex Turner's girlfriend Alexa Chung gave a candid insight into their relationship. "We fall asleep with our arms around each other," revealed the model-turned-TV presenter. "He's little and so am I, so neither of us gets a dead arm."

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  • Arctic Monkeys guitarist Jamie Cook, pictured here dressed as an 'evil elf' for an NME Christmas cover shoot, is currently dating glamour model Katie Downes. A lads' mag favourite, she has appeared on the cover of Loaded, Maxim, Nuts and Zoo.

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  • When they first broke big in 2006, the media portrayed Arctic Monkeys as "the first band of the MySpace generation" thanks to their use of online file sharing. In actual fact none of the band has ever had a personal MySpace or Facebook profile. Alex Turner claims never to have even looked at either site.

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  • Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders recently revealed the band's plan to complete their third album by the end of November 2008. The foursome recently completed sessions with Josh Homme at his remote Joshua Tree studio in the desert, an experience Helders claims may bring a "spaghetti western" influence to the album.

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  • Arctic Monkeys' debut album 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not', released in 2006, is often wrongly described as the biggest-selling British debut album of all time. It was in fact the fastest, not the biggest. After selling 363,735 copies in the first week, to date it has sold 1.5 million copies.

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  • Arctic Monkeys have made twice referred to Duran Duran in their lyrics. The first is in 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor' ("Your name isn't Rio, but I don't care for sand") - a reference to the song/video 'Rio'"). The second appears in the song 'Teddy Picker' ("Save it for the morning after" - a steal from the song 'Save A Prayer').

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  • Alex Turner was not the original singer in Arctic Monkeys. Initially the role of frontman was taken by Glyn Jones, a fellow Stackbridge High student. At that point Turner was not confident enough to be a singer. "Alex was really humble and didnâ

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  • The sleeve of the band's debut LP 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not', showing Chris McClure, a friend of the band (and brother of Reverend And The Makers' John) smoking a cigarette, was criticised by the head of the NHS in Scotland for "reinforcing the idea that smoking is OK".

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  • Arctic Monkeys are famously blase about appearing on TV. Upon winning Best Breakthrough Act at the 2006 BRIT Awards, they accepted via a video message. In it, all the talking was done by We Are Scientists' Keith Murray, presented as a fifth member of the band in a bid to confuse the audience.

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  • In 2006 Gordon Brown was quoted saying he was an Arctic Monkeys fan ("they really wake you up in the morning"). However, he was misquoted, and doesn't really like the band at all. Brown later said he was "more interested in the future of the Arctic Circle than the future of the Arctic Monkeys".

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  • In September 2005, four months before 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor' went to Number One, Alex Turner described the song as "a bit shit. The words are rubbish. It could be a big song, like. But I'd hate to be just known for that song because it's crap".

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  • Arctic Monkeys sent the rumour mill into overdrive when all four band members turned up to Glastonbury 2008, leading many to assume they were to make a surprise appearance on the Pyramid Stage. However, although Alex Turner ended up playing on the Park Stage with The Last Shadow Puppets, no Monkeys performance was forthcoming.

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  • On their first US tour, Arctic Monkeys were too young to drink legally in bars and clubs. This fact led one magazine to abandon plans to put the band on the cover, after liquor companies threatened to pull $500,000 of advertising.

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  • Arctic Monkeys distinctly British colloquialisms have caused much confusion in America. 'Rolling Stone' magazine, in a bid to help readers understand the band's lyrics, explained that 'chavs' were "white working-class stock characters, ridiculed for their gaudy tracksuits and hard-partying lifestyle, and known for loutish behaviour and conspicuous consumption".

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  • At the 2008 Brit Awards, Alex Turner poked fun at the well-heeled pupils of the Brit School of performing arts, who were in attendance - prompting an angry outburst from Adele, herself a graduate of the school. "He's not even working-class," she complained. "His parents are fucking teachers."

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  • When Arctic Monkeys signed a publishing deal with EMI publishing - reportedly for $750,000, although the band dismiss that figure as "bullshit" - Alex Turner celebrated his windfall by buying a Vauxhall Corsa.

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  • One of the only fellow musicians ever to criticise Arctic Monkeys is The Enemy's Tom Clarke. "Certain aspects of their music (on the second album) and certain aspects of their personality in the press just come across as dull," complained the vocalist in 2008.

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  • Arctic Monkeys' 2006 UK Number One 'When The Sun Goes Down', which deals with prostitution, is based on the band's own experiences. Alex Turner explains: "We used to practice on this industrial estate near the skate park in Neepsend, and gradually as the sun went down, all of the prostitutes and pimps would come out to play, as it were. On one occasion we had a prostitute knocking on the car window asking to lend her some money."

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  • Famous fans of Arctic Monkeys include Bond star Daniel Craig, Gordon Brown, Kate Moss and Noel Gallagher. Noel's brother Liam, on the other hand, has his reservations: "I like [Alex Turner], but he is still a kid. He was eight when 'Definitely Maybe' came out. What am I, a 36-year-old, supposed to say to that? They make me feel awkward."

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  • Guitarist Jamie Cook, who worked as a tiler before the band took off, once joked that would one day blow his brains out under the pressure of fame. "I'll get to 25 - boom! Everyone always sells more when they shoot themselves."

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  • Arctic Monkeys' new DVD (out November 3) features the band on the last night of their 2007 world tour. Speaking about watching the gig back on the big screen, bassist Nick O'Malley (pictured) said: "It's like when you see a photo of yourself and think, 'I look a bit shit'." Frontman Alex Turner added, "Whenever I watch myself speak I wish everything I'd said had been a sentence shorter."

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  • Despite being named in one poll as one of the 50 best British songwriters â

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  • Arctic Monkeys have no time for music biz ostentation. In 2005, when the band were being wined and dined by a plethora of record labels, guitarist Jamie Cook stubbornly insisted on paying his share of the bill at the end of every meal.

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  • In October 2005 Arctic Monkeys stunned the industry by selling out the 2,000-capacity London Astoria before they'd even released a single. However, they were not the first unsigned band to achieve this feat: The Darkness sold out the venue back in 2003.

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  • Arctic Monkeys began work on their third, as-yet untitled third album in January 2008, with the help of Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford. He told the 'Daily Star' in July that the new album is set to be "much more psychedelic than their first album (2006's 'Whatever People Say I Am, Thatâ

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  • During the South by Southwest festival in March 2006, Morrissey was quoted as saying the Arctic Monkeys' success was too soon and "a bit unnatural". He later apologised saying: "I'm sorry that the comments I made about the Arctic Monkeys were printed so harshly, I actually quite like them and whatever I said was said with tender, avuncular concern. I hope to God I didn't upset their grannies."

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  • Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders, long derided by the rest of the band for his woeful dress sense, now has his own clothing line through the brand Supreme Being which the sticksman designed himself, including three t-shirts, a jacket and a zip-up hoodie.

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  • The first big gig Alex Turner ever went to was The Vines in Manchester, declaring to himself there and then that he wanted to perform like lead singer Craig Nicholls. â

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  • Arctic Monkeys have been enthusing about their experience recording with Josh Homme at his Rancho De La Luna studio in Joshu Tree, California. Drummer Matt Helders told BBC 6 Music last month: "We did some days in the desert and it was amazing. The studio is just like a house thatâ

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  • Jamie Cook was still working as a bathroom tiler as late as May 2005. He once returned from a sold-out tour to complete a tiling job. Mostly he worked in London, because he could charge more than he could in Sheffield. Pic: Andy Wilsher

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  • In February 2008, it was reported that the band were having â

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  • Original Arctic Monkeys bassist Andy Nicholson (pictured, second left) used to enjoy winding up interviewers. He once told a US TV host that he used to be a champion tapdancer, "then I pulled me 'amstring and it were all over. I don't like to talk about it." Pic: Dean Chalkley

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  • Arctic Monkeys dressed up as "evil elves" for an NME Christmas special in 2007, complete with sledgehammers and fake bombs. The accompanying interview found the band smarting from a comment from Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who had described the band as a "load of cunts, posers, rubbish".

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  • Before signing with Domino Records, Arctic Monkeys built up a huge grass-roots buzz by giving out free CDs at shows to fans. Some of them posted the songs online - but, contrary to popular belief, the band themselves are not remotely web-savvy. "It was completely accidental," Alex Turner says. "We never posted any songs ourselves." Pic: Andy Wilsher

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  • Bassist Nick O'Malley was forced to learn Arctic Monkeys' entire back catalogue in two intensive days - during he which he "pretty much didn't leave the house" - when original bassist Andy Nicholson quit in May 2006, on the eve of a US tour. Pic: Andy Wilsher

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  • Arctic Monkeys' second album 'Favourite Worst Nightmare', released in April 2007, sold over 220,000 copies in its first week on sale - an impressive tally, although still 100,000 fewer than their record-breaking debut. Pic: Dean Chalkley

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  • Arctic Monkeysâ

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  • Prior to settling on the name 'Favourite Worst Nightmare', Arctic Monkeys toyed with calling their second album band 'Lesbian Wednesdays', 'Gordon Brown' or 'Gary Barlow'. Pic: Dean Chalkley

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  • One of the most valuable piece of Arctic Monkeys memorabilia is the limited-edition vinyl single they released under the pseudonym The Death Ramps in 2007. Only 250 copies of the 7-inch were ever pressed up. It featured the tracks 'Death Ramps' and 'Nettles', both of which also appeared as B-sides to the bandâ

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  • Alex Turner is set to make a guest appearance on Tony Christie's new album, 'Made In Sheffield', set for release November 10. The crooner, most recently known for the Comic Relief re-release of '(Is This the Way To) Amarillo' in 2005, is currently making a new album with Richard Hawley, and the Arctic Monkeys frontman will guest on the track 'Only Ones Who Know'. Pic: PA Photos

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  • Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders has ambitions to follow his former bandmate Andy Nicholson into the pub trade - and he already has a name for his future boozer, The Cautious Horse. Helders explained: "I don't know where [it'd be] as in location, but I'd want it to be underground, so it didn't look like a pub really. It'd just be a door with The Cautious Horse and you'd go downstairs." Pic: Dean Chalkley

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  • In July 2008 Alex Turner revealed that he'd been working on a song with The Kills' Alison Mosshart. Speaking to XFM, Turner said that the song was named 'The Fire And The Thud'. However, the song has never emerged, and it's thought the whole thing may simply have been a typical Turner wind-up. Pic: Andy Wilsher

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  • Alex Turner recently made his debut as a short story writer. Matt Helders' compilation album, 'Late Night Tales', released in October 2008, ends with Turner reading out his own story, 'The Choice Of Three'. Pic: Andy Wilsher

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  • Former Arctic Monkeys bassist Andy Nicholson has moved into the pub trade. In September 2008 he opened his first pub, The Bowery in Sheffield. The first night saw an acoustic show from Nicholson's friend Jon 'The Reverend' McClure.

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  • Arctic Monkeys are not big Radiohead fans. In an interview with NME, they referred sarcastically to a "riveting" Radiohead radio session they'd heard the night before, during which drummer Matt Helders "nearly fell asleep at the wheel" out of boredom. Pic: Andy Wilsher

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  • At the NME Awards in 2007 Arctic Monkeys claimed they were planning to work with Girls Aloud. Alex Turner said: â

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  • There is no animosity between Arctic Monkeys and their former bassist Andy Nicholson. In fact, in August 2008 Nicholson teamed up with Matt Helders for a DJ set in Ibiza. Helders and Nicolson played a hip-hop heavy set that featured House Of Pain's 'Jump Around', MIA's 'Galang' and 'Fix Up Look Sharp' by Dizzee Rascal.

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