History of Arctic Monkeys Reading Festival (2001-2003)

In 2001 Arctic Monkeys Reading Festival, neighbours Alex Turner and Jamie Cook learned how to play the guitar, later the two boys received guitars as Christmas presents,the pair formed a band with Turner’s schoolmates Andy Nicholson and Matt Helders.Nicholson already played bass guitar, so Helders ended up playing drums — “that was all that were left… they all had guitars so I bought a kit after a bit.” According to an interview with Blender magazine, Turner was not the original singer of the band, but instead, Glyn Jones, another attendee of Stocksbridge High School, used to be the frontman. Jones said that he and Turner “were bored [after our GCSE exams] so we started writing a song about a geek in our year…”, and that he left the band because he “did not have the dedication to take it any further… to me we were just a gang of kids messing around because we were bored.” Although reports suggested they named themselves after Helders’ uncle’s (or even father’s) band, Helders later admitted that “so many people asking us that in the UK, so we just started making stories up”,and that he just didn’t have the heart to tell the original reporter he’d been lying.
After a few performances in 2003 the band began to record demos and burn them into CDs to give away at gigs, which were promptly file-shared amongst fans. The group did not mind, saying “we never made those demos to make money or anything. We were giving them away free anyway — that was a better way for people to hear them. And it made the gigs better, because people knew the words and came and sang along.”, admitting that they did not even know how to get their songs onto the Internet.When asked about the popularity of the band’s MySpace site in an interview with Prefix Magazine, the band said that they were unaware what it was, and that the site had originally been created by their fans. “[When we went number one in England] we were on the news and radio about how MySpace has helped us. But that’s just the perfect example of someone who doesn’t know what the fuck they’re talking about. We actually had no idea what it was.”

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