This week’s NME solves a mystery that’s bedeviled Arctic Monkeys fans since the oddly-titled “Brianstorm” broke last month: Who the hell is this Brian, and how did he get his own song?
ALEX TURNER: We were playing a gig once and this man walked in the dressing room — we don’t know how he managed to penetrate the thick security, he had a kind of laminate pass, I don’t know where he came from. He was very smooth and he made a lasting impression in a short space of time. We all felt very calm when he was speaking to us.
What? That’s it? You’d think, given his rep for vivid storytelling, that Alex could come up with something a little more — vivid. He didn’t even mention the “T-shirt and tie combination.” Perhaps he’s taking the piss? The Monkeys went on, making the story a little better:
AT: And then he left and we weren’t sure if we’d all imagined it simultaneously. It could’ve been a mixture of jet lag or anything like that, there’s many theories. We wrote it down and drew a picture of him and, over the coming weeks, I kind of guessed what he’d be like in the lyrics to that tune. He hasn’t been in touch yet, but he did leave me his card. I’m a bit scared to look at it. I think if you repeat “Brianstorm” in the mirror he appears behind you.”
JAMIE COOK: Like Biggie Smalls! (All laugh.)
There you have it: Brian may-or-may not be an overzealous fan, a jetlag-induced collective delusion, a door-to-door salesman with an indie-rock hookup, or a South Park in-joke. Frankly, we liked “Brianstorm” better when we thought it was a reference to “It’s Raining Men.” But the bigger question is: do we really want to know the real-world inspiration for every obscure lyric? Probably not. We’ll take the layered ambiguity of “Mr. November” (Record execs? George Bush? Derek Jeter? Don’t tell us!) over the certainty that “My Doorbell” was really about the time Jack White had to wait 35 minutes for his Domino’s pizza (he got it free) any day.