Williams 14th December 1999 GMT: 14:15PM
the age of 16 he was a star with Take That, then there was rehab,
now hes an adored pop solo star but is he happy? ROBBIE WILLIAMS
talks, in this rare and frank interview about downfall and resurrection.
the recent Music of the Millennium poll, Robbie Williams
was declared, by half a million voters, the sixth most influential
musician of the century. He was placed higher than Mozart.
read that again.
Williams more important than Mozart?
you agree with the outcome and perhaps did yourself place a vote
for Williams or whether you ridicule the whole thing (Steps did
appear in two categories remember!) you cant ignore the fact
that for a relatively ordinary young man from Stoke-On-Trent who
wrote his first song in 1997 its a mean feat.
so the angelic one should be riding high on the sturdy
wave of success smirking in his familiar manner and taunting I
told you so. But hang on! What are these disturbing headlines?
ROBBIE TO QUIT MUSIC, ROBBIE UNHAPPY WITH SHOWBIZ.
Apparently Robbie has become disillusioned with the music lifestyle
reportedly not enjoying his career boosting triumphant
Slane Castle show and becoming increasingly adverse to attention
people know my address Im living like Im in a goldfish
bowl. The doorbell is ringing all the time and when I put my head
out of the window for a few seconds, theres an instant mass
of people outside.
so it is that Robbie proves his child boredom tendency
quickly becoming uninterested with his new toy
the Take That incident only emphasising this. His new plaything
is apparently acting.
when Robbie becomes uninterested, he becomes seriously uninterested
becoming involved with something as far removed as possible
from the original source of interest. From the clean cut outwardly
happy singing and dancing combo to drink, drugs and ultimately rehab.
we witnessing a personality flaw in the ever loved Robbie
a touch of arrogance in the fames too good for me
attitude or is the poor bloke just suffering from an insecure childhood
resulting in a vulnerable man not used to such attention?
first memory is that two boys on a beach laughed at me, cause my
belly was bigger than theirs. Thats really sick, when the
only things you remember are self-doubt and insecurities.
into the Take That camp at the tender age of 16, Robbie hoped it
would help his insecurity because it
feels good to be noticed. If youre a child inside the applause
gives you an ego-boost. Its like a mirror you look into and
find yourself beautiful. If you read Vanity Fair you
think famous people lead a fantastic life. I also thought that fame
would make my weaknesses disappear. Now I know that fame increases
your weaknesses. Take That had the creativity of idiots and was
lead by a Satan. If theres someone who taught me the fear
of God, its our manager Nigel Martin-Smith. Sometimes Im
still trembling of fear when I think about that devil. That bastard
has messed me up emotionally. He knows that there are young people,
whod do everything to become famous. Hes only managing
naïve teenagers and it was very easy to manipulate me when
I was 16. Unfortunately I forgot to read the small print in the
contract. And I didnt understand that I made a false pact:
He gives you fame and wealth and you sacrifice your soul and 25%
of the incomings.
a millionaire at the age of 18 has obviously lightened the load
Ive just bought a pool
table for $50,000 from New York but no amount
of money could shift it completely as Take That gradually forced
Robbie to lose any inkling of respect he once had for himself
We once played in a school in America. The audience were black
kids who were into rappers like Naughty by Nature. And there we
were, singing I found heaven on the wings of love. That
feeling of shame I will take into my grave with me. I hated our
music and in the end I also hated myself.
now found himself faced with an opportunity to get out he
had found his new toy I
was at the end and when Im feeling bad I become self-destroying.
So I took all kinds of drugs. It was quite funny for some time.
The attention and publicity stayed with him though as the tabloids
branded him a fat joke I was a miserable,
pitiable creature. In the morning I first finished the bottle of
red wine I had fallen asleep over two hours earlier. Then I took
a line of coke, cause otherwise I wouldnt have been able to
get up. I told my tale of woe to everyone: Im a victim.
The whole world has treated me badly. If youre weird
and confused already drugs are the worst combination with that.
realisation of a diminishing life made Williams determined to resurrect
his career. Two Number One platinum-selling albums, countless hit
singles and sell-out concerts later and Robbie still exhibits those
insecurities Take that microphone
away from Robbie Williams and he is shy and insecure. I can perform
in front of 80,000 people. But I turn into a trembling bag of nerves
if I have to talk to someone in a bar, someone I dont know
for many years. I still dont know who I am.
from the very public drugs incident these insecurities have remained
relatively private from the prying public eye and it comes as a
shock to see someone, known of as a loud, out-going, cheeky and
fun-loving guy, suffering like this. Robbie however knows he would
never have amounted to anything displaying this instability
When you dont show off a massive
ego you will never become a pop star.
certainly is this ego that has made Williams successful ensuring
his unique brand of music together with his quick wit and intelligence
make him a one of a kind performer. Robbie agrees
Theres just one thing I think
I really am: Very entertaining.
you were truly honest with yourself I dont think anyone out
there can disagree. Compare him to other artists of the time and
youll realise why Robbie chooses Gary Barlow as a comparison!
One of my songs is called Strong.
His new record is called Stronger. So I will have to
call my next album Strongest. But I shouldnt be
saying anything against Gary. His interviews are so embarrassing,
they make me look like a God, and his music makes minesound
better than Johann Sebastian Bach.
Robbie better than Mozart remember!