Once again I state that the following is merely a translation of what was written ages ago. My views may have developed since then, my knowledge deepened...
original date of publishing: 9.7.2010 20:20
How it all started, continued, ended and then started again :)
My impatient readers have already been asking for the next part of my blog series about Take That :) So, quick, before I’m out of reach of the internet, here it is. Round of applause, ladies and gentlemen! In the following article you’ll be able to find what I had found about Take That before I got to listening to the albums. Tonight, dear children, I’ll tell you who Take That are, where they came from, what they did etc. And if you’re good, I’ll throw in a picture :) My sources of information were Wikipedia and then YouTube, the endless fount of interviews, documentaries etc. etc. Sometimes when I start watching stuff late in the night, I don’t know when to stop… I’m not going to recount all the interviews I’ve seen. That would only drive you crazy and me as well. But I will try to summarize, in a comprehensible way, the most important of the very first ones. Warning: I got a bit carried away and the article is awfully long O:) but there’s a song waiting for you at the end :)
First up is a TV interview on “Friday Night with Jonathan Ross” from 2007. (By the way, that’s one of the reasons why I’d like to live in the UK for a bit. I love some of their talk shows and TV programmes :) Jonathan Ross has had many famous guests on his chat show and it’s always great fun: good interviews, great sense of humour with jokes that are just on the edge of being “too much”… but not yet :) Not to mention that trying to understand his accent is a really tough way of learning English :D That was a bit off-topic. Back to Take That:
Take That on Jonathan Ross (2007). from the left: Howard, Mark, Jason, Gary. Not that you could see their faces very well, I know :P
So there on the sofa, I saw four middle-aged (and very handsome) guys and there was an air of a very very deep friendship around them. They talked about how it’s all different now that they’re back together, different from 10 years ago. Back then being in a band was all their lives and there was time for nothing else, but now they do have other lives and Take That are just about a half of them. They also talked about Rule The World, their new single for the film Stardust that was coming out at that time. And then there was a lot of fun and joking around but there’s no point in telling you all that :D When they were on Jonathan Ross two years before that, quite freshly after the re-union they talked (among other things) about a TV documentary that was made about them on the occasion of 10 years since the break-up of the band.
I couldn’t resist so I typed the name of the documentary into the search box on YouTube. Then I watched “Take That: For the Record” and the jigsaw was complete. I’m glad I’ve seen it in such an early stage of being a fan. It gave me at least some sort of detachment in my view and helped me not to idealize them too much. It was all about the beginning: in the year 1990, a manager by the name of Nigel Martin Smith decided to create a boy-band, a British response to the success and the growing popularity of the same concept in the States. He got together five lads: Gary Barlow (19 yrs old), Howard Donald (22), Jason Orange (20), Mark Owen (18) and Robbie Williams (16). All from Manchester or the surrounding areas.
I won’t delve into too much detail. The documentary combines separate interviews with all the members, the manager and a few other people who were around + original footage from music videos, television appearances and a lot of behind the scenes material. Sometimes the film is deliberately edited in a way to evoke controversy… The viewer is taken through the history of the band form the very early beginnings in all possible (even impossible) kinds of clubs, over the first few successful singles to the madness of thousands of teenage girls. The mania caused by these five lads has been compared to the similar effect Beatles had in their times. Endless crowds of girls from, I don’t know, 9-10 upwards, who lost their heads. Take That were the meaning of their lives… Hm… I never really liked this kind of fandom, and I’m trying to be careful, so as my thing for Take That doesn’t shift exactly to that…
The history went on to the year 1995, when Rob got a bit out of hand, stopped being a team player and after being confronted by the band, who told him to pull it together, he left. Take That went on as a four-piece and tried to pretend nothing happened, which was ok for about a year: another tour, a few more successful singles. Then they called it a day. I never completely understood why… They just decided to stop (1996). Why not after all…
The documentary touched upon the following media battle that Rob lead against Gary (and which is thank God over now). Robbie Williams… I’ve never liked him very much and having watched this documentary, the feeling prevails. Through the entire interview he acted as a “superstar”, he was arrogant and… and …. sort of like “Oh, poor little me, I had so many problems and nobody cared, nobody loved me. Bastards! :(((” Fair enough, but he was overdoing it a bit, in my opinion. That’s what I liked about the other guys: that they were able to look at their famous past from above. They have moved on in those 10 years (which you cannot say about Robbie, or at least that’s the way it seemed in the documentary), they’ve grown up, they’re wiser, two of them have become dads… :) At the end of the documentary all former members of Take That were invited to meet up. Robbie Williams declined and sent them a video message, which was in a way apologetic and conciliatory. The very end of the film was, in a proper journalist way, speculative: the four lads walking away down a road… Will Robbie join them some day or not?
Well and after the documentary… the lads had a few drinks and somehow it happened that they got back together :) Details and what followed will have to wait until next time.
For now we’re done with boring facts. Finally! I know ;) So as a reward for reading down to here, I have a song for you, as an icing on the cake. It’s the only one that I recognized from the snippets in watching “Take That – For The Record”. Apparently it was such a big hit that it reached even my ears here in the Czech Republic and that’s why it was familiar to me. Here’s the black and white treasure: Back For Good, enjoy!!!
God Save the Queen, God save Take That and God save all of you!