Take That… for the Record
The 5th most popular member of Take That laughed like Brian Blessed as he tried to remember if he had sexual intercourse with Lulu. "If I did I don’t remember – I’m a gentleman!" – it’s more likely you were stupendously pissed, Jason . "If Lulu says I’ve give her one and she says I was great that’s fine by me". Oh I bet it is you dirty fecker.
"He’s endured sex with Lulu but he also gets more ass in a month than most guys get in their life."
Success is relative. Jason is the least popular member of the most successful British band since The Beatles. He’s endured sex with Lulu but he also gets more ass in a month than most guys get in their life.
Such paradoxes littered Take That… for the Record – part reflection, part reunion for the five Northern lads who shook the world with their sussed pop and dead fit arses. Marking the tenth anniversary of their split, it seemed fitting.
“He’s definitely in the top three most disturbed individuals I’ve worked with.’ And Rob’s worked with crazy bastards like Kylie Minogue so you know he was wild."
It took them from early years of boot camp choreography, whipping the tubby Gary Barlow (third most popular member of Take That) into shape, through playing the gay clubs and the first TV appearances all the way through to world domination and the inevitable bust-ups that followed.
Robbie Williams, the second most popular member of Take That, had a tortured relationship with manager Nigel Martin Smith. "He’s definitely in the top three most disturbed individuals I’ve worked with." And Rob’s worked with crazy bastards like Kylie Minogue so you know he was wild. Smith seemed bemused by Williams’ antipathy but Robbie insisted "I only ever wanted him to love me. That’s the really sad thing. And he never did."
Robbie also had a tortured relationship with Gary Barlow. It seemed there was only room for one songwriter in the band and that had to be the more experienced Barlow. Jealousies and post-split rivalries abounded. You want to dislike Barlow, hoping he’s careerist industry scum but he comes across as a nice enough lad like the rest of them. Robbie takes things awfully personally, you suspect.
"You want to dislike Barlow, hoping he’s careerist industry scum but he comes across as a nice enough lad."
The shocking (ie not shocking at all) drug use was also covered. Robbie, shivering in bed because he’d been up all night with a certain international model drinking champagne and taking cocaine. In a totally unconnected story, it was revealed recently that Robbie was secretly dating Naomi Campbell for a year. Que vida.
"There was a time when I became too powerful. ‘I can’t be sacked now – let’s do drugs”" he deadpans.
Williams is the most interesting, most successful and least happy of the group. Even by celebrity standards, he seems desperately in need of approval. His engagingly open manner set the tone for the boy band confessional.
“‘I wanted to kill myself but I’m just too much of a shitbag to do it’. If only Richey Edwards had such insight.”
And it was his departure which really spelled the end for the group – a crippling body blow after which they staggered on for a year but, as Mark willingly acknowledged, it never felt the same without Robbie.
When the split came it came as a relief for the boys. All except for Howard Donald, fourth most popular member of Take That, who left his hotel room to jump into the Thames.
"I wanted to kill myself but I’m just too much of a shitbag to do it". If only Richey Edwards had such insight.
It was fascinating to see how the boys had spent their time since the split. Howard hasn’t pursued the suicide route, preferring to record his own album "which is, in my eyes, a great album" – yep, and in Helen Keller‘s eyes also. "We just didn’t end up releasing it " which, on the face of it, seems a curious oversight.
"Yeah alright Howard, we get the message – you’re great but nobody loves you."
He showed us clips of the unreleased single "Speak Without Words" ("it was an amazing single. It really was an amazing single"). Yeah alright Howard, we get the message – you’re great but nobody loves you.
Gary the Gunt has been raising a family with his wife Dawn, a former Take That dancer. He seems happy in his gigantic mansion surrounded by gold discs,oil paintings and smiling kids.
Dim-witted pretty boy Mark, most popular member of Take That, has moved to The Lakes to walk through streams and ponder how he spends all his cash. After a brief spell back in the spotlight winning Celebrity Big Brother, he’s currently writing music for a film.
“He didn’t mention his brief appearance as a DJ in Lynda La Plante’s criminally underrated Killer Net which is a shame as I really liked that (everyone else thinks it’s shite).”
Jason Orange, has been back to college to "do some courses" which I think is a capital idea. He’s also done some backpacking and been pondering stuff. He didn’t mention his brief appearance as a DJ in Lynda La Plante‘s criminally underrated Killer Net which is a shame as I really liked that (everyone else thinks it’s shite).
The reunion itself felt slightly awkward with Robbie not turning up. He sent a video apologising to all the members individually – telling Howard, Mark and Jason what nice guys they are. And while he didn’t go so far as to call Barlow a nice guy he apologised for calling him a crap songwriter.
Williams explained the insult by saying he had his head up his own arse at the time and wanted to be in Oasis which, as excuses go, beats the crap out of ” the dog ate my homework".
"Williams explained the insult by saying he had his head up his own arse at the time and wanted to be in Oasis which, as excuses go, beats the crap out of ‘the dog ate my homework’."
Would Robbie swap all he had for The Life of Barlow? "14 Brits?" he howled "Fuck off!" before conceding "no, in all seriousness I would swap everything I have for that."
It goes to show that you can have the girls, the drugs and the acclaim but it’s simple old domesticity that the lonely pop-star wants. Expect a double disc concept album on that very theme sometime soon.
The best thing about it: Candid backstage footage – for once, very revealing.
The worst thing about it: Early Barlow footage of Christmas hymn C&A pullover atrocity.
The verdict on Take That… for the Record: "Lulu was the best piece of ass I’ve ever had and I’ve had ’em all over the world. SHAZZAM!"
Marks out of 10: 7.5