Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Robbie Williams is not in control

We might be especially cynical, but we can't help wondering: when Robbie booked rehab, did he think "it's my 33rd birthday, which is a pity, but if I'm going to try and upstage the Brits..."?

Although really, he'd have been better off waiting 24 hours. As, instead, today there's just the sense that he's a bad loser. The 3AM Girls in the Mirror (in an "exclusive" headlined "torment of Robbie") more-or-less blames us - the Great British Public - and them - the Brits - for conspiring to feed Robbie Xanax:

The bombing of his latest album Rudebox - mauled by critics - coupled with former band Take That's hugely successful comeback only pushed him further into the abyss of depression.

And Robbie, once the golden boy of pop with a clutch of awards and millions of fans, was distraught when he managed one paltry nomination at tonight's Brits.

For the first time in 10 years he is not up for Best British Male, Best British Album or Best Single - just a conciliatory nod in the Best Live Act category.

As an abyss is bottomless is bottomless, it's not clear you can actually go further into one - it's like saying there's a deeper bottomless pit somewhere.

The 3AMies reckon the birthday check-in is part of that big 'ole wacky Williams sense of fun we all know and have to endure in gurning appearance after gurning appearance:
Sources close to self-confessed cocaine and booze binger Robbie, whose career is on the slide, said his decision to check himself in to the Meadows rehab clinic in Arizona on his birthday was down to his "weird sense of humour".

Yes. Very funny. Although a rehab you can check into with a cheeky wink doesn't sound like the sort of place your demons chase you to, does it?

The Meadows, of course, was the rehab clinic where Kate Moss was "cured" of cocaine use in about five minutes, and where she later sent Pete Doherty. Doherty didn't exactly come back a different man.

The Daily Mail swings into action, erm, cutting and pasting bits from Lisa D'Amato's News of the World interview on Sunday:
'Sad Robbie has to pop pills just to get through the day'

The Mail details - or rather, quotes the NOTW detailing - how Williams needs to pop pills just... oh, you're ahead of us.

Not that the Mail isn't sympathetic to a suffering man. Elsewhere, it offers a Bedlam style chance to look at the madman:
Scroll down to watch video of Robbie behaving like a child

It brings its readers up to speed on the story, too:
Williams has become a recluse at his home in LA and recently cancelled the Asian leg of his world tour, citing stress and exhaustion.

That's the sort of recluse who bumps into America's Next Top Model competitors at glittery parties and pops up in paparazzi snaps shopping with Michelle Trachtenberg. That sort of recluse.

But while the Mirror suggests the root of his problems is a string a terrible setbacks, the Mail quotes his sister Sally as saying his trouble is he's like a god:
'He has a vulnerable side and is very human. People tend to put him on a pedestal and he has almost become public property. There is a lot of pressure that goes with that.'

At confusing times like this, we must turn to Victoria Newton in The Sun. Much like Churchill during the darkest days of war, she'll shine some light into the now-even-deeper abysses where Robbie struggles with the loss of his fame and being too popular. Of course, the story is really all about... her:
I SPENT an incredible two and a half hours alone with Robbie Williams in the middle of his Close Encounters world tour last year.

Of course, Victoria. For you are, it says here:
The Journalist Who Knows Robbie Best

Although not so well as to stop your paper running a big piece yesterday morning about how Robbie would be marking his 33rd birthday with a celebration, of course. But do carry on.

What was he like when you met him last year?
Robbie is immensely likeable and charming in the flesh, and despite confessing he hated being on tour, he seemed to be going through a happier phase of his life.

You really do know him well, don't you? Odd that everyone else seemed to think he was a pill-popping crime scene.
I’ve met him at various stages of his life. From when he was just a cheeky young chappie in Take That — to when he was hopelessly addicted to drugs and drink and incapable of holding a conversation.

Wasn't he incapable of holding a conversation while he was in Take That?

Still, at the meeting where Robbie seemed happy and relaxed, Victoria - with her trained journalist's eye for detail - noticed that he didn't seem all that happy or relaxed:
[W]hen I met up with him in a posh hotel in Vienna, he seemed happy.

He admitted he would crack up if he wasn’t still on the “happy pills”, and I watched as he downed at least six double espressos during the course of the interview. And each time he put out a cigarette, he immediately lit up another one.

I also noticed that he still finds it impossible to sit still or relax.

He is constantly fidgeting, wandering around the room, whistling, singing, and obviously finds it hard to just sit back and chill out.

Actually, we'd be pretty agitated if we were locked in a room for two hours with Newton.
And while he did seem genuinely upbeat, a lot has happened to Robbie since then.

He was forced to cancel dates in Asia claiming he was exhausted while his Rudebox album was met with mixed reviews and disappointing sales.

And he has been forced to accept that the Take That reunion tour has overshadowed his own record breaking Close Encounters tour.

Not that you'd have got that impression if you read Newton's column, of course.
I think it’s a combination of those things that probably tipped him over the edge.

Oddly, Newton makes no mention of one of his other big troubles - former Take That manager Nigel Martin-Smith threatening to sue over lyrics to one of the songs on Rudebox. You'd have thought that expensive slip would have been close to the top of Newton's mind, what with her printing the lyrics in full and the paper then having to run a grovelling apology to Martin-Smith and all.

It's also interesting that Newton suggests that a bad late autumn pushed an otherwise contented Williams "over the edge" when all other suggestions - even her own bloody piece - make it clear he's been popping pills since Mrs Dale was a diarist. But then Newton is clearly so afraid of losing Williams exclusives, she can't even bring herself to call him a self-obsessed fuck-up. Indeed, you'd think she was applauding:
Robbie is a complex character with a big heart and a big ego — coupled with low self-esteem and self loathing. It is exactly that combination of things that makes him the best performer this country has produced in years.

He's so brilliant, he's had to check himself into brilliantness rehab, to stop his wonderfulness burning a hole in his amazingness.

So, what's he hooked on? The Sun knows, of course:
He is hooked on the powerful and controversial anti-depressant Seroxat, which has been linked to suicidal tendencies in teenagers.

And daily he gets through an incredible 36 super-strength double espresso coffees, 60 Silk Cut cigarettes and around 20 cans of energy drink Red Bull.

That's a lot. Especially since The Mirror reckons:
Friends feared Robbie, 33 yesterday, had lost his mind thanks to his addiction to potent pills Vicodin and Xanax.

It's the red bull that's the most worrying, of course. Think what it's doing to his teeth.

Still, if he is getting through sixty fags a day, it might go some way to explaining why it takes him three hours to get it up.

The Mirror, meanwhile, frets over how he spends his day:
He spent days on end watching TV or reading about himself on the internet. His curtains stayed drawn all day as he lost track of time.

Reading about himself on the internet? You don't think he ever... nah, surely not.


Cobardon said...

"Still, if he is getting through sixty fags a day."

Be careful here...remember he lives in California these days, so that might not mean what you think it means...

unless, of course, that was what you meant. Which it couldn't be of course, given our knowledge of rampant hetero Robbie.

So 'fags' in the Brit sense it is. Yup. Definitely.

Anonymous said...

hey all, being a long fan of Robbie relizing he is not the most stable babe on the planet we have to remember that he is only human and if he takes drugs , has too much grog and wild sex from time to time thats him and we should not mould him into anything he is not comfortable with, as it will backfire... he has to look after and love himself first before all of us common onlookers can jump to any conclusions and judge another person we have grown to know and not really know him personally and respect the common respect he would give us in this situation.. love your work Robbie ... God bless ,love and kisses Kim...

natalius lukas said...

Thank you, your article is very good

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