Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Dilemma of Choice

Watched a fascinating piece of television last week. It interviewed each of the five members Take That and attempted to bring them together for the first time in 10 years since they split up.

Take That was a British Boy Band who had spectacular success in the early to mid 90’s. One of their members was Robbie Williams who at the time was a young rascal who was more interested in partying and getting smashed then conforming with the clean-cut image of the band.

He quit in July 1995 which in effect was the beginning of the end. The band announced its termination in February 1996.

People were curious who would emerge from the Take That ashes. Would it be Gary Barlow, the lead singer and creative genius behind the quintet or would it be Robbie, the enfant terrible?

Coming off the momentum of Take That, it looked like it would be Barlow who was releasing some stuff which was generating positive results and feedback. Robbie was just doing ok but then came Angels and they rest they say is history.

He has since come out with hit after hit after hit while Barlow floundered to the point where he quit as a singer. But Barlow lives in a huge mansion in Cheshire which has about 36 rooms with each room as big as a tennis court. He is married to a former Take That dancer and has two kids. And although his singing career is finished, he is still songwriting and producing.

That wasn’t the interesting part though.

Barlow said, “I never wished I was Robbie Williams but there were times when I wished I had Robbie Williams' career.”

Later in the show, Robbie remarkably said, “I would swap all of my current success for Gary’s happy family life.”

Say that again?!?!?!?!

The wild child of rock and roll with a lifestyle that most people can only dream about would give it all up for domestic bliss? Yes. He was deadly serious.

Barlow doesn’t have to work another day in his life and has two photogenic kids straight from central casting and the trophy wife to boot and he isn’t happy with that either?

What is going on?

Shows that the grass is really greener on the other side.

But why is it as humans we simply can not be happy with what we have and covet, if not lust about what we don’t have or can’t have? That ultimately is the struggle in life.

This comes in the wake of the Christie Brinkley saga where the supermodel wasn’t good enough for her husband, Peter Cook and he had to start making do with girls who were barely legal.

I was once out with two friends A and B. A was married and B wasn’t. I wasn’t either. During the course of the night, both A and B told me separately. “If only B knew how lucky he is. He has freedom and can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants” and “A has it so good. Wish I could be in his shoes and have someone to go home to and not be lonely all the time.”

In this instant gratification, gimmee-gimmee-gimmee society we are used to getting everything we want and when we make a choice and have to adhere to it, by comparison it seems incredibly constricting. This is how you have sports and show-biz stars breaking out of contracts all the time. So I signed a four year deal? Who cares about that. That was then. I want something else now.

This has been going on forever since Chapter 2 of Genesis when G-d created the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Problem for us is that it doesn’t look like stopping any time soon.


Blogger ifyouwillit said...

We live in a world full of oppertunity, and we percieve different as better, it is human nature.

The grass is always greener on the other side so if we pay more attention to nurtuting our field, we will be happy with out lot.

1:55 PM  
Blogger tafka PP said...

Need to beg to differ (as was still avidly following the music press at the time) nobody was "curious" about how things would turn out post TT- it was perceived as a given. (I remember an article "The New George Michael"- about GARY)

And of course Robbie doesn't shut up about how all he wants is one true love: It's his "shtick"!

Nice point about green grass, tho.

And now I'm getting back to work.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Dot Co Dot Il said...

If - You raise some good points.

PP - What did the press at the time say about Robbie?

4:55 PM  
Blogger FrumGirl said...

Oh gosh, I remember Take That! I wasnt a real fan but they had that good song "I want you back"....

Ok yep, nobody is truly happy with what they have, is that what you are saying? In a way its good, we will always be striving for more, let it be realized in spirituality. And I am far from there :-)

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite was always Mark ...

7:26 PM  
Blogger kasamba said...

Great post- I loved Take That and I feel really sorry for both Gary and Robbie because they both come off like losers.
Robbie with every music video he brings out having mysoginistic overtones and no family and Gary with his family but deflated career.
We live in a disposable society where the next thing is always going to be better.

How's the Mrs??????

1:50 AM  
Blogger Wisey said...

When I meet Robbie (hopefully) in December, I'll tell him you say hi.

+ am I filling the daily comment quota you requested?

2:34 AM  
Blogger Dot Co Dot Il said...

FG - That is what I am saying. Good luck with your journey. The problem we face is that after striving for one thing we then want something else.

Anon - Bit like the people who avoided the Paul/John debate by picking George ;)

K - 100% She is ok - just entered the ninth month.

Wisey - Please do and feel free to ask him about these things. While he may still be a lout on the outside think over time he has matured over time on the inside. And great comments :)

9:01 AM  
Blogger tafka PP said...

Robbie was the wild child, partying non-stop with Noel and Liam at the time. They expected entertainment, not solid gold music a la Mr. Formulaic Barlow. And indeed, Robbie's first solo single (non-cover) was called "Let me entertain you"...

10:41 AM  
Blogger Dot Co Dot Il said...

According to Wikipedia he did Freedom '90 followed up by Old Before I Die and then Lazy Days and South Of The Border before Let me Entertain You.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Noodles said...

Great blog! I dont think our international neighbours will be looking over the 'fence' right now and looking at the 'green grass' of Israel and wishing they were here! But heck, we are happy!

11:07 PM  
Blogger Dot Co Dot Il said...

Noodles - Think Tel Aviv would trump Amman and Beirut any day of the week ;)

1:09 PM  

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