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Old 10-15-2009, 03:35 PM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default It can be tough at the top

After three years away Robbie Williams had problems with his comeback gig, to be televised in front of 14 million people. People thought he was drunk or stones but it turned out that he was just super nervous:
"The veil is finally falling," Williams said. "I'm always nervous, but in the past I've been able to look cocksure through the nerves. I'm not sure if I'm able to mask it anymore.

"I got on there and had a bit of a wobble. It was overwhelming, the love in the room was palpable but I just didn't know what to do with my arms. I didn't feel like the seasoned pro I am, it just felt a bit alien.

I maybe should have done a few other TV shows before I did that big one. In the script people have written for me there's a lot expected of me. And I expect a lot of myself.
The rewards are great but it's a lot of pressure. It must be hard sometimes for top musos to maintain a natural musical perspective and just plug into the moment. There'd be a lot of distractions. I think playing live TV, while good commercially, would be a drag - heaps of preparation and pressure just to perform cold for a few minutes and then off to wait for the critics' comments.

I don't feel sorry for him because he's set for life but his scene is such a parallel universe. I wonder if he wishes he could just front up in a small club and play a couple of sets?
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:33 AM
John Galt John Galt is offline
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Default Re: It can be tough at the top

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
After three years away Robbie Williams had problems with his comeback gig, to be televised in front of 14 million people. People thought he was drunk or stones but it turned out that he was just super nervous:
"The veil is finally falling," Williams said. "I'm always nervous, but in the past I've been able to look cocksure through the nerves. I'm not sure if I'm able to mask it anymore.

"I got on there and had a bit of a wobble. It was overwhelming, the love in the room was palpable but I just didn't know what to do with my arms. I didn't feel like the seasoned pro I am, it just felt a bit alien.

I maybe should have done a few other TV shows before I did that big one. In the script people have written for me there's a lot expected of me. And I expect a lot of myself.
The rewards are great but it's a lot of pressure. It must be hard sometimes for top musos to maintain a natural musical perspective and just plug into the moment. There'd be a lot of distractions. I think playing live TV, while good commercially, would be a drag - heaps of preparation and pressure just to perform cold for a few minutes and then off to wait for the critics' comments.

I don't feel sorry for him because he's set for life but his scene is such a parallel universe. I wonder if he wishes he could just front up in a small club and play a couple of sets?
Interesting Polly. I have long marvelled at the crowds gathered for these entertainers and wondered what their thoughts were having the weight of all those peoples expectations upon them. I guess now we know!
It must be quite daunting for the individual knowing that these people are here for you, the entertainer to amuse them. Little wonder these people think they are some sort of deity.
People handle things in different ways, conceal true thoughts but for a select few.
Like you, I dont feel sorry, but I have a sympathy for his predicament. People's expectations can be burdensome.

Have a great day.
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:07 AM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Re: It can be tough at the top

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Interesting Polly. I have long marvelled at the crowds gathered for these entertainers and wondered what their thoughts were having the weight of all those peoples expectations upon them. I guess now we know!

It must be quite daunting for the individual knowing that these people are here for you, the entertainer to amuse them. Little wonder these people think they are some sort of deity.
People handle things in different ways, conceal true thoughts but for a select few.
Like you, I dont feel sorry, but I have a sympathy for his predicament. People's expectations can be burdensome.
Exactly how I feel, John. I used the get nervous seeing just a few hundren people who had parted with their hard-earned and taken their time to see some of my old bands. I'd look out and think, "Wow, all these people are relying on us to help them have a good night". That can be pretty motivating too. You just want to get out there and do the right thing by them and give them their good night out.

But that's small fry. When I see all these performers playing at monster events, and they all seem so confident and in control, it seems rare that someone shows a chink in their armour like that. I admire his bravery in expressing doubts about his continued ability to keep faking confidence. You rarely hear performers (or anyone!) admitting vulnerability like that.

I guess what's happened is he's lost the thread - the whole point - which is to get lost in the act of making music, whch is what got them there in the first place. What amazes me is that we don't hear of it happening more because there's so much extramusical stuff that can distract musos from the main game.
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Old 10-17-2009, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: It can be tough at the top

I've never been at the top but I have done the odd big gig. I never felt nervous before climbing aboard the kit, but as soon as I started to play, the nerves came in like a wave. I really struggled through the first number every time but settled down thereafter. That said, I don't think the crowds at those gigs had the level of expectation that RW had to endure. Polly, I think I've told you about a certain very well known rock singer who went through a major display of nerves directly prior to each of his performances. This was in a PM so don't repeat please, but it shows just how nervous these people can get no matter how used to big occasions they may be.
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:15 AM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Re: It can be tough at the top

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I've never been at the top but I have done the odd big gig. I never felt nervous before climbing aboard the kit, but as soon as I started to play, the nerves came in like a wave. I really struggled through the first number every time but settled down thereafter. That said, I don't think the crowds at those gigs had the level of expectation that RW had to endure. Polly, I think I've told you about a certain very well known rock singer who went through a major display of nerves directly prior to each of his performances. This was in a PM so don't repeat please, but it shows just how nervous these people can get no matter how used to big occasions they may be.
Yeah, Jimmy Barnes, lead singer from an old Aussie band called Cold Chisel said in interviews that he used to get so nervous before playing big gigs that he'd throw up. But, unlike Robbie (of late), you'd never know http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrDSh7WWdZs

And you wouldn't know looking at old Robbie clips: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGzTyhSX7e0
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