So, I’m not a big a fan of Take That anymore, I don’t listen to them on my walkman, I don’t even have any of their cassette tapes, but if you asked me to go to a concert or watch me when I hear one of their songs on the transistor radio, you’d think I was their number one fan.
Take That defined my teen years. So many of my best memories growing up have Take That in them. I remember where I was when they announced they were breaking up, I remember that crushing feeling like my world was falling apart, I remember tears, lots of tears, sitting in my Take That shrine bedroom listening so intensely to “Never Forget”, mouthing the lyric “Everybody Sing, Oh Baby, Na Na Na Na Na Na Na” along with Robbie, knowing he was no longer part of the band! (You know the part, right?) I will never forget the dances, the rifts in the songs, the words….they remind me of a time in my life when I was so full of hope, so happy, carefree, so excited for what was next in my life….my heart still soars when I listen to “Babe” and that will never change. “Hello then pause…before I began to speak”.
Even today Take That songs are relevant. “Never forget where you come here from, never pretend that it’s all real” “we’ve come a long way but we’re not too sure where we’ve been, we’ve had success, we’ve had good times…we’re still so young and we hope for more…remember this, we’re not invincible” YES Gary, we hear you loud and clear! He was so wise beyond his years – “A Million Love Songs” REALLY? Written age 15. I mean there are grown men now that can’t express the sincerity he does in this song. “Close your eyes, but don’t forget what you have heard, a man trying to say 3 words, words that make him scared.”
The fact that he always manages to put into words the issues we experience in relationships all the time, is amazing to me. Issues that affect everyone; long distance, “Everything Changes but you, we’re a thousand miles apart but I still love you”, when love dies, “never talk the way we used to talk, til we both know what we’ve lost, never say the words we did before, til it was over….Love Aint Here Anymore”. I mean, age 12 I had no idea what love looked like, I hadn’t been in love or experienced the hurt the songs spoke of but still I sang the words so passionately, believing them, never really understanding or experiencing the feelings in them. Looking back though, Gary was painting a picture of what love looked like, what relationships looked like, what hurt looked like and what life looked like. Preparing me for all the things I was yet to experience.
I remember watching the movie part of the “Sure” video wishing I could hang out with guys like them, they were so down to earth, normal guys. I used to wish I was little ginger kid – “Tuck me into bed, Mark!!”. Then there’s those mesh tops, now, if “Do What You Like” didn’t do it for you, then the mesh tops in “Sure” got your pulse racing! Though, I’m sure I’m not the first to say this but I’d much rather take Gary in that mesh top today than back then…!
Take That were much more than just a band to me, they shaped my youth AND my future without me even realizing it! I’m not a huge fan of Take That now, I love country music, I love well written lyrics, and country music has them in abundance, but maybe I should go back to my roots, where I first fell in love with lyrics, Take That. Their lyrics today still speak to my heart, they are growing and changing as I do, just listen to “When We Were Young” and see for yourself.
“And when you look at yourself tonight, are you someone you recognize?” “We were foolish fearless, never knowing the cost of what we paid, letting someone else be strong.” Wow. Still got it guys!
Thank you for the memories Take That…you still move me today, in every way.
So, I’m gonna say it loud and proud from now on: I am a Take That fan, who’s with me??