"I swear I thought I was the elephant man for a good couple of years..."
Writer Mark McCrum was a self-confessed music novice before embarking on life on the road with Robbie and his crew. "Then it was hangovers and running jokes (at his expense) all the way," said Robbie. Somebody Someday is an in-depth account of Robbie's life during his European tour 2001, giving a detailed insight into the Robbie Williams touring machine. An additional chapter - ‘Swinging Westwood' - was later added to the paperback version, joining Robbie a year on, as he recorded his ‘new album', Escapology.
Documented with photos by Scarlet Page, the book covers everything from Robbie's on-tour moods, his battle to stay clean and the crew's long days and even longer nights! With exclusive access to Robbie's daily pressures of performing live to more than 13,000 screaming fans, and how his feelings change as the tour goes on, Somebody Someday delves - as Robbie said - "inside my tour, my head and my pants..."
Robbie on fame
"If you're being followed 24 hours a day you have no life. You're being watched. And it takes your masculinity away, because you want to go and break legs and you can't do that. It is more than weird, more than strange, to be say in your house knowing there's four people waiting for you outside who you don't know. And as soon as you go out flashlights are going to go off, which is going to draw attention to you, which means then the road isn't safe. Then everybody knows where you live and everybody knows what's going on. And it's trauma to leave the house and to come back."
On his drug addiction
"Put it this way,' he says, ‘I turned up in Sweden and there was no way I could get on stage. No way I could perform. No way I could present myself. What I thought I was at the time and what I thought I looked like. I swear I thought I was the Elephant Man for a good couple of years. My job is to get up on stage and be judged. And the judgements I was passing against myself at the time were terrible."
Being attacked on stage
Whilst playing a gig in Stuttgart, Robbie is attacked and pushed off the stage by a deranged intruder.
"Halfway through the next song, ‘Supreme', a tiny figure dodges round the back black curtain and races across the stage towards the star. The band and audience hardly see him, he's running so fast. For a moment, Fil thinks it's Mick, dashing on to make some adjustment on the drum dais; then, horrified, he realises it's not. For the stranger, reaching Rob, plants both palms firmly on the back of his damp black shirt and pushes him forward, right off the front of the stage.
Rob's still holding his radio mike as he falls, tumbling over the shaved head of a shocked security guard as he crashes the five feet down into the black pit below, his assailant on top of him.
For a few seconds Rob is no more than a black, sprawled heap on the floor. The security guards have dragged up the attacker and got his hands behind his back. Rob is already stirring, pulling himself into a crouch, now calling for his radio mike.
Rob's acting almost on autopilot, but he's not going to be deterred, he's not going to call the show off - as he might have done before. He's going to get back there and finish his set.
‘Is everybody OK?' Rob shouts to the waiting crowd. ‘Yeah,' they reassure him. ‘Well, so am I,' he yells back. ‘And I'm not going to let any fucker get on stage and stop you having a good time."
On his sexuality
"Someone said to Jonathan the other week, "Oh, I think he likes men." Of course Jonathan got upset and stuck up for me, which he shouldn't have done. I just said to him, "Next time somebody asks you if I'm gay just say, ‘When Rob's good and ready to come out he will do.'" I don't give a toss if people think I'm gay.
‘I wouldn't say I've not thought about it, because you do. People do when they're growing up. And I did once kiss a man in a club, but that was like - you know, your lipstick lesbians that are not really lesbians - I just walked in and there was a friend of mine there at the time and he came up and kissed me. I thought, sod it, I'll kiss you then. But in a manly way.
‘I might try it. If I was attracted to a man then I'd do it, but as it stands I haven't been physically or emotionally attracted to a man to do anything sexual with them. That's how it stands at the minute."
On staying clean
"It's like I've been in this deep sleep, this deep nightmare and I've just woken up and seen how great things are. How wonderful my job is and what a gift it is. How lucky I am as a 27-year-old, to be given everything that I've been given. To be able to do what I'm doing. I sound like I'm gushing saying it, but it is a complete 360 degree turnaround from where I was seven or eight months ago."
"If it's an inside track on Robbie you're after, this is it...Somebody Someday is a welcome step up from the usual celebrity tat. David Beckham tried to do it with My World, but while his book looked pretty, it had nothing to say. You'll find plenty to chew on here."
The Daily Mirror, September 2001
"A read supreme...contains plenty of wonderfully frank Thoughts Of Chairman Rob on such matters as his multiple addictions, his sexuality and his scary fans. Like the man himself - a good-looking, sexy, funny book."
Heat, September 2001
"A brill new Robbie Williams book that takes the reader into the heart of the Robster's life...opens the door to what Robbie gets up to on tour, his mood swings, pre-show panics, everything...one of the best reads of the year."
Shout, September 2001