Take That Star Gary Barlow talks to Cheshire Life
PUBLISHED: 00:59 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:46 20 February 2013
TAKE that millionaire Gary Barlow will never forget the words to Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush's rendition of Don't Give Up. It was the song he heard as he drove down the M6 motorway back to his Cheshire home after he'd been dropped by his label
TAKE that millionaire Gary Barlow will never forget the words to Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush's rendition of Don't Give Up. It was the song he heard as he drove down the M6 motorway back to his Cheshire home after he'd been dropped by his record label as a solo artist.
This tale is the opening gambit for his book, My Take, now updated with the story of the boy band's recent meteoric comeback and featuring more than 50 never seen before photographs of Gary and Take That. For me, reading the book was almost like a trip down memory lane.
As a teenager I would spend a lot of my weekends visiting the homes of various members of Take That. One week would be Mark's, the next Jason's and on it went and Gary was no exception. In fact, I may even have told my dad I was working on a project for school rather than admitting I'd gone to Cheshire with my friend, Gemma, in search of Gary's home - sorry dad. Last year, when 'the boys' announced their comeback tour, I was there on the front block. Later this year I will be there again.
It's certain the Cheshire musician has come a long way. As well as an accomplished songwriter, pianist and lead singer of one of the biggest boy bands to date, he is also a successful producer, an Ivor Novello Award recipient and, most importantly, a dad.
He tells of this and of his own childhood growing up in Cheshire in his book, including living on a close-knit council estate in Frodsham. His family, apart from his Nan Bo, lived close by and even now Gary loves having a full house including when the band are recording in his home studio.
The former Weaver Vale Primary School student escaped from 'the Bronx', as he called it, to live closer to the centre of Frodsham when his family moved house. He spent his early days performing magic tricks for his dad's friends at his pigeon club evenings.
He recalls those days: 'My parents would never have encouraged me to hog the limelight, but I got good enough at the magic for my dad to take me along as the entertainment. It didn't matter what I was doing, it could have been Irish line dancing for all I cared, it was the audience I loved.' And these audiences only grew.
He entered A Song for Christmas on BBC1's Pebble Mill and performed on the northern club circuit before recording a cover version of Love is in the Air, aged 18, under the stage name of Kurtis Rush.
But the big break came when he got his place as lead singer of Take That. It was this move that catapulted him to stardom along with his four band mates Mark, Jason, Howard and Robbie. He wrote many number one hits for the supergroup, travelled the world and even met his wife, Dawn Andrews, who was a backing dancer. The couple have two children, Daniel and Emily.
Despite a happy home life, Gary describes in the book how his weight ballooned after the demise of his solo career. But he managed to fight back from the brink and last year the group reformed, minus Robbie.
Gary, who moved from his beautiful home at Delamere Manor in Cuddington to London after their revival, is now riding on the crest of a wave again with sell-out tours and hit singles once again under his belt.
In the book he says: 'Music, Take That and what we do is not real life. It's magical. As soon as you begin to believe it the magic will disappear. I have to thank the boys for bringing a very special magic back into my life. Howard, Jay and Mark, you are the best.'
Gary admits up until recently he could not listen to the song that marked what he thought was the end of his time in the music world. But it just goes to show you shouldn't give up.
My Take, priced 7.99, is a Bloomsbury publication and is available from all good book shops.