Night Out with the Stalkers
Close Encounter with the world of Robbie Williams
leg of the Robbie Williams Close Encounters World Tour 2006
is over, but I'm still haunted. It was a wonderful show, but
not all is wonderful in the world of Robbie Williams. I, for
the first and probably last time ever, made my way to Robbie's
hotel after the show to see what really goes off there
but what I saw was far beyond my imagination........
The hotel Triest is located in what the Viennese call the
drug market, in a side-street of Karlsplatz (Karlssquare).
Although being almost downtown, this area is greatly avoided
by people during the night and often even during
daytime. It is one of these areas where you don't go,
especially if you fulfill certain criteria, like being
female, alone, young, blond, disoriented, not from Vienna,
and potentially helpless. I was there, at one o'clock in the
morning, and I am all of the above.
Even the way to the hotel was scary, I was so sure that a
lot of fans would do the same and that I'd be able to hang
on to someone. That was a mistake – because the only
people I could hang on to were two prostitutes descending
the subway at the same station. I only realized this when we
all stopped at the traffic lights and I looked at them more
closely. First scare of the night, not the last.
For some reason I had actually really naively believed that
I could sit in the bar, drink some coffee, have a look
around and leave again. When I arrived at the gates of the
Triest it became obvious that I would not be able to put my
plan into effect. I did not even walk up to the security
guys in front of the doors but socialized with some of the
about 30 fans who might have become a victim to the same
When you sit on the sideway, in front of a posh hotel, in
the middle of the night, at Vienna's drug market, with
people you have never seen before, it all adds up to a
strange atmosphere this place gets. If you take the time and
listen to people's stories, and look at their faces. There're
the first-try one's who are just there, maybe even for
coffee, but not much more. Then there're the pseudo-sexy
ones, looking older than they are, or nicer than they are,
or just cheaper than they really are, wearing less or the
least of their wardrobe offerings. And finally, there're
hopeless ones that are still there, for the third or forth
day, or maybe it's the third or forth hotel they are sitting
at, waiting for that man who never came. They all look lost,
just as lost as the two girls I talked to, desperately,
lovelorn but discouraged hoping that Rob might come and get
them, as he had shaken one girl's hand the night before,
when she had stood in the first row of the concert.... so
there may be a chance for them?
They all don't talk much, and whenever there's a new girl
entering the crowd she is jealously looked over, as every
new body seems to mean one more competitor for the empty
side of Rob's bed that night. Luckily I found some that did
not take themselves so serious, and I found myself sitting
on the sideway with two more Germans I had never met before,
and had a hilarious time joking about the dreary scene
underneath Rob's windows.
Not everybody had that much fun though, and the people I
have seen I did not think could really exist. Some had nice
ideas about how to get in, like two lovely twins, dressed
exactly the same. Others were more creative but just as well
more frightening. Like the girl with the suitcase. She came,
dragging a tiny suitcase behind her, and insisted that she
had booked a room at the hotel. Of course, she was not on
the list, and of course, she had not booked a room. Of
course, she had never met Jonny Wilkes and he was, with
great certainty, not waiting for her inside, as she
insisted. And by common sense it was obvious that she had
not just arrived in Vienna,
simply because I have never met anybody traveling in
extra-high heels and extra-short white skirts. And, as a
short remark, her suitcase was way to small to be the
traveling luggage of a girl and both airport and train
station had closed hours ago. Simply ridiculous.
So even the suitcase girl found a place on the sideway and
waited with us. Still, I don't know what actually we were
all waiting for, maybe for a miracle, as we all knew that
Rob was sick and Jonny's mum was there, so why on earth
should he have been bored or inspired enough to come
outside, considering also that the bar was full of people?
We were there, because we were there. In reach, if he wanted
us. But we all secretly knew he didn't. Just as the lady in
the fire-red blouse, who was sitting at the edge of a pot
plant the whole night, staring at the doors and not uttering
a single word. Only the silent, empty look she had in her
eyes gave me a hint of what she might be looking for.
The same as the about fifty year old woman, wearing a long
white trench coat and tousled hair, who, suddenly sprang
from nowhere and rushed up to the security in front of the
"Is he really inside?" she said hastily and breathless.
"Sorry, ma'am I can't answer" the security replied.
"But he is inside? He is indeed inside?"
"Sorry, ma'am, I can't tell you."
"But will you let me have a look inside to find out?"
"No, I'm sorry ma'am."
"But he is inside, he really IS inside?"
"I can't tell you."
"But he is there, he is THERE, is he?"
"I can't tell you."
With these words she ran away, just as fast as she had come.
I did not yet mention all the people that simply were there
to ask if they could go inside and left again, or all the
girls in their short skirts, with too much make up in their
faces, selling only one message: "Bed me". Dignity was not
on the menu that night.
But apart from all these strange people the really most ugly
and scary part of the night were two men, who came out of
the hotel about every half an hour. They were fifty, maybe
even older, one of them gave a sloppy impression, the other
one was dressed all in white but green shoes and had blond
bouncy curls. Faded sunny boy. They chatted up the girls,
preferably the ones that wore the least, and let them enter
the hotel with them. Suddenly, we had become an unpaid
call-girl crowd to be chatted up: "If you're cheap enough I
might take you inside". It sent shivers down my spine when
finally one of them started to stare at me. I turned away
when he started to walk into my direction. Today it even
surprises me, but it must have been because I was blond or
because the skirt girls were sold out, I was sitting there
in jeans and jacket, no agenda. I still remember him leering
at me, the impression is stuck in my head, still causing me
It is just sad, simply sad, what some people are willing to
do to get a chance to see Rob. Simply sad. And what might be
the saddest part is the ignorance, with which some are
taking advantage of it, like these two men, or the security
guy, who in the end recommended the suitcase-girl to chat up
the ugly guy to finally get inside.
It is not about seeing the man you appreciate anymore,
trying your luck to meet someone famous, or about talking to
someone you find fascinating. No, in front of the Triest
there were only two groups of girls. The meat market,
waiting to be bedded by Rob or whoever else might offer them
a chance to see him in whatever way, and those, who were
just there but secretly knew they would never get anywhere
else than to the sideway of Robs hotel.
Just, as a final footnote, I had a night out with the
stalkers, but the ones I met were just the amateurs. The
people I met in front of the Triest were not the real
stalkers, because all the real stalkers had a room booked,
or a table reserved, or had sold themselves to someone who
had done that before, or could afford it, for hundreds of
Euros, waiting behind the closed doors, for someone who was
neither there nor likely wanting to be.
by Katharina Murer a.k.a. "Kathi M" from www.purerobbie.com
Katharina Murer is well known for writing controversal
articles on the life & career of Robbie Williams as a
reporter on www.purerobbie.com a Robbie Williams resource
& community, one of which started a passionate debate
lasting for months on the BBC radio Staffordshire
website. Katharina's articles, blog & creative writing
can be found on www.purerobbie.com