This week it’s time to think about how wonderful it is to remember Andy Gibb. His birthday anniversary is in a few days, and I am responding to requests to include Andy on these pages. The following are two Andy stories that echo the sentiments of millions of fans. I hope you enjoy the memories.
Cathy and Her Idol
When I was a teenager in 1980, I had already been in love with Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb for nearly ten years. I was the ideal devoted fan, but it was nothing compared to my younger sister Cathy’s adoration of Andy Gibb. She talked about him incessantly. Every conversation had his name in it somewhere. We could be talking about Uncle Bill’s new car and Cathy would find a way to work Andy into the discussion. “I wonder if Andy would like a Mustang or a Corvette better?” It was exhausting living with her. Her room was a shrine to him. There were posters, magazines, glossy photos. You name it. If it was for sale, Cathy had it in her room. For years, every birthday and Christmas request involved something relating to Andy. I remember her playing “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” at least a hundred times a day. On Saturday mornings, she and I would clean the house (our major weekly chore) while my parents were out shopping. Cathy would crank up the volume on the record player, and we’d sing the whole Flowing Rivers album. I can still see her waving the feather duster around and dancing to his music. I was freaked out by Night Fever while she was into Andy. We’d discuss and debate about each brother….how much Andy and Barry looked alike, how different Andy sounded from Robin, who was the sexiest? Answer” ALL OF THEM! It was such a fun time. When “Shadow Dancing” was released, Andy was a huge star and “Don’t Throw It All Away” was “Cathy’s song”. The highlight of my sister’s life was seeing Andy on Broadway in “Joseph”. My parents surprised her with tickets for her 15th birthday, and I got to see the show, too. It was right before Christmas in 1982. I was blown away by Andy’s performance in that show. Cathy kept telling me, “He’s such a great actor”, “He’s so talented”, “He’s a natural at whatever he does”. It was a night we’d never forget. What a great memory for us. There was something about Andy that was so special. He was sweet, sensitive, and vulnerable. To this day, I don’t remember a time when Cathy was able to talk about his passing. It was devastating to her, as it was to the world, but she always tried to focus on all the great music he made. She said his fans would still be his fans forever, and she was right. My sister Cathy passed away from a severe pneumonia attack in 1992. She was 25 years-old. I have her Andy collection, everything from her singles to the ticket stubs, and I’ll always keep them in memory of her and her favorite singer, Andy Gibb. He was a huge part of making my sister’s teenage years happy. Whenever she talked about him, she was laughing or smiling, and it’s important for me to remember both of them that way.
I Will Always Love Andy
I want to tell you about my favorite Gibb brother—ANDY! I love the Bee Gees, but I have to say that my heart was really with Andy from the moment he hit the pop scene. Growing up in LA, I had seen the Bee Gees perform twice and was crazy for them. I loved how they all seemed approachable and like regular guys, and then Andy started doing his thing and his charisma and talent were just unbelievable. I became a serious Andy follower in 1977. Even though he could have been overshadowed by Night Fever when it took over the music scene all around the world, he was still successful and so popular in a short amount of time. I saw him in concert on his first tour and saw him do Pirates of Penzance and could not get over what a great actor he was. I think all of the brothers could have been actors if they had wanted to do it, but Andy was the only one to do the Broadway thing, and that took courage, I thought. I was so surprised when I saw him in person and he looked so young but so much like his brother Barry it was wild. He was like a mini-younger Barry physically, but he had his own style. It was just a charisma that is hard to describe. I don’t think he realized how much of an impact he had on the fans. He was so sweet and seemed innocent. I think maybe the fame just overwhelmed him somehow. I wished that he had sung more with his brothers because they were such a wonderful family, and I thought a tour with all of them would have been a once-in-a-lifetime event. I had been a concert groupie with my friends for a long time, trying to see as many as I could. There are many performers who have had an impact on me. I’ve been lucky in LA to see people like Springsteen, Elton John, and country artists like George Strait and Garth Brooks. No one ever impressed me the way Andy Gibb did, and that is saying something. He has left a huge imprint on my life. He brought so much to the music world, and he was a heartthrob just like Elvis. He had that kind of magic, believe me. I treasure all of my Andy memories more than I can say. Thank God I have these personal experiences because it was like a dream to see him in person. I know that in the minds of fans all around the world Andy is still loved and missed. I think of him every day.