For Barry Gibb’s birthday month of September, all stories will relate to him. However, today I’m taking the opportunity to provide a congratulatory remembrance to Linda and Barry for their wedding anniversary, which falls on his birthday, September 1. This post comes from me with thanks and a special nod to Linda for supporting Barry so he can continue his life’s work of making the rest of us happy through his music.
August 30, 2013
Let’s face it. It’s great to be beautiful. Life is just a whole lot better and more fun when the genetics fairy sprinkles one with all those external perks:gorgeous body, beautiful hair, full lips, fabulous smile. When one is given brains and talent, talent, and more talent to go along with the beauty. let’s just say it doesn’t seem fair to the rest of us. Then there’s the piece de resistance, the sex appeal. It’s a given that Barry and Linda Gibb hit the genetic lotto. They are one of the most photogenic couples in the world, which has some of us scratching our heads when we look in the mirror in the morning wondering how we missed out when the above mentioned attributes were being distributed. However, Barry and Linda are so much more than gorgeous eye candy.
As I pepper this writing with cliches, I think of “behind every great man is a great woman supporting him”. In this case, however, the woman was never behind the man. I believe one of the reasons they will celebrate 43 years of marriage on September 1 is because Linda Gibb stands beside him, not behind him. She’s his equal. Married in 1970 when the Bee Gees were just getting up a head of steam and nowhere near iconic status in the music world, Miss Edinburgh (Scotland) married Mr. Pop Star in London on Barry’s birthday, September 1. With their marriage came great professional success but not without challenges and heartache, all played out while an adoring public cried for more music and a piece of Barry. Dealing with millions of women lusting for Barry was and still is an ongoing scenario and comes with the territory for Linda. However, Linda Gibb has weathered many emotional hurricanes and survived. Any woman dealing with a miscarriage, or premature birth or a seriously ill baby can tell you how difficult that road is to navigate and how many emotional sinkholes are there to swallow one up. Faced with all of these challenges at one time or another, as well as her own ill health, Linda stood strong and weathered the storms. As Barry was dealing with multiple physical challenges over the years, including back surgery, a heart scare and severe arthritis, Linda was there to provide support and stability. Of course, the world has watched and grieved with Barry as he’s lost his talented brothers and father, but Linda has lost family members as well; and the grieving process, as different as it is for each person facing a loss, becomes less difficult when the person you’ve loved almost all your life is holding your hand and offering both shoulders to lean on.
Perhaps Barry and Linda’s greatest production has been the birth of their five children: Stephen Thadius, Ashley Robert, Travis Ryan, Michael David and Alexandra Leanna. Their strong sense of family provides the foundation for everything else in their lives. They now have seven grandchildren who are filling their lives with joy; and the latest, Taylor May, was born in March of this year. It’s hard to believe that Linda Gibb is a grandmother, her beauty defying the aging process, but what a grandmother she must be!
What the public has always seen on the outside are the perfect looks. We all agree on that point. However, fans worldwide know the real deal. The key to Barry and Linda’s success is what emanates from the inside, through open hearts, and this applies to both of them. This partnership of love has always included sharing their good fortune by giving back to others. I couldn’t count the times they’ve shown the world how to “pay it forward’. Playing benefit concerts started in the 70’s and in 1979 the Bee Gees donated proceeds of their single “Too Much Heaven” to UNICEF, which raised millions. Discussing their charity work and generosity requires a long article of its own. As I write this, preparations are being made for the Diabetes Research Foundation’s Love and Hope Ball, which will be held in February, 2014 in Hollywood, Florida. Barry and Linda Gibb have been International Chairmen of this event for decades. Barry will again perform and share his talents and Linda and their children will be there supporting him–Linda Gibb, always there, ever a powerful presence, showing the rest of us what loving someone really means.
Being Sicilian, I spent much of my childhood with my Nonna and Mama, helping in the kitchen, learning how to cook with love. I often think in terms of food, so I’d like to describe the analogy of the perfect Italian treat. Barry’s the biscotti, but Linda’s the cappuccino. It’s just not the same unless they’re together. Then you have pure bliss. Happy Anniversary.