September 13, 2013
This month’s celebration honoring Barry’s birth continues with a story from a woman whose devotion to Barry began in childhood for a different kind of reason. It just goes to show how Barry touches people in all kinds of ways. The fans know a great man, as well as a great musician, when they see him.
I think my love for Barry Gibb started for a different reason than most people. When I was little, my Mom used to take me and my brother Jason to our church on Wednesday evenings to cook for the homeless on “soup night”. I remember helping serve bowls of soup and helping in the church kitchen. We also worked in the food pantry some Saturdays. My Mom always did all kinds of volunteer work and taught us to “give back”. It was just a part of our lives that we spent the day before Thanksgiving putting together food boxes, made gift baskets for Christmas, and helped organize Easter egg hunts for the kids in the community who didn’t have much fun in their lives. Mom listened to the Bee Gees when they first started and said she’d never forget when “Massachusetts” became a huge hit. I was about 9 when “Too Much Heaven” was released and the Bee Gees organized the concert at the U.N. and donated the money to charity. I saw pictures of Barry and thought he looked like Jesus. I know that sounds funny, but he had a beard and long hair and was so handsome. He seemed strong and like a leader. Mom said that “Too Much Heaven” was going to make money for UNICEF and explained to me what UNICEF was. From that time on, I was in awe of him. I asked for a poster of the Bee Gees and Mom got me all sorts of pictures of them and Barry. “Spirits Having Flown” was my first album. I thought he had the most special voice, and we loved him because he was giving back to people who needed help when he didn’t have to do it. As an adult, I still volunteer with my Mother, and Barry Gibb is still my favorite person in all of music. The UNICEF concert wasn’t a fluke. Barry Gibb has been giving back ever since in so many ways, helping charities and staying right up on that pedestal, as far as I’m concerned. He is the perfect musician with a charitable heart, and I love him.