On a personal note, I am in awe of the amazing fans who contribute, comment and discuss our blessed Bee Gees on Facebook. I find these fans intelligent, compassionate, kind and sincere people whose insights and loving contributions inspire me each day. As we all support Barry while he continues to perform, I feel a kinship to the fans who admire and continue to love all four brothers through Barry’s concerts. It is a journey I appreciate each day.
During September, it has been a thrill to honor Barry during his birthday and anniversary month. I chose a story for this week that truly explains the love for Barry that spans generation to generation.
I saw my first Bee Gee concert when I was 14. I relive that day over and over in my mind, and I can feel the emotions as though it happened yesterday. I was 14 and I saw them perform in Radio City Music Hall in August of 1989. That’s the day I fell in love with Barry Gibb. I grew up in a house filled with music. My Mom was a performer in musical theater productions, and she was always working in community theater. I often went to rehearsals with her, and I can sing the music from almost any Broadway show. How I loved to go to those rehearsals. My dad played the piano, and I started taking piano lessons when I was 5. Dad played in a rock band, and they played all kinds of R & B and rock and pop music. He loved the Bee Gees and especially Barry because he admired Barry’s songwriting. At the time of the concert, I had just started high school and was singing with the jazz combo and the school choir. I remember staring at Barry all through the concert feeling as though my heart was going to push out of my chest. I was awestruck. He was so dramatic looking, so handsome and just incredible to watch. The pictures my Dad had from the 60’s and 70’s were great, but I loved THIS Barry. He knew how to charm the ladies; there was no doubt about that. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. My Dad and I had talked about how Barry was grieving the loss of his brother Andy and how he had back problems he was also dealing with, but no one would ever have known he was in pain on that stage. He commanded every one of the thousands of people in that audience like he had hypnotized them. I hung on every note. I thought “Too Much Heaven” sounded like three angels were singing just for me. To say I became a fan is an understatement. My Dad went back to the 60’s with Barry, and he was psyched that I listened to the Bee Gees’ music with him. “Words” became my favorite song, and I played it over and over for months. When Barry sang that song, I just started to cry. I wanted to major in music when I got to college and maybe become a music promoter or agent, something like that. I knew I had to make music or work with musicians in some way. I thought I’d perform on the weekends with a group. I had it all planned out, but it didn’t work out that way. I fell in love with an older guy, my dear husband Sam, and he was in medical school. We got married when I was 21, and I had two babies right away. I loved my daughters, but I still wanted to work with music. Barry Gibb inspired me to work until I reached that goal. He did it, and so could I. My Dad would talk to me about the challenges that Barry and his brothers faced when they started and how they never gave up their dreams. It took me ten years to get back to school and graduate, but I found the road I wanted, and now I’m teaching teenagers about the Bee Gees. I finally got my Music Education degree. My Dad and I still have the same mindset we had more than twenty years ago the night we sat at that concert. No one can touch Barry Gibb’s talent, and he still makes my heart flutter, maybe now more than ever. I think a mature man with so much talent who acts humble is as sexy as it gets. He has stood the test of time. As far as I’m concerned, he is a role model for anyone who wants to make music. He is the best of the best, and I am thankful that my Dad and I are a part of Barry’s musical history. It is something we share and love. Thank you, Barry.