October 19, 2013
Some days I just sit and shake my head at how much of an impact Maurice continues to have on the fans around the world. His reach is far and deep. James tells me he still can feel the handshake of this man who affected his life and inspired him over and over again.
Thinking of Maurice Gibb makes me smile and nostalgic. When I first became a fan of the Bee Gees I was a kid in high school, a freshman. I had no intention of really liking this group because ,frankly, I wasn’t familiar with their music and was really a quiet kind of kid. It was my friend Kerry who got me into their sound. He was a keyboard player, and he’d been playing the piano since he was six. He was a HUGE Maurice Gibb fan; he thought Maurice could do anything. I thought that was strange, since Barry and Robin did most of the singing and got all of the attention. Kerry gave me the Main Course album for my birthday and said he was going to educate me. I loved this album, and it is still my favorite one of all of their music. Kerry was always involved with the musical productions at school, and I got involved because he dragged me in when the crew needed help with sound. I became a techie nerd, and I loved working the sound board. I started to work on sound mixing and got a part-time job at a recording studio (started as a volunteer to learn the ropes). Working on that first show started me on the path I’m still on today. I work full time with computers but on weekends and nights, I run sound for all types of productions. I became a Maurice fan when Kerry and I saw our first concert in 1979. Kerry knew some guy through his sister who got us up close and personal with the Bee Gees because he was a president of a fan club or something like that, and I remember meeting Maurice and shaking his hand. I was still in high school, and I was a nervous wreck, feeling like I was in a dream. He looked me in the eye and smiled and thanked me for coming to the show. He asked me if I played music, and I told him I liked working with sound. He actually listened to me and we talked for a few minutes about different sound equipment. He was like a genius when he talked to me about recording. I’ll never forget how I felt like I was the only person that mattered to him at that moment. I was a fan forever from that day on. Kerry gushed all over him about watching him on TV playing the piano, and Maurice smiled that huge grin of his and was really excited that we complimented him. You could tell he loved being with the fans. That was the start of my Maurice Gibb man-crush that I carried through six other concerts and every album since. I think that Maurice was the unsung hero of the group, and when I watched him on stage performing live all I could think of was how much I wished I could work with him and learn from him. He put his heart and soul into what he did best. Thank God my best friend got those first concert tickets. I could have floated out of that “Spirits” concert. I was in awe. I have amazing memories, mostly wonderful, even though the sad ones still rip me up because I miss Maurice Gibb more than I could ever express. As he got older, he got more talented, I think. He was innovative and creative at that keyboard. I loved it when he sang a song of his own, when he led the band, when he did interviews and was smart and funny. I play the music all the time, and it still gives me a rush when I think right back to the night I heard it being sung live for the first time and my hand was shaking Maurice’s hand. The Bee Gees will never get old, and Maurice Gibb will inspire me forever. He was just a cool guy who was down to earth and real and appreciated everything he had in life. I try to be humble like that, but I’ll never be half the guy he was. He was the real deal.