March 5, 2015
As a writer, I ask quite a few questions, so here goes. What words come to mind when you hear the name Andy Gibb? What do you think? The words I hear most often are sweet, adorable, talented, sexy and great voice. Ok, so now flick a switch in your head and answer this question. What do you FEEL when you hear Andy’s name? That’s a whole different ball game. Some of the answers repeated to me are loss, pain, sadness and the ever-present “grief”.
From my heart, I have to say that even though I didn’t know Andy Gibb, I wanted to protect him. I wish I could have been his guardian angel, someone he could lean on. He was a gentle man humbled by his success, an insecure artist swimming in a sea of narcissistic rock stars.
The heartache of Andy’s loss left a chasm in the Gibb family and in the hearts of fans in every corner of the world. The loss shattered his brothers, especially Barry, and had everyone shaking their heads about what could or should have been done to save him. The question is always present, but there is only one feasible answer to this inquiry, NOTHING. As would happen later with Maurice and Robin, there was a reason Andy had to depart. It was his time to go elsewhere. Young people aren’t immune to death and NO, it’s not fair. Sometimes there’s no “getting over it” and sometimes tears come, but that’s how the grieving process works.
As we celebrate the anniversary of Andy’s birth and reflect on his death, we can use our memory banks to cheer us. For everyone who had the pleasure of seeing Andy perform in the flesh, remember how awestruck you were as you listened to him sing. Think of the excitement in the theater, the fun you had with your friends and family sharing the experience and how long it took for you to stop talking about the concert. (Some of you, no doubt, still talk about those moments of joy, and many have repeated stories to me in great detail). For those of you who did not see him, or for newer generations, play his music on You Tube and watch him. Order “Shadow Dancing”, “Flowing Rivers” and “The Greatest Hits” CD’s and play them until they wear out. You will love every second and will likely wind up singing aloud to each song.
Remembering my treasured visit in LA last June 3 as I sat on Andy’s bench in Forest Lawn Memorial Park (see story June, 2014, Visiting Andy, on this blog), I am reminded of the peaceful aura that hovered over me, the beauty that surrounded me, and the feeling that Andy was very much a part of the emotion of the moment. I was absorbing his sweetness and felt his presence and somehow I knew that he was OK. His spiritual energy was there with me.
Andy will always be a Gibb, will always be remembered as a gifted talent and will always be young and beautiful. Like his three brothers, he stands on his own as a one-of-a-kind special star whose contribution to the world of music is stellar and unique. Better still, he stands as a gentle, vulnerable man we will think of with hearts overflowing with affection.
For me, I’m getting out my vinyl; and for the thousandth time, I will be grooving in the kitchen with my kids to “Shadow Dancing”. Oh, Andy! “Baby, you do it right”. We love you always……and thank you.