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April 12, 2013
LOVE FOR MO
I have been a Bee Gee fan since I have a memory of them, probably when I was 3 or 4, and I’m almost 40 now. As a child, I was very shy and stuttered, but I could sing with no problem. My parents split when I was a tiny baby, so it was just my Mom and me, and she was 19 when she had me. She had all their records, and I remember how I would stare at the album covers and always focus on Maurice. Mom thought that was odd because he didn’t usually get much attention. Barry seemed bigger than real life, and Robin sang so emotionally with that incredible voice. Mom told me I’d pick out Maurice’s pictures from her huge collection of photos, magazines and posters. She grew up with them in the 60’s and 70’s and had gone to their concerts way back in the early 70’s. When they were on television and did shows like Dick Cavett, I would be mesmerized by Maurice. Seeing him play the piano made me want to learn how to play. I begged my Mom for a piano, and she saved for a long time to buy a small spinet. I’ll never forget the day the piano got delivered and going to my first lesson and how excited I was. When I started to practice, I would put Maurice’s picture on the piano and pretend I was playing with him. I used to sing Bee Gee songs and learned to play their most famous ones. Mom told me years later that she would sneak around the corner from the kitchen with her camera ready and try to get pictures of me. I was probably 8 or 9 and would practice for hours and sing to Maurice’s picture because he was always smiling at me. As I got older, I was getting therapy for my stutter, and my confidence grew because I loved to play the piano and sing. When I was 18, I saw my first Bee Gee concert and was in love. Watching Maurice play the keyboards was a dream and seeing how much fun he was having made me love him more. He kept waving to the fans and laughing in between songs. I loved seeing him balance his brothers because they did almost all of the lead vocals, but he was directing the band. When he’d switch instruments, I could see how talented he was, and watching a live concert was a rush. I knew of his personal battles and was inspired just looking at him. In the 90’s when he had come so far fighting his problems, I knew he was trying to be a better man, just as I was still fighting my problem. A stutter is a challenge just like an addiction. To this day, I have to stop and think carefully and try to stay calm when I face a speaking situation. It’s not easy. I was lucky enough to see Maurice perform again in 1998, and he was perfect. As far as I was concerned, he could do no wrong up on that big stage. Whenever I’m discouraged or am having a tough day, I like to believe that he is guiding all of us who have challenges in our lives. He’ll always be my inspiration.
Even though I realized how much of an impact the Bee Gees, and especially Maurice, had on my life, it still was awful when they were gone. As an addict who had walked the same path as Maurice walked for many years, I can say that I know how much love and courage it took for him to become the man he was, a man of strength and humor who also happened to be a famous musician. I think God placed love in his life to get him through the hard times. I remember listening to “Blue Island” one day when I was at a low point, thinking that it must be the best song I’d ever heard, written by a man like me who had suffered and reached a point where he knew he’d have to change or die. Barry and Robin must have been really strong to deal with Maurice at his low point. My family deals with my addiction with patience. I’m sure the music helped all the Gibbs support Maurice. Don’t you wonder what God is thinking when he gives the beauty of song to 3 men so they can create such beautiful sounds—put them on tape—record them so the world has them forever? I followed the Bee Gees through the past 25 years, huge fan, and wanted to set an example like Maurice did when he got clean. I wasn’t a religious person, but Maurice helped me in a way no one else could. The first time I prayed to God I was looking at a photo of Maurice on the “Size Isn’t Everything” album—wearing the hat with the cross on it, and that serious expression on his face. I was on my knees crying, looking at that face. The loss of Maurice affected thousands of addicts for sure. I have no doubt about that. I am going to ask God why Mo had to go when my day comes, and I guess I already know the answer. It was time.
Through detox, I couldn’t eat, sleep or think, but I could hear the music and Maurice’s voice. Crazy, huh? Not for a second have I questioned that inspiration. I do outreach now through my church, try to reach out to the lost and help feed the homeless through our food pantry and I work in the kitchen—with the Bee Gees music playing every day on the boom box that sits on top of the fridge. It is hard to explain the affect that the music has—people just smile and relax when they hear it, and I am thankful for another day to play it and another day of sobriety—-and I am thankful to Maurice Gibb.
The effect that Mo had on people is astounding! Read on….
OK. My Bee Gees story is somewhat sad because I am still relating my life to Barry and Robin and it is ironic how this story goes full circle. My Mom was the Bee Gees fan that Maurice, Robin and Barry would dream of having. She followed their music since she was old enough to talk. My Aunt Katie was 8 years-older than Mom and loved them so Mom listened to their music with her. When I was born in 1983, Mom already had decades of Bee Gees music in her head, and it was playing on the stereo all the time. She was a dynamo mother—a teacher, took care of the house, did everything for my dad and me. I loved the music as a kid and was so excited to see them with mom and Aunt Katie in ’97 in Vegas. Unbelievable to watch my mom and Aunt Katie scream like little girls and have so much fun. It was an amazing experience. I’ve never had such a great time doing anything. Remember, I as only 14, so this was wild for me to see thousands of fans going crazy. We all talked about that experience for months. Whenever they wrote new music, I was psyched to hear it. When This Is Where I Came In was released, I was as pumped as Mom and Aunt Katie to hear it. Now for the not so nice part of the story.
Jump to December of 2002 and what seemed like the end of my world at the time. I was home on college break and excited for Christmas. It was the week before Christmas. My mom was driving home from Christmas shopping and skidded on some black ice. Her car went into oncoming traffic in the next lane and she was killed instantly. There is no way to explain to anyone who has not experienced an unexpected family death what it feels like. My dad and I were in such shock that we did not accept the reality of what had occurred. I felt as though I was moving in slow motion and could not cry; my dad was numb from grief. I read somewhere that loss is like an earthquake; it swallows you up. Dad and I were lost, disjointed. This may sound cruel—think about losing someone in the immediate family. Who should die first? Crazy question..but I know that if my dad had died first, my life would have been much different because mom held the three of us together and we could not cope with this ending to our family life as it was before.
A month after mom’s death, Maurice Gibb passed away in much the same way as my mom—suddenly, unexpected. It was shocking to all Bee Gees fans, as well as to his family. The irony was not lost on me, but I was in such pain I did not want to grieve for Maurice when I was already under water drowning over my mom’s death. There was no room for more pain. It wasn’t until much later that I truly cried for him and his whole family, and then I found it hard to stop. My mom had loved him so. My mom’s death splintered our family. My dad became withdrawn to the point where he could not interact
with me. I looked so much like my mom, and I think it hurt him to be around me. We had done everything together, and now one of us was gone. So I returned to school and was alone. My Aunt Katie and I should have been able to support one another, but it did not work that way. She was lost without her sister, who was her best friend. It was as if her personality faded away, and we grew apart.
Nearly 4 years have passed, and I am still grieving, only now it is less severe. I long for the Bee Gees—listen to the music from the past, but I am so sad for Barry and Robin because it’s as though they were in the same boat as I was. Maurice’s loss splintered them, and I wanted them to be together, but I think the pain gets in the way. I know first-had how that feels. I think Robin must be inconsolable and Barry feeling helpless. The saving grace is that their music will live on. Maybe that’s not great comfort now, but it will be in the future. The music is for the fans forever. Since I am Catholic, I do believe I will see my Mom again. One day our family will be together in heaven, so if I could talk to Barry and Robin, I would tell them that the brothers will all be together again in the future and there will only be singing.
Maurice was such an inspiration to so many….this makes me cry. I love him forever. Marie
It’s amazing to hear how many lives the Bee Gees and their music has touched. Seriously, it has brought people out of the darkest depths. Truly inspiring!
How much do we all love Mo? Keep checking back for new inspirations and thanks for commenting
the Bee Gees have touched my life in such a way that I immediately forget my troubles like for example my grandma passed away about a year ago before Robin Gibb did and I couldn’t help crying a lot more then I did when Robin Gibb went which was only a small little bit and I would have loved to have a laugh with Maurice he was so funny that it made me giggle aloud whenever I saw him do very silly things on stage with his brothers in concert clips Maurice and I would have gotten along magically because we both love being goofy clowns if only he was still around now then that would be so much fun!
I agree. I would have loved to spend time with either of them…what a gift to the world they were. Thanks for the comments, Amber.
your welcome whenever I see Barry Gibb in concert I’ll have an amazing Bee Gees story of my own to tell
if Barry goes next I’ll feel just awful more then I have when Robin went all three of them made my life so much happier with their music and so my one wish is to meet Barry Gibb!
I love reading the stories about Mo as I have loved him since I was 7 yrs old I saw the staying alive video and saw this beautiful guy I have never been the same since . Mo was so much fun always smiling that dazzling smile my heart will be forever broken I share my birthday with him and robin which makes it bittersweet now but I will never forget my mo mo as I like to call him and I will always love him to bits
How lucky his fans are to have his music and humor to remember. Thank you for the fantastic comment.
I love the Bee Gees and Mo especially. I still cry sometimes at the loss. Mo was a fun-loving person with a warm, beautiful smile that made one feel good. He was the glue that held the brothers together. I am thankful to have videos of him to watch, tho bittersweet now. I listen to My Bee Gees Music everyday…makes me feel good.
Thank you for the lovely comment. I have so many stories that speak volumes of love for Mo. He will live forever through his music.
I love the Bee Gees so much that it’s like I have a family connection to them last night I had a dream that I was helping their sister Lesley babysit Robin and Maurice when they were still very small it was like I was reliving the early years of their story Oh reversing time would be so wonderful then I could meet both Robin and Maurice in person
Well, I believe that Mo, Robin and Andy are in heaven and they’re completely at peace, and one day I plan to get there myself and track them down as soon as I arrive. I’m looking forward to that.
well we only have a limited time here on earth which is sad really and I think Robin Gibb himself knew that and I know that too myself which is spooky and scary both at once I always wonder do we come back as spirits? I certainly believe that with the spirits of Andy Maurice and Robin Gibb making visits to come and see me at night when I’m asleep in bed.
Morris will always have a special place in my heart. Now that both Morris and Robin are together with Andy and their father, I’m sure they continue to use their God given gifts to entertain others in Heaven.
Maurice was an amazing human being…I adore him still and miss him every day. Thank you for commenting…..
Admiring the time and effort you put into your site and in depth information you provide.
It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material.
Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site aand
I’m adding yoour RSS feeds to my Google account.
Thanks, Richie. Enjoy the wonderful stories from fans……they are very cool, I think.
I still cry hen I read stories of Mo, he was an amazing man, he was so talanted, gorgeous and so funny, the world is a poorer place without him.
Oh, Sandra, I know how you feel. Maurice Gibb was one of a kind…..there will never be anyone like him again.