In Memory of Dad

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Welcome to Morobinbarrystories.com! Please join me on twitter @morobinbarry. This site is for Bee Gee fans everywhere who would like to share and read stories of fun, joy, love and inspiration for Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. (Andy is certainly not forgotten and is included at times). If you’d like to share a story, please email it to me at morobinbarrystories@gmail.com. Stories will be posted often, and many will appear in my book, which is in editing at the moment.

March 27, 2017

No one ever said being a professor was easy, and I’ve been buried in work this past several weeks. In addition, I’m trying to work on book edits; and compared to watching molasses flow out of a jar, I’ll take the molasses viewing. I keep telling myself it will all work out in the end! So here’s a story I’ve pulled for this week, and it fits the season. Many of us can relate, so thanks to the Dads out there. Every day is Father’s Day.

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I’m writing because today is the anniversary of my Dad’s death, and I loved him as much as I love the Bee Gees. He used to sit with me and listen to the music when I was an obsessed teen, madly in love with Barry Gibb. I am taking a deep breath, and keeping emotions on the positive side, even though it is hard to do. I have many memories that make me smile, so I try to focus on those.

When we drove in the car, he would patiently let me play my CD’s, and eventually the Bee Gee sound grew on him. He even told me he loved the “Still Waters” album and that it “grew on him”. My Dad was a musician himself, and he appreciated the complicated songwriting and the wonderful harmonies, that special sound only Barry, Robin and Maurice could make. At times, we would discuss some of the songs, and I’d pull out the old ones I loved the best, like “Morning of My Life” and “First of May”. He loved them both.

When he became ill, I would listen to his music with hm, mostly classical and some old country like Conway Twitty and Vern Gosden and Keith Whitley. My Dad taught me to appreciate all types of music and to respect the process of what these artists created. He was a laid back, gentle man, and I miss him every day, but I know he is with me; and when I play the old albums on my ancient record player that still works, I’m sure he is listening. I can see him smiling, and I can hear his voice, and I know how lucky I was to have a father who loved music so much.

The Bee Gee music keeps me grounded and sane, and I have a big box in my car of all the CD’s, rotating them according to my mood of the day. Thanks to the brothers and to my Dad. Long live the Bee Gee sound, which is so unique and wonderful.  I’m sure it will be played for centuries to come.

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REHEARSAL! HOW WAS IT?

Welcome to morobinbarrystories.com! Please join me on twitter @morobinbarry. This site is for Bee Gee fans everywhere who would like to share and read stories of fun, joy, love and inspiration for Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. (Andy is not forgotten and is included at times). If you’d like to share a story, please email it to me at morobinbarrystories@gmail.com. Stories will be posted often and some will appear in my book, which is slowly being edited. At times, I will write articles about Gibb events that I hope the fans will enjoy.

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On February 14 at 4:30, I attended a portion of the rehearsal for the Recording Academy Bee Gee tribute concert.  A few hours before the actual concert was to begin I sat and watched the activity,  and here’s how it went!

 

As I waited with the rest of the small group who were fortunate enough to be headed into the Microsoft Theater, I wished I had the powers of Samantha the witch from Bewitched or our favorite genie who complicated Major Nelson’s life on I Dream of Jeannie. How I wanted to transport all the fans and bring them there with me so everyone could experience the fun of seeing what goes on behind the scenes when a rehearsal is in progress.

So let me explain how this works. Much more complicated than a sound check, security was tight as we stood in the bowels of garage Gate G, where we soon were to see artists entering. Smelling of motor oil and flanked by large black SUV’s we awaited our entrance into the theater.

As Nick and Joe Jonas passed by, it was clear that everyone present had been born under that lucky star we often hear about.  Gathered in a small circle, some chatted and whispered, while others seemed nervous with anticipation.

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The Magic Wristband

Now, I’ve been to the White House, and I don’t remember security this tight. Being on THE LIST was #1. Then the ID had to be checked, and green wristbands were attached. I was soon signing my life away, or so it seemed. There were guidelines. (I hate the word RULES). Cell phone off. No cameras or photos of any kind allowed (all the photos you see here were taken separately). Lining us up in alphabetical order by first name (hurrah for me) we were ushered (in single file) by staff to a side entrance, where we could hear the unmistakable voice of Keith Urban rehearsing “To Love Somebody”. Silently we listened until he had completed his rehearsal.

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As our guide gestured for us to move, we walked swiftly and quietly to an assigned section about a third of the way back in the Microsoft Theater. The burgundy seats were plush, the room warm. The unmistakable silhouettes of Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, colored in hues of deep orange,  loomed large over center stage. Chills went through us all as special effects of thousands of rising stars rose upward. Glittering photos in a collage of all the Bee Gee albums shone from the ceiling downward. (see photo at top of article).

The special effects were glorious, as the lighting crew was working on tweaking the cues as the rehearsal went on. The orchestra was seated on both stage left and stage right behind the performers. Most of them wore jeans and t-shirts and seemed relaxed but focused.

We watched the intro medley first, which included Stayin’ Alive, Tragedy, How Deep is Your Love, Night Fever and then the Stayin’ Alive group segment. This was a complicated section of the show, since so many artists and dancers were involved. The director gave instructions through his microphone, and the segment began with a video of the Bee Gees as their harmonies blended so beautifully on the last note of Stayin’ Alive.

 

As Demi Lovato and the other artists came out to sing at their designated times, the dancers worked through glitches and their “blocking” (movement on stage). As this number progressed, hundreds of images of the brothers (Andy, too) filled the background. Everything from the early years, (Robin with a beard), those famous open chest silvery jacket shots, Mo with his hat and round glasses, and Barry and Andy together, were flashed on the screen.

I could feel those around me getting fidgety with excitement in their seats as they spotted Barry sitting down front with his ever-present bottle of water in hand.

As the number ended, the stage director headed on stage. Dancers in small groups rehearsed their steps, and the choreographer patiently gave instructions. The orchestra, too, was being given direction as the musicians laughed and made notes to their music.

As with any last rehearsal, care was given to every detail as the lights and cameras were adjusted and readjusted. I felt as though the scores of technicians looked like ants scurrying around as the director announced, “From the top once again.”

And so it went. There were camera cuts to the large screens on the let and right sides of the theater walls, and then again the cameras cut to where Barry and John Travolta would be seated during the show.

On the third go around, a voice testing the microphone levels said, “1, 2, 3, 4…….1,2,……1,2……..1,2,3,4. Then from the director, “Once again, please, everyone, from the top”. The huge sound boom moved slowly back and forth. Ah, the joy of being a musician and performer!

At this point in the proceedings, I got an emotional jolt of nostalgia, thinking how much fun the other three brothers would be having if they had been sitting in that audience with us. I just kept thinking of Maurice Gibb at every turn, picturing his wide smile as he tweaked his nose with his thumb and forefinger. The grin undoubtedly would never leave his face. He would be so proud.

When the opening number was completed, the big man himself headed for center stage and warmed up his voice, heating up the falsetto as he stood with his blue guitar. He waved a quick hello in our direction and got busy.  Yes, we were treated to Jive Talkin’ and those around me stood and started singing and dancing in place, caught up in the excitement of the moment. Stage floor lights glowed red, then blue, then green. Barry continued to rehearse for about 20 minutes until everyone was happy with the outcome.

Until that back wall flashed the album covers once again, (and even though I knew the facts) it didn’t sink in how extensive and overwhelming the Gibb brothers’ body of work truly is. Very impressive indeed, I thought, that the world will see this when the special event is broadcast on April 16!

When Barry finished up, he had some last words with the production staff and  then he headed in our direction. Accompanied by a photographer who was taking candid shots, he patiently walked up the aisle and down the line of seats to say hello to each person. Dressed in black jeans, black shirt, silvery belt buckle and a patterned black jacket vest, he looked imposing (as always!).

He also seemed  somewhat tired and obviously had experienced a long day (still with the concert to begin in less than 90 minutes) but he accepted hugs and words of love and admiration and smiled at everyone. He was patient and gentle, and it brought me to tears to see him bear the Bee Gee legacy alone, even though the accolades certainly must boost his spirits and are like a shot of adrenaline for his psyche.

Each person wanted to express that one personal message he or she had been waiting to communicate to him, and his affable charm brought broad grins to all the faces. I watched as he walked from person to person, as he made a personal comment to each, as he shook hands, as he grinned after the kisses.

His eyes lit up, and he was the legend, the icon, the talent they all worshiped. I glanced to my left and saw Ali Gibb leaning against the row of seats in the aisle, watching her father interact with the fans. Her face was soft and full of love, and I was happy for her. These memories will serve her well in years to come whenever anyone talks with her about her dad.

He waved goodbye and walked down the aisle to head backstage, and his presence hung in the air like a light summer breeze.

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“It takes a village” doesn’t come close to describing the amount of work involved in creating a production of this nature. At any given time, dozens of people filled the stage and many more were behind the scenes. No doubt, assistant directors, stage managers, camera crew members, the stage hands, and choreographers were just a few of the hundreds who pooled their collective talents to complete this project.

As we started to walk back down the aisle, the voices of Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb came through the speakers and we heard, “Love me please, just a little bit longer.”

I smiled as I thought for a moment and then said under my breath, “I don’ think that will be a problem for any Bee Gee fan, boys. Not a problem at all.”

 

 

 

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You Had To Be There!

 

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Welcome to morobinbarrystories.com! Please join me on twitter @morobinbarry. This site is for Bee Gee fans everywhere who would like to share and read stories of joy, love, hope and inspiration for Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. (Andy is not forgotten and is included at times) If you’d like to share a story, please email it to me at morobinbarrystories@gmail.com Stories will be posted often and many will appear in my book, which is slowly being edited. At times, I will write about Gibb events, which I hope the fans will enjoy.

February 17, 2017

Anyone who is a Bee Gee fans knows about the Recording Industry Tribute to the Bee Gees, a concert that was taped on Tuesday, February 14, which will be broadcast on April 16 on CBS.

Yes, the analogy is fitting; held on Valentine’s Day, it was truly a love fest for the Gibb brothers. This Grammy honor has only been given three times. The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder were the previous honorees, so our Gibb boys are in elite company.

Instead of reviewing the concert (since fans have seen almost every performance online already)  I thought it fitting to share some of the “grab you by the throat” moments that viewers will not be able to appreciate when they watch the concert.

In no particular order, here are some special off camera moments…..

  1. John Travolta and Barry

John seemed to be on an emotional high, and he was clearly grateful for what the Bee Gees’ music did for his career. He mentions this during his little moments on stage, and his interactions with Barry throughout the night were heartfelt. John was sitting close to Barry, and their obviously congenial relationship was fun to watch. In between performances, there were moments where the crew was setting up for the next act, and the fun they were having sharing this momentous event just made me smile.

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Barry and John Travolta

2. The nervousness of the performers

We don’t often think that famous celebrities get starstruck, but just about everyone who was performing was fighting the nerves because Barry was watching them. They knew a music legend when they saw one. A particularly fun moment occurred when Philip Sweet from Little Big Town flubbed his opening introduction of “How Deep is Your Love”. The good humored audience laughed and applauded as the director gave instructions to start again. Phil responded with a big smile and commented “I’m so, so nervous” as he looked over at Barry. He was too cute, and everyone in the crowd could relate to him. Having the big man himself watch as he sang one of the most recognizable Bee Gee songs had to be mind-blowing.

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Philip Sweet on the right in photo…….

3. Magnificent Lighting Effects 

It’s difficult to appreciate the genius of this aspect of the concert without being in the theater. The Microsoft Theater has 7, 100 good seats. The stage is wide and of course there are two side projection screens for up-close viewing of what’s happening on the stage.

On this night, the beautiful and creative graphics were breathtaking. The innovative and inspiring laser, video and special effects had the crowd applauding the efforts of the lighting designer and his staff. I could only imagine what his light plot looked like. It must have been as big as the Bible! (FYI, a light plot is the book of cues for every single lighting effect of the show.) The flow was seamless, and the video clips dispersed throughout meshed beautifully with the colorful and visually inventive lighting.

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4. Nick Jonas singing an Andy song

Although this concert was billed as a tribute to the Bee Gees, when Nick Jonas walked onto the stage and the band began playing the intro to the oh, so familiar “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” there was a shift in the mood of the audience. Although everyone was swaying and singing, it was bittersweet and there was a palpable sadness throughout the crowd. The large photos of Andy that beamed down at the fans were of a young man who never grew old and never lost his zest for life or his gentle, kind spirit.

If the audience was feeling half of what I was experiencing, (and they seemed to be), the grief of Andy’s loss and the unfairness of it hurt and stabbed the heart all over again.

I thought that Nick honored Andy’s memory with a heartfelt performance. One could see that he was extremely happy to be singing that particular song, and he was fabulous. Andy might have been a Bee Gee one day, and he was, as Barry said, “the little light” of the family.

Witnessing thousands of people sharing in my grief made me feel better, and this helped me to remember the genius of Andy Gibb and just how special he was.

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Nick Jonas honoring Andy and the music

5. The power of Celine Dion-“Immortality”

When the concert is broadcast, the audience at home will witness a superstar performing like a superstar. Her voice is a miracle of an instrument, and she is certainly one of a kind, much like Whitney Houston or Andrea Bocelli. These artists are just a cut above the rest.

What the audience won’t feel is the surge of energy that went through the crowd when she walked onto the stage. It was almost as though they held their collective breaths and didn’t let it go until she was finished with the last note.We all knew we were about to witness greatness, and I’m not exaggerating.

I didn’t think she was going to make it through her opening remarks. Still suffering the loss of her husband Rene, it was clear that she seemed frail, thinner than before. Even so, she was regal, and the crowd, clearly moved and teary,  was silent as she sang.

I shook a bit and got goose bumps and people around me closed their eyes and blinked, some openly weeping. This song conjures up all sorts of memories of lost loved ones. We all can relate to the lyrics, and that’s another reason why the Bee Gees are the greatest songwriters who ever lived.

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Celine during her performance–she is a queenly talent

6. Barry’s behavior during the concert

It’s still hard to believe how humble Barry Gibb can be these days. As he attentively watched each performance, sometimes singing along, he seemed impressed and honored but was certainly still giving off the feeling that he was amazed at the whole event. Once in awhile, he had that look on his face which read, “Gee, for real? What did I do to deserve this?” and then there was the “I can’t believe Stevie Wonder and John Legend just sang my song” look.

I was gratified because I don’t want to ever experience what I call “the Doris Day Syndrome”. I love and adore Doris Day and think she was incredibly underrated and certainly deserved an Oscar for several of her performances, especially “Midnight Lace”. She was a star for several decades and needs to be given an honorary Oscar, but have they done it? No, and she’s in her 90’s. I expect the Oscar will come after she has passed.

Thank God the Recording Academy has done its job in a timely fashion. Barry deserved every joyous moment of this tribute, and his modest acceptance of the honor was great to watch.

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Barry saying thanks

7. Joy and pride of family members

The Gibb family is a large one, and many of them were there to support this tribute.The best part about this was seeing how happy and excited they were as they responded to the performances throughout the night.

Adam Gibb and his wife Elaine were in the audience. Knowing that Maurice would have adored every moment of this night, it was great to see Adam enjoying himself.

Michael and Jenna were having a wonderful time, too, and I was happy to see them.

Linda and Ali seemed to be totally enraptured by the show, and I don’t think Ashley Gibb stopped smiling. He was so proud of his father, and it was obvious that his expressions reflected that love and pride.

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Adam and Ali Gibb

8. The End of the Show

I don’t know how much of the ending of the concert will be in the broadcast, but after the stars came on for the finale, the show ended in dramatic fashion with confetti streaming from the rafters.

What may not be seen is the way the stars surrounded Barry as the show ended. It was the young performers who had that “starstruck” attitude and who showed great respect. Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato were the first to hug Barry, and then it seemed that everyone on the stage surrounded him with a collective hug. He was inundated with love, and so many brilliant performers themselves were showing their admiration for him and the songwriting talents of the three brothers.

No one left the stage for awhile. I think they all knew that they were in the presence of someone who truly is a musical legend. It was emotional and fun and exciting to witness this act of musical love for Barry.

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The Finale

Of course we all know that being part of the audience at a live event is exhilarating. The taping of a musical special is a different story because of all the stops and starts. There was more time for observation at this event.  There are so many other moments that I could mention, but you get the idea.

Bee Gee fans at a concert behave as ONE. The energy, passion and enthusiasm they have for the brothers is an adrenaline rush. I know the fans will love this concert, and I hope you all enjoy the little inside tidbits I’ve shared here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let’s Celebrate 2/13 and 2/14

Welcome to morobinbarrystories.com. Please join me on twitter @morobinbarry. This site is for Bee Gee fans who would like to share and read stories of fun, joy, love and inspiration for Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. (Andy is not forgotten and is included at times). If you’d like to share a story, please email it to me at morobinbarrystories@gmail.com. Stories will be posted often and many are included in my book, which is in editing stages now. At times, I will write articles about Gibb events I hope the fans will enjoy.

February 1, 2017

Below is the information about fan gatherings in Lost Angeles February 13 and 14 for anyone who would like to join me. I hope to see you there.

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Above photos are from Lucky Strike LA Live

For Monday, February 13, here is the information for anyone who would like to talk Bee Gees and have some fun.

LUCKY STRIKE LA LIVE-800 W. OLYMPIC BLVD. –two minutes from Microsoft Theater in downtown LA.

Lucky Strike venue is large and not only a restaurant but a bowling center. It’s not your normal bowling center, as you can see if you visit their website. The Happy Hour is from 3-6 daily, so I thought 6 p.m. for dinner or appetizers would be good and for those wanting drinks, come a bit earlier, and I will see you in the bar area. I’ll be there at 5.

Anyone who wants to stay and bowl can add that to their list of things to enjoy. I’ve been to this place before, and it’s big enough for a crowd and the staff is nice. The dress is very casual and prices are moderate and not over the top, but bowling is expensive.

FEBRUARY 14-ROCK ‘N FISH-800 W. OLYMPIC BLVD. A 160 LA LIVE –two minutes from Microsoft Theater.

For the day of concert on February 14, the issue is that it’s Valentine’s Day, so I’d like to get a count of people to make a reservation with the manager. I’m shooting for 5:00 for drinks and 5:30 or so for appetizers/dinner. Dress is casual and prices moderate. There is also a large outdoor seating area. Below are photos of this restaurant.

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If you’d like to join other fans with me, please send me an email at morobinbarrystories@gmail.com or send a message on Facebook messenger. I am hopeful to have a count soon so I can give it to the restaurant managers.

Thank you for all the kind words from those fans who have asked me about getting together once again. I met so many wonderful fans on the Mythology Tour, and I’m excited to see you at this historic event.  Believe me, I know what a financial sacrifice this is for many who are making this trip, but we only live once and we’ll be witnessing a great moment in musical history. Let’s make some great memories.

Many blessings to all; and for those who can’t attend, hopefully there will be wonderful photos, and I’ll certainly write articles about the concert for fans around the world.

 

 

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SPECTACULAR! GRAMMY CELEBRATION!

Welcome to morobinbarrystories.com! Please join me on twitter @morobinbarry. This site is for Bee Gee fans everywhere who would like to share and read stories of fun, joy, love and inspiration for Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. (Andy is not forgotten and is included at times). If you’d like to share a story, please send it to morobinbarrystories@gmail.com. Stories will be posted often, and many will appear in my book, which is in the editing stages now. At times I will post articles about Gibb events that I hope fans will enjoy.

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January 28, 2017

There are days when we get blindsided, and we didn’t have a clue what was coming, like the day one gets rear-ended at a stop sign by the guy in the Corvette who is texting on his phone. Then there are those scary moments, when the doctor says that the x-ray shows there is indeed a case of pneumonia surging through those precious lungs of yours.

Most of us can recount a number of these times when we wish we were unconscious or on a remote island resort away from the chaos of life. I choose to view these times as challenges that have made me stronger (or maybe more thankful to still be of sound body and mind). However, the excitingly fun times where we have been blindsided can be recounted in moment-to-moment detail, down to the last descriptive word of our feelings. The surprise engagement party, the scholarship that wasn’t expected, the birth of twins when mama and daddy expected one baby and a thousand other stories remain in our memory banks and are repeated time and time again with as much fervor as the first time they were told.

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Now Bee Gee fans have been blindsided by such good news that the excitement has spread throughout the world, where fans from Sydney to Amsterdam are shouting a collective “Hurrah” and more than an occasional “It’s about time”.  On February 14, some of the world’s greatest musical talents will congregate in Los Angeles to perform a “tribute” concert to our Bee Gee brothers. What exactly is a “tribute”? If I think of the synonyms, such as accolade, testimonial, and praise, then it’s the perfect concert for all.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Certainly one of the best components of this Grammy honor is that the concert will be broadcast at a later date. I’m thrilled about this because so many music lovers don’t realize the scope of the Bee Gee collection of music, and I hope this will showcase their versatility.

Seeing that Celine Dion will perform gives us hope of hearing “Immortality”. Knowing that Keith Urban is scheduled to be a part of this concert makes my heart leap with the thought that he might sing one of my favorites, “Lost In Your Love” and to know that John Legend is singing opens up a whole spectrum of possibilities.

I am wondering how Barry feels right now because this certainly will be a special date to remember. As I watched him react to the fans during the Mythology Tour, he was overwhelmed by the love with hundreds of little moments of joy, as my photos included here show. There are so many great times to remember. If I had to list some of the best, I’d mention the following (in no particular order):

September 1, 1970-The day Barry married his wife Linda (stunningly beautiful and bawdy to boot. I say this with great respect).

October 17, 1975-The day Maurice married his wife Yvonne (a devoted wife, mother and grandmother and all-around cool woman).

July 31, 1985-The day Robin married his wife Dwina (who is an amazingly talented woman herself)

Any and all of the birth dates of the children born to Barry, Robin and Maurice, from the most mature (and I use this word as a numerical reference) Spencer and Steve, to the youngest Snow Robin. Agreeing that the birth of a child blindsides us all in a number of unexpected ways, I continue with:

1967-The year the Bee Gees began their journey to superstardom with Robert Stigwood

1975-The year “Main Course’ was released, which I believe remains their greatest work

Dec 16,1977-The day “Saturday Night Fever” begins its journey to becoming one of the phenomenons of music history.

June 28, 1979 through October 6, 1979-The “Spirits Having Flown” tour, a tour that will live in musical history. (Let’s all admit that we loved the white pants, too).

1997-the One Night Only concert in Las Vegas-The concert was spectacular and fans can enjoy it over and over again, thank God!

May 27, 2004-Bee Gees receive the Commander of the Order of British Empire Award at Buckingham Palace in London

February 12, 2015-Bee Gees presented with Lifetime Achievement honors at the Grammy Awards

These are but a blip on the radar of hundreds of special dates that encompass the career of the Gibb boys.

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Perhaps one of the nicest elements to this upcoming tribute is the fact that it will be performed on February 14, which is St. Valentine’s Day. If one thinks back to the history of this “LOVE” day and believes the legend, Valentine was a priest who defied Emperor Claudius II,who felt that his soldiers were stronger in battle if they were not married and banned them from marrying. Valentine continued to perform secret weddings for those soldiers and their lovers, whose commitment to one another was truly inspiring and passionate. Valentine was known to be a most sympathetic, romantic and heroic figure.

How fitting, since that’s just what the Bee Gees represent to their fans. Bee Gee fans feel the joy of this honor just as if they were receiving it themselves. On this wonderful day, February 14, 2017, while we play and sing Bee Gee music, let’s think roses and beautiful birds and hearts full of joy, which are symbols representing St. Valentine. I somehow think this heartwarming and courageous saint had something to do with all of this, and I hope I’m right.

 

 

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Gratitude for the fans!

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Welcome to Morobinbarrystories.com! Please join me on twitter @morobinbarry. This site is for Bee Gee fans everywhere who would like to share and read stories of fun, joy, love and inspiration for Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. (Andy is not forgotten and in included at times). If you’d like to share a story, please email it to me at morobinbarrystories@gmail.com. Stories will be posted often, some from my archives and some from the new ones that come in. At tines I will post articles about Gibb events, which I hope the fans will enjoy.

December 31, 2016

This post isn’t about what happened in 2016 to Barry or his band. It’s not a retrospect of events. Bee Gee fans know exactly what went on from January through December. They know and pray for the Gibbs at the loss of Barbara Gibb and also Alan Thicke, a close family friend and supporter of the DRIF for years.

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Instead of discussing the sadness and losses, I’d like to focus on the uplifting part of writing about the Bee Gees and especially Barry and his family. It’s been a surprising and exhilarating four years since I went public with my writing, but it’s been a lifetime of being a fan and nearly 17 years of collecting stories that have now come full circle. I promised myself that I would finish my book by the end of the year. As I write this, I am completing the draft and will start to edit the story next week. I am proud of that accomplishment, but I am more proud of the relationships and interactions with the fans for these past years that have enriched my life.

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Whether it’s the wonderful people at the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation or the fans I met on the road, I was continually surprised to be so deeply affected by their dedication and love for what matters most to them.

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Barry Gibb is revered, and his family is admired, and I think he’d be the first to say that there are no other fans as dedicated and full of love as Bee Gee fans.

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As I traveled to concerts and attended DRI events, I was more and more inspired by the outpouring of pure joy that fans expressed for the Gibb brothers. I loved seeing the memorabilia and hearing the stories, and I’m excited to share them with fans worldwide. Whether it was a banner, a handmade scarf, a tote bag, a book or a t-shirt, the message of love was the same.

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No matter what happens in the future, the legacy is carved in stone, is set in the archives, is shown in the awards received. Barry can sit on his songwriter extraordinaire throne and look out over the waters in Miami Beach and know that he’s accomplished great things in his lifetime. However, music is a driving force in his life, and he graces us with his talents because he chooses to keep writing and performing, and for this fans are grateful.

It’s the fans who help him keep going; it’s the fans who show their love daily, and I’d like to thank them once again for their passion.

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I am amazed at how far they traveled to see Barry, how totally invested they are in their support of whatever he chooses to do, and especially at the fun-loving attitude they express that is so contagious to all around them.

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I have hundreds of photos that bring back wonderful memories, and I’ve posted just a few here. Each one gives me joy, and I wonder at how overwhelmed Barry must feel when he meets fans from different cultures, backgrounds and ages (yes, I get letters from teens who love him) and how gratifying that feeling is for him.

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It is an honor to write about Barry and everyone who supports him, and I know that the band members, (who are amazingly kind, funny and talented) truly understand that the fans who follow Barry and his brothers are unique and crazily dedicated to the man and the music.

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I wish many blessings to all the fans as 2017 begins. Each one is special; each one has a story; each one carries a zeal, an energy and sometimes an obsession that no one but another Bee Gee fan can understand.

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Perhaps the only one to truly understand this camaraderie and fellowship is Barry himself, and for this, I am sure he is truly grateful.

Happy New Year to all!

 

 

 

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A Maurice Christmas Story

mo

Welcome to Morobinbarrystories.com! Please join me on twitter @morobinbarry. This site is for Bee Gee fans who would like to share and read stories of fun, joy, love and inspiration about Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. (Andy is not forgotten and is included at times). If you’d like to share a story, please email it to me at morobinbarrystories@gmail.com. Stories will be posted often, some from my collected tales and some new ones as they come in. At times, I will write articles about Gibb events, which I hope fans will enjoy.

So sorry I’ve been away for awhile. I’m trying to complete my book by the end of the year, and I’m in the last year of writing in chronology of the fictional story. I’m excited about getting it finished, and I hope to have it edited over the next few months.

This week I wanted to repost a story that is touching and beautiful, and I’d like to hear from this contributor again. If you read this, John David, please get in touch and let me know how you are doing.

This is one of the very first face-to-face stories I was told (several years ago) and it’s been in my files waiting for me to share it and put it into the book. I feel that it’s my best Maurice story, and I’ve had scores of people share their thoughts about Mo with me since the year 2000. Hope you love it as much as I do.

John David

Atlanta

My Bee Gee story starts with a funeral. My wife of 10 years, Alex, died from ovarian cancer in 1995, and I was left to raise my son Lucas alone. I was home on disability at the time after a fall at work left me with a back injury that caused serious pain most of my waking hours. The doctors prescribed strong pain killers, and it wasn’t long before I was popping pills two at at time. Alex was the Bee Gee fan in the house, and my son, who was 8 at the time, knew the lyrics to every song from “Run to Me” to “Alone” because his mom had been singing Bee Gees to him since birth. She was mad about Maurice Gibb from her childhood days. She said that  Barry seemed untouchable (out of her realm), Robin was the introspective one, and Maurice was her potential best friend. When I started dating her in high school, I knew that there would be three of us in the relationship. When we got married, Alex wanted to have a child right away, and we had our son Lucas after 18 months of marriage. Now Lucas was introduced to Mo. We had pictures of him, articles about him, discussions about his alcoholism and recovery. He was the 4th member of our family. Our friends used to joke to me that I should be worried she would leave me one day and move to Miami or else she would follow him around the world whenever the Bee Gees decided to do their next tour. I had decided that whenever they did decide to tour, I would get tickets to a show so Alex could be in the same space with Maurice at least for one night. She always said that his smile could “light up a city”, and when he was on stage, he “glowed” from the sheer fun of being there.

She was happy that he had such a great wife in Yvonne. That was typical of Alex. Instead of being jealous about her “dream man”, she wanted him to be happy. She knew that Yvonne was his rock just as she was mine. She had gotten Maurice through his fire, and Alex was going to help me through mine. I had a problem, and she was determined to help me, but then she suddenly got sick with a particularly aggressive form of cancer. The disease was in an advanced stage, and she died in two months. She was gone before I had the chance to understand how to cope in the first place with a wife who had a terminal illness. The funeral and subsequent weeks were a blur. I was in too much pain to care about anything or anyone. I am not proud of what happened next, but it was my reality. I think the grief over losing my wife, coupled with my back pain and pill addiction, sent me over the edge. I will cut to the chase. I stopped paying bills, lost everything when I started buying pills on the street to supplement my need for more. I was self-destructing and taking my son with me. The house went into foreclosure, the car got repossessed, and Lucas and I wound up in a shelter run by our local church. My family was across the country in Seattle, and I couldn’t ask them for help. My friends were unsure about what was happening because I lied to them, and I finally hit rock bottom. I soon learned that this is all all too real scenario for many people. There is nothing worse than being in a shelter with your kid during the holidays. It was Christmas Eve day, and I had single -handedly put my son in the worst possible place, or so I thought. Then the Maurice miracle occurred. Give me a stack of Bibles, and I will swear on them that this is so. Around 11 a.m. that morning, a group of people started coming into the “rec” room of the shelter. Someone set up a coffee pot and started it perking. Someone else brought in cookies and set them on the table, and unfolded the wooden chairs that were leaning against the concrete wall, placing them in a semi-circle near the coffee table. I didn’t know if I should leave or stay. One of the men walked over and assured me that I didn’t have to leave. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the group was there for an AA meeting. I sat in the back of the room, trying to be unobtrusive, but I was listening to everything that went on. Lucas went into the next room and had fallen asleep while reading a comic book. As the meeting was winding down, one of the members of the group stood up and offered some quotes. The quotes were from Maurice Gibb. I remember the word “unworthiness” and then some of his thoughts that my wife had repeated to me before. She would quote him time and time again. They all started coming back to me. It was as if Alex had arranged the whole experience. Hearing Maurice’s name being spoken by these people in such a setting was moving and humbling. I was surprised to hear someone other than my wife talking about HER Bee Gee. It was a turning point for me. It has been three years since that day, and my son and I are doing much better. I am back at work; we are in a small condo. My rehabbing took some time, but I did it one day at a time, and I am getting healthy. We miss Alex and will always love her, but we are getting stronger every day. My son and I listen for new Bee Gee music just as we play all of our old albums, and I want you to know something. My wife’s photo is on the sideboard table in the den. Next to it is her favorite photo of Maurice Gibb. He is still part of our family.

 

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Bee Gees and Emotional Me

emotwo

Welcome to morobinbarrystorie.com! Please join me on twitter @morobinbarry. This site is for Bee Gee fans everywhere who would like to read and share stories of fun, joy, love and inspiration for Barry,Robin and Maurice Gibb. (Andy is not forgotten and is included at times) If you’d like to share a story, please email it to me at morobinbarrystories@gmail.com. Stories will be posted often and some will be saved for my book, which is being completed (soon, I hope!) At times I will write articles that relate to Gibb events, which I hope the fans will enjoy.

November 15, 2016

It’s been awhile, but I’m busy writing away and have so much mail I can’t keep up with it. I love Bee Gee fans and enjoy hearing from all of you. This story expresses what so many fans feel about the brothers. So true and so poignant!

Marissa, New York

When I was a little girl, my Aunt Carmen was always babysitting for me when my Mom went to work at night. Aunt Carmen was a Bee Gee fanatic, and we’d play their music, and she’d start to cry over almost every slow song. She’d explain the song to me and what it meant, and then I’d begin to cry. (Too Much Heaven, Wish You Were Here, Tears, How Do You Mend a Broken Heart) were just a few of our favorites. She said they were “so emotional and perfect” and that Barry Gibb’s voice would give her chills. As I started to get older and went to high school, I would get more emotional when I’d hear their songs, too. I was just as big a fan as my aunt was because I understood their music and felt the emotions they shared.

My girlfriends used to tease me when I’d cry, but they were just as soft-hearted as I was, and they used to sing along with me in the car whenever we went somewhere and I was driving. They knew it was primarily Bee Gee music that they would hear. Sometimes we’d play Rod Stewart or Paul McCartney or Billy Joel, but we’d always go back to the Bee Gees.No one could sing like they could, which moved me to really understand the music.

When Maurice passed away so suddenly, I think the music took on an even deeper meaning, and my emotions were tied up in every song I’d replay over and over until I had gone through every album. This was usually done with my aunt, of course, when we’d get together for dinner or on the holidays.

I would sometimes get embarrassed by showing my emotions, but now I always feel like that’s a gift. Maybe I didn’t realize how lucky I was in the 80’s to have this Bee Gee education and enjoy the music so much, but now I look back and know that every emotional moment was special. I still thank Aunt Carmen for those amazing days.

 

 

 

 

 

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Beautiful Barry

Welcome to morobinbarrystories.com! Please join me on twitter @morobinbarry. This site is for Bee Gee fans everywhere who would like to read and share stories of fun, joy, love and inspiration for Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. Andy is not forgotten and is included at times. If you’d like to share a story, please email it to me at morobinbarrystories@gmail.com. Stories will be posted often, and some will be saved for my book, which is in progress. At times, I will write about Gibb events, which I hope the fans will enjoy.

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October 19, 2016

With all the hype and media frenzy and Barry’s international appearances promoting his album, I thought it fitting to take a step back and post one of the very first stories I collected, this one from the year 2000, written down while sitting on a bench in Central Park.  Funny, things don’t change much when it comes to Bee Gee fans. Barry’s appeal and natural charisma have been a part of his persona for several decades. The fans are the same today as they were in the 60’s and remain steadfast in their loyalty. It is a rare occurrence to have such longevity in the music business, and his fans realize how fortunate they are to have been on this journey with him.

Chelsie

New York City, 2000

I have loved Barry Gibb since childhood when I was 10, and that’s the late 60’s when I first heard him sing and hadn’t even seen a picture of him yet. I fell in love with the voice and then was thrilled by the tall, handsome impressive guy who was model gorgeous. I thought, “Wow, he’s beautiful. Beautiful Barry!” My best friend who lived two doors down, Anne Marie, had The Bee Gees Sing and Play 14 Barry Gibb songs. I was mesmerized by Wine and Women and then later wore out Spicks and Specks. Good God, I was giddy where Barry was concerned. I loved Holiday, too,  and thought Robin to be unusual but so interesting; still, my heart would go back to Barry and I never lost the thrill of listening to him sing. No one sounds like Barry Gibb.

Of course, Saturday Night Fever and the Spirits music were legendary, and my love for Barry grew. He was head and shoulders about the rest of his musical peers. I cherish those albums and close my eyes to listen to that amazing sound of his.Time goes by but his voice stays as strong as ever. He is intense and strong, and I love that he makes me feel like I can handle anything when I have the music to support me.

All through the years, he brought me joy and made me feel uplifted with the music, whether I was having a great year or a not so great year. He has always been with me. Even when Andy passed and I was so sad, the “One’ album was released and the music brought me back up. The songs were fabulous, and he gave the fans what they needed, which was great music.

I have loved every album and so many of the tunes stick in my mind as special. Not only “Words” or “To Love Somebody” but all the lesser known songs that carry special messages of love, like “Tears” and sexy songs like “Bodyguard”.

Some of my favorites are on the Size Isn’t Everything album and Still Waters boggles my mind. Sometimes I think back and wonder how I can be so excited about every song when thirty years has gone by, but the music gets better and better.

I know they are writing a new album now, and 2001 will be a wonderful Bee Gee year, I just know it. I have no clue what the future will bring, but I know that Barry will outlast and outshine everyone else around him who creates new music. There’s no doubt about it in my mind that Barry will be writing and singing for many more decades to come. He’s the best, and I’m his #1 fan. No one comes close to him.

 

 

 

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Sublime Tea Time

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Haute Tea honoree Jillian Posner standing between co-chairs Lauren Geduld and Stacy Gibb

A writer is always searching for an angle. What’s the hook to make a story special? How does one capture the uniqueness of the message? Where the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is concerned, the focus is clear and the message is a strong and determined one.

The scientists will make progress, will provide hope, will find innovative methods to treat patients, and they certainly will not rest until Type 1 diabetes is forced to release its stranglehold on its victims.

There is a collective goal, a forceful passion to help the afflicted with Type 1 diabetes to live their lives without fear but with hope for a cure.

Whenever I attend a DRIF event, a physical and emotional change occurs that is difficult to explain. The energy of the staff is contagious. Raising funds for research is a given, but the way they go abut raising the funds is what makes them rise above and set the bar so high.

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Barbara Singer, retiring founder of DRIF

Although juggling multiple responsibilities, each employee is gracious and professional, providing the perfect balance as a team to help the event succeed. This year Barbara Singer will retire. She is the matriarch, the founder of the DRIF, and the inspiration for everyone who works with the organization. She is a dynamo and a lovely, giving woman who has worked since the 70’s fighting against diabetes. It was an honor to be in her presence.

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Lauren, Aimee and Joelle-talented staff members working early before Haute Tea

The attendees of the Haute Tea (and indeed all other events)  feel so good about where their donations are going because everyone working towards the common goal has such passion and drive. They walk the walk, and supporters are happy to walk with them.

I was happy and excited to be at the Haute Tea on September 8, giddy because the concept of this fundraiser hits a happy nerve. No doubt each woman attending felt the same.

Playing dress-up and wearing a fancy and flattering hat (sadly a lost art) is simply fun. It’s a feast for the eyes to see the creations on display. Watching women balance in sky high stilettos and taking in the variety of dress, from costumes to couture, gives me a good feeling. Even more fun is that there are prizes given for outstanding attire, so there’s anticipation about who will win.

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Don’t forget to pick up your table place card!

The ladies clearly enjoy every second of the day, starting with the formal photo op in the outer ballroom area, then walking in to be greeted by waiters with trays of champagne and tasty hors d’oeuvres. I thought the concept of hors d’oeuvres was that they were a snack before the meal, but these were a meal in themselves. Decadent!

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checking out auction items

The environment of the St. Regis Bal Harbour ballroom is elegant but manages to feel cozy and welcoming. It may be the plush carpeting, the soft colors of the table settings and the polished look and kind demeanor of the waitstaff.

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Waitstaff getting last-minute instructions before the Haute Tea

I personally love watching the ladies walk around with their champagne glasses assessing the fabulous silent auction items and bidding on them as they admire each other’s attire. They chatter and laugh, pose for selfies and bubble with enthusiasm for the fashion show (this year produced by Neiman Marcus) and elegant, elegant, elegant.

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Silent auction gift basket

Artist Sara Kaplan was creating one-of-a-kind paintings for the ladies who took the opportunity to utilize her talents. Such a great idea, DRIF!

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Artist Sara Kaplan

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Some of Sara’s art work

I don’t know about anyone else, but dipping giant strawberries into fresh whipped cream and nibbling light blueberry scones while watching models showcase dream clothes sent my endorphins to the sky.

The live auction included trips and hotel packages, and there were smiles all around as squeals of delight came from the winners’ tables. Somehow, everyone feels great about cheering on those lucky girls even though they’re not the recipients. The DRIF is the real winner, and we all feel happy about that.

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Silent auction items showcased beneath the DRI sign

The most poignant moments of this day occurred when Lisa Grace shared the story of what she and her family experience as they help their now six-year-old son Jax, who lives with Type 1 diabetes. The ballroom was silent and attentive as Lisa recounted her baby’s diagnosis and the emotional journey the family has been taking for five years. This disease affects everyone in a patient’s family and obviously presents challenges and stressors that sometimes take a costly toll.

Reminding us all of why we were there, human emotions of pathos surfaced and I’d venture to say that each person in the ballroom was proud to have paid for her ticket so that families like Lisa’s could be helped. Confirmation of doing the right thing is nice, but spreading awareness of the need to continue the fight with more funds is key to the success of this organization.

On this day Jillian Posner was honored for her work with the DRIF. A four-time Chairwoman of the Haute Tea, I have interviewed Jillian before. There’s not a person involved with the DRIF who is more sincere or hardworking. She is truly dedicated and genuine, and I was thrilled to see her receive recognition.

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Therese Gibb with two of the lucky ladies in attendance

I chatted with many of the ladies; some had flown cross-country to attend. Many save a bit each month throughout the year to buy their tickets. It’s gratifying to see grandmothers with their daughters and granddaughters come together to enjoy the day. 

I observed as the attendees picked up their gift bags (cosmetics from European Wax Center!) and framed photos on the way out of the ballroom. There’s almost a feeling of regret that permeates the air, the regret that the tea is over and this fantasy-like time is coming to an end.

 

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Photo memento-Gibb girls

The bottom line is that this luncheon was another DRIF success. Chairwomen Stacy Gibb and Lauren Geduld and their committee hit the mark and exceeded expectations.

My one disappointment was that Dr. Ricordi wasn’t in attendance, and I didn’t get a chance to discuss the latest research and see that ebullient smile of his. So where was the Director of the DRI and Cell Transplant Program? He was hard at work spreading news about the BioHub and the latest trials as a guest on the Bonnie Sher Show. Bonnie herself has been a victim of Type 1 diabetes since she was 15. Radio audiences far and wide heard from Dr. Ricordi personally about the advances being made. I truly believe he is a dynamic leader and a blessing to all.

This writer feels positive that the DRIF will succeed and prosper in the future. The heart and soul of success comes from the people who dedicate their lives through honest work. Make no mistake and don’t be deluded. Fighting diabetes is WORK!  Together the scientists, staff and volunteers will make it happen. Getting caught in the vortex which is the DRIF, diabetes doesn’t have a chance.

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