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 send it to me at email@example.com. Stories will be posted often and many will appear in my book, which is taking most of my time now (editing, adding to, inserting pieces and writing an Appendix about the songs included in the book). Whew! At times, I will write about Gibb events, which I hope the fans will enjoy.
June 30, 2018
I must apologize for being absent from this forum and different fans websites, since I’ve been overrun with teaching summer classes while working on my book. However, here I am now with plenty to say, and I hope the fans will let me know how they feel about this post. The emails usually come fast and furious, and I am grateful for that. So, here goes!
Bee Gee fans from London to Manila have been buzzing about the big news that occurred on June 26. Stalwart fans knew that Barry Gibb was going to be given a knighthood but no one knew exactly when. Millions, and I do mean MILLIONS, of fans waited with anticipation, surprise and excitement.
After the sword-on-the-shoulder ceremony at Buckingham Palace was completed, the news hit the presses, and images of Barry in a fabulous blue suit, kneeling in front of Prince Charles, were instantly posted to every corner of the globe. I don’t usually like to comment immediately, since I prefer to read what reporters, websites and especially the fans, have to say. Not surprisingly, the comments covered everything from “it’s about time” to “so well deserved”. Thrilled and grateful, fans expressed their love and also their relief, that this honor was finally bestowed on the brilliant man we all love and admire.
I held back while contemplating the enormity of this achievement. It does seem dream-like that a man whose beginnings were simple and humble could reach such status.
After spending hours reading the articles and congratulatory comments, I was moved to tears more than once; but when I really broke down sobbing (it was an ugly cry), it wasn’t because Barry Gibb was now SIR Barry. It was because I started thinking back to his history and the struggles that brought him to the top of the mountain.
There are fans who don’t know about the accident that occurred when Barry was a toddler and are unaware that he was nearly killed by a pot of boiling water that left him with scars and kept him in silence for years. It’s difficult enough to be a toddler, but it’s unimaginable to be in pain and shock from an accident such as this. Yet, he did recover, and he flourished.
My mind jumps to the losses that nearly broke his heart and his spirit. Andy’s death, of course, immediately stabs at me. I haven’t lost a sibling, but I remember what Barry said about this tragedy. “I lost my best friend when I lost Andy”. When I see how beloved Andy Gibb is 30 years after his death, I know that this type of heartache is always present and a permanent part of who one is.
Another loss that pulls at me is Barry’s battle with arthritis. This affliction has challenged him for thirty years. In my mind, the LOSS part comes with the loss of movement, control of the body, and lack of physical stamina, all which caused Barry to give up touring and working for long periods of time. It has plagued him, and yet he still pushes forward. Even as he had difficulty rising after the knighthood ceremony, he approached this moment with humor and soldiered on.
The world knows about losing Mo and Robin, but no one knows the depth of Barry’s loss, not really. He was one-third of the whole, and yet he is the one left to continue the journey of life without them. How does one do that sort of thing?
I think that his family helps immeasurably. I love his comment about family. “I put family first. No matter what you do, you’ve ultimately got to come home”. He goes home to Linda; and for some reason (maybe it’s because I have been playing the Children of the World album recently), I think of the line “She came in like a prayer and started loving me”. His family is his rock.
I am still a huge fan of Jim Valvano, a man whose humor, strength and insights inspire me every day. For fans who live outside of the United States, Mr. Valvano was a great college basketball coach, sports writer, commentator and humanitarian. His life was cut short by cancer; and a few weeks before his death, he gave a speech asking fans to “take time every day to do three things.”
The first was to LAUGH and enjoy the humor in everyday things.
The second was to SPEND TIME IN THOUGHT, to think about life and be inspired.
The third was TO CRY. Now, don’t be mistaken by this statement. He didn’t mean it in a negative way. He said, “Have emotions that are moved to tears. Be enthusiastic so that you keep your dreams alive.”
I truly believe that Barry Gibb has lived this mantra since he was a child. Although Maurice Gibb was known to be the “funny one”, I think Barry has a fabulous sense of humor and is sometimes silly and crazy in such a playful way that he makes life’s challenges easier to accept.
Spending time in thought daily has kept him going in the worst of times as well as the best of times.
Lastly, being moved to tears seems to be more of an every day event in the last several years. His enthusiasm for life and what comes next has been the fuel that keeps his dreams alive.
All these memories were jumbled in a heap at the pit of my stomach when I saw the first photos out of Buckingham Palace. Countless others, which I don’t have the space to mention, were in the mix as well. Some cause a twinge and others a grin, but the magnitude of what Barry has been through in his life exhausts me nonetheless.
So it would seem that once this most extraordinary achievement has been reached, it’s tough to ask “What now?” Well, we know there’s a musical in the works and hopefully new music.
Let’s think the way the great writer C.S. Lewis thought as he said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
Congratulations, Sir Barry. May the joy of your dreams continue to inspire us all.