Monday, May 21, 2012

“In the event of something 'appening to me...”

Robin Gibb died May 20 after a battle with cancer. Cancer brings down the rich and poor, large and small. It is an equal opportunity assassin.

Memories of Robin Gibb go back to before I knew who he was, just that there was a group called the Bee Gees. I sat in the snack bar of the PX in Monteith Barracks, Fürth, Germany, on Sunday mornings in 1967. I'd have breakfast and read the Stars and Stripes newspaper. There was a jukebox in the corner and someone was always plugging in dimes, playing the hits of the day. One day I heard "To Love Somebody," and wrote my brother about the song. He was back in the States and he had his ear to the car radio, always picking up on what was new.

In a reply he wrote that he liked the Bee Gees' song, "New York Mining Disaster-1941." It was on the PX jukebox and I heard Robin's vibrato loud and clear. I liked their music, but turned against the Bee Gees during the constant airplay of their disco period hits. They redeemed themselves to me later on. They came back on stage with their incredible catalog of hits, not just for dancing, but also for listening and appreciating. That vibrato was a lot of the Bee Gees sound. I don't believe the Bee Gees performed after Robin's twin, Maurice, died a few years ago. I remember rumblings of some problems between brothers Barry and Robin, but didn't pay much attention. I hope whatever the problem, that it was resolved before Robin died.

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