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Tribute: Andy Gibb

Andy Gibb

Andrew Roy Gibb was the little brother of Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb, collectively known as The Bee Gees. Like his brothers, Andy pursued music as a career. In the US, at the tender age of 19, he became the first male solo artist to chart three consecutive Number One singles on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1977, his first hit, "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" from the album Flowing Rivers, broke into the Top 20, and would sell over a million copies. His second single, "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water", replaced "Stayin' Alive" (possibly his brothers' biggest hit) at the top of the US charts in 1978. "Shadow Dancing," from the album of the same name, spent several weeks at Number One, and attained platinum status. Two more singles from Shadow Dancing reached the Top Ten: "An Everlasting Love" and "(Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away". Shadow Dancing would reach #7 on the US charts and sold a million copies.

Gibb pursued several interests outside the recording studio, starring in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on Broadway, The Pirates of Penzance in Los Angeles, and hosting the television show, Solid Gold from 1981-82. Unfortunately, a tumultuous relationship with actress Victoria Principle (from television's Dallas) and a serious cocaine habit eventually ended Gibb's career.

Solid Gold

Marilyn McCoo & Andy Gibb hosting Solid Gold.

In 1985, Andy checked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic; both he and his career seemed to be recovering. He guest-starred on television shows including Gimme a Break and Punky Brewster, and he was planning to work on a new album. It was not to be.

Andy was staying at his brother Robin's estate in Oxford, England, working on his new album. Supposedly, he began to drink heavily. On 9 March 1988 (four days after his thirtieth birthday), he was taken to John Radcliffe Hospital complaining of chest pains, accompanied by his mother. Reportedly the next morning, Andy's doctor told him he needed more tests. Andy agreed, then fell unconscious. He was pronounced dead at 8:45a.m. The cause of death was myocarditis, a sudden inflammation of the heart muscle caused by a viral infection. Because of his previous drug habit, his heart had been severely weakened and could not fight the infection.

Andy Gibb

A memorial service for Andy was held in a private chapel on Robin's estate in Oxford. The funeral was held 21 March in Los Angeles. Andrew Roy Gibb is interred in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. During the memorial service, older brother, Barry, read a poem written by Andy three years earlier:

"Andy's Song"

Am I all that I appear

when the spotlight dims and dies

or only a reflection

of the glitter etched lies

Been far from home for much too long

not sure what I should feel

and even if I feel it

could I be sure it's real

So dim the lights and set the stage

they want to see the show

all the time and effort

Lord, I hope they know

'Cause with every song a part of me

is what I give to you

and when the show is over

may the memory shine through

It's hard to form relationships

when you're on the road a lot

I've yet to find a lady

who'll forgive the things I'm not

There's a side of me that's worked so hard

for all I've come to know

a dream achieved throughout the years

I just can't let it go

So dim the lights and set the stage

they want to see the show

all the time and effort

Lord, I hope they know

'Cause with every song a part of me

is what I give to you

and when the show is over

may the memory shine through.

Andy Gibb's burial site

Andy Gibb

March 5, 1958 - March 10, 1988

"An Everlasting Love"