Robin Gibb died on May 20th after a long illness, at the ridiculously young age of 62.
I heard the news on the following Monday morning and was affected far more than I expected to be; more than I had been by the death of any other ‘celebrity’, famous person, pop star or other prominent figure. Although we knew he was ill, the news came as a real shock.
The Bee Gees were my very first favourite group, in the late 1960s, from about the age of 12 onwards. Their 7-inch singles were the first new records I bought: Massachusetts, World, Words and so on. I suspect I heard their records on some of the old pirate stations, Radio London and Radio Caroline, and later on the then brand new BBC Radio 1.
I spent much of the day listening to old records and even watching videos on YouTube. It was great to hear Vince Melouney, one of the very early members of the Bee Gees, speaking on the Radio 2 news.
All that nostalgia and sadness. I usually listen to Danny BAker in the afternoons on BBC London 94.9. On this Monday, Gary Crowley was sitting in and he paid tribute to the group, playing a few of their somgs. he also invited stories from the listeners:
I listened to Paul Gambaccini last night presenting an appreciation of Robin Gibb. I think he explains very well why Robin’s passing meant more than that of, say, his brother, Maurice, sad thought that was at the time.
You can hear Spirit Having Flown: An Appreciation of Robin Gibb on the iPlayer until May 31st.
Another programme to look forward to is also on Radio 2, next Monday, 28th May. “In a special tribute to the late singer, Robin Gibb tells his own story in words & music drawn from over 40 years of BBC archive, & featuring rarely heard Bee Gees performances.”
And of course, their music lives on in our hearts and in many, many media formats.
Thinking of Robin’s family and friends at this sad time.