Monday, May 21, 2012

Robin Gibb 1949-2012

My obsession with the Bee Gees started much like the one I had with The Beach Boys, with one song on the car's AM radio.  With the Beach Boys the day was summery, and the song was "Dance, Dance, Dance". In contrast, my first big Bee Gees moment was a gloomy and grey day in 1986, and the song was "Holiday".  The tune was so gorgeous and Beatlesque (beautiful even through a crappy AM car radio), yet the lyrics were very unlike an actual holiday, sung with a haunting sadness and yearning by a young Barry and Robin Gibb.

I tested the depths of the Bee Gee waters slowly, starting with Cucumber Castle and Bee Gees 1st. When the group had their late 80s comeback I was fully on board, even seeing their summer of '89 One tour. I graduated college in the midst of an unfortunate job market in 1991 and moved into my parents' attic the following year. I was working jobs in record stores - a great fit for a music lover, but not for someone with student loan debt. My saving grace was access to yet more Bee Gees discs at work, breathtaking 60s gems including Idea, Horizontal, Odessa, continuing up to the 70's pre-disco Mr. Natural. As my life grew increasingly directionless the music of the Bee Gees became a bit of an anchor for me, until 1994 when I started graduate school and got back on track.

It's not surprising to me that the passing of Robin Gibb feels like the death of a longtime friend. Of course it's no help that the sting of his death came so shortly after the loss of Donna Summer and Adam "MCA" Yauch (both of whom also died from cancer). Like so many other fans I feel like I'm just beginning to heal from one death before another makes the headlines.

My prayers and deepest sympathies go out to the Gibb family and all those who were close to Robin. The world has lost a rare talent and a true original. Thank you, Robin, for all that you gave through your songwriting and your incredible voice. May your journey be peaceful.


Captain Sketchy said...

Very very sad. And two days later the current drummer from Crowded House passed away, also from cancer. A terrible week for music.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.