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BARRY GIBB


BIO: Barry was born on September 1st 1946 in Douglas, Isle of Man. At the age of five his mother and father, (Barbra and Hughie), sister (Leslie) and twin brothers (Robin and Maurice) moved to Manchester, England. At the ageBiography Barry was born on September 1st 1946 in Douglas, Isle of Man. At the age of five his mother and father, (Barbra and Hughie), sister (Leslie) and twin brothers (Robin and Maurice) moved to Manchester, England. At the age of six after seeing an early television music show based on Mary Lloyd, Barry became captivated by music as the Rock and Roll era began. Barry's dream of being a g...uitar wielding pop artist took root. By the time Barry was nine the family was living in Keppel Road, Chorlton-Cum-Hardy and that Christmas his parents gave him his first guitar. His twin brothers quickly became infected with the same dream and they called themselves the "Rattlesnakes" but it was not to be and for the next two years the three brothers led a life of delinquency often getting into trouble with the police. It was certainly a concern for their parents, but at the same time they were preoccupied with the birth of Barry's younger brother Andy born on March 5th 1958 in Manchester, England. When Barry was twelve the family decided to emigrate to Australia to start a new life. It was five weeks at sea which took them half way around the world including Egypt, Africa and Sri Lanka and for those 5 weeks the group became known as Barry and the Twins sitting on an anchor and singing for the pleasure of the passengers and to the distress of the crew. Brisbane was the Gibb family's final destination and they set up home on the Redcliff Peninsula. Barry has often said that Redcliff is still his favourite place in the World and is in fact the birth place of the Bee Gee's. At the age of thirteen Barry performed for the first time with his brothers at the Redcliff Speedway where they first met Bill Gates, the gentleman who named the group "BGs" based on the collective initials of Barbra Gibb, Bill Gates, Barry Gibb and Bill Goode as can be seen on Barry's first guitar given to him by Bill Gates and Bill Goode. By fourteen Barry and his family moved to another wonderous place called Cribb Island unfortunately for those who lived there it no longer exists and it is now part of Brisbane airport. After living in numerous other homes around Brisbane they moved to Surfers Paradise about 50 miles from Brisbane. Barry's ambition and hormones were raging by the age of fifteen and he along with his brothers played at least two seasons at the Beachcomber Hotel and the Grand Hotel in Coolangatta. Two shows a night and 20 miles between the hotels Barry and his brothers soon realised they were on a long road. One fateful day, Australia's greatest pop star of that time Col Joye, his brother and manager Kevin Jacobson came to Surfers Paradise. Barry and his father took a cassette of songs to the hall where Col Joye was to sing that evening and managed to meet them both and convince them to come back to their home to listen to his songs. One of the songs on the tape was Starlight of Love which became the first hit song of Barry's ever recorded by another artist. Kevin then became very involved with the Bee Gees and was instrumental in bringing them to Sydney and getting them signed to Festival Records, their first recording contract. Incredibly, upon their first visit to Sydney, Barry and his brothers were invited to stay at Kevin and Col's mum's house who treated them like they were her own children. Over the next three years Kevin booked the Bee Gees on the hotel and nightclub circuit in Sydney which gave them priceless experience in performing on stage. The pivotal moment came when, at the height of the twist craze, the brothers were booked to appear between Chubby Checker and Johnny O'Keefe at the Sydney Stadium. A forgetful performance on the part of the Bee Gees but in the long run a life changing event. With the sudden arrival of the Beatles the entire music culture was turned on its head. Everything that was sung, done or played changed overnight and everyone that did not embrace this new music disappeared and the mersey boom took over completely. To Barry this was an intense injection of new ideas and inspiration. The Beatles and other English bands had an alarming effect on him and Barry felt that nothing was impossible and all the work that had been done was to prepare the group for this. The ambition for the Bee Gees was to now go international and they shared the feeling that if other people could do it so could they. On the heels of their No. 1 single " Spicks & Specks" and with a blazing ambition to become like those he admired so much, Barry who by now was 19, set sail with his family from Sydney to England to live their new dream. Barry had a lot of mixed emotions about leaving Australia, he always felt that he was Australian and he had fallen in love with the country, but in order to succeed it was something that the family had to do. Even to this day he feels he left a large part of himself in Australia, but arriving in London in February 1967 was by far the most exciting moment of his life. The second stage of the mersey boom was rampant and strawberry field's were forever. Within a week of arriving in London the family had rented a semi-detached house in Hendon where they settled in for the big push. At first the news was not so good as the various agents in London told Barry and his father that "Groups were out" and that they should return to Australia. It seemed impossible to get signed and all in all it was "Doom and Gloom" until the phone rang the following week. Barry distinctly remembers his mother saying "There is a Mr Stickweed on the phone who wants to have a meeting with you". The significance of this call was that... Mr Stickweed was in fact a gentleman named Robert Stigwood who was the Managing Director of NEMS which was Brian Epstein's and the Beatle's organisation. Barry's father had sent demo tapes around to various record companies and agents, NEMS being one of them. It was just by chance that Robert and Brian had been listening to material sent by various artists that particular week. Barry and his brothers were signed for 5 years to NEMS. They also signed a contract with Polydor Records. In fact it was outside Polydor Records that the brothers first met Dick Ashby, "a strapping young man with a big blue van", who was to become their road manager and who is now Barry's representative. Over the years Dick has become Barry's closest confidant and an important member of Barry's family. In 1968 Barry met the women he would end up spending the rest of his life with. Her name was Linda Ann Gray and she was brought from Scotland to London by DJ Jimmy Saville to appear as a hostess on the national Music show "Top of The Pops". They first noticed each other when Barry and his brothers were rehearsing "Massachusetts" which was the Number 1 single that week. For the brothers this was their first international hit , and for Barry this was the moment he met the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. Barry introduced himself to Linda and asked if she would have lunch with him at the BBC canteen. After the show Barry and Linda went to a party at Robert Stigwood's house at Adams Row to celebrate their Number 1 record and after that night they did not see each other for a while. One day Barry was cleaning out a drawer and discovered a polaroid picture of Linda which told him everything he needed to know. It was when Barry was on a Bee Gees business trip in LA with Robert Stigwood that he realised he had fallen deeply in love with Linda and turned right around in Beverly Hills and jumped on the first plane back to London in search of his Scottish beauty queen. Over the next two years Barry and Linda's relationship became stronger and stronger but the harmony between the group and management became weaker and weaker. Everything began to disintegrate when due to internal strife, the battle for attention and the lifestlye of 60's London took its toll. Barry and his brothers were somehow unable to communicate and in 1969 the group split. Barry believes that the sudden change from boys to men was the underlining for everything else, It was a question of growing up. Barry and Linda were married on September 1st, 1970 which also happened to be Barry's 24th birthday. Together they bought their first home in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire and "Crompton Hall" was born. They were content with life for the next two years when suddenly on a whim Barry, Linda, Linda's parents George and May and their three dogs decided to move to Ibiza, Spain which turned out to be a huge mistake. Not only did they not speak Spanish but they had sold Crompton Hall and upon their return to England their dogs had to be quarantined for five months. By this time Barry and his brothers had re-united and were in the process of a new album which was called "Two Years On". Barry and Linda bought their second home in Windsor, "Cranbourne Grange", with plenty of room and an abundance of ghosts and then something wonderful occured, Linda became pregnant with their first child and eldest son Stephen. This changed the course of their lives and for the first time they became parents. Barry and his brothers were completing an album called "Mr Natural" and touring quite extensively through the Far East. This was a very important turning point for the Bee Gees because this is when they met Arif Mardin for the first time, a renowned record producer. Their hard work together on the "Mr Natural" album brought the group to the beginning of the most successful period of their lives. In 1976, the "Mr Natural" album led to the "Main Course" album, the Americanisation of the group and the birth of the disco era. "Main Course", "Children of the World and " Saturday Night Fever" were the three definitive albums of the disco period for the Bee Gees. In 1977, Barry and Linda's second son Ashley was born and Barry and his family settled in Miami Beach, Florida. From this time life became a whirlwind of ultra fame, Barry says " He never truely understood what was going on around him, only that the pressure of the business of music had become overwhelming and that life was no longer a simple matter of performing in a group". "Spirits Having Flown" became the last album of the 70's for the Bee Gees and inadvertantly the career of Barry Gibb the producer had begun. The insights of working with his brothers and Arif Mardin had enabled him to help develop his brother Andy's career and create songs like "Grease" amongst others and prepare him for what would become the greatest production songwriting project of his life. At the beginning of the 1980's, Barbra Streisand called Barry and asked if he and his brothers would create an album for her. For the next six months Barry would write and collaborate with his brothers, Albhy Galutan and Karl Richardson on what would become Barbra's greatest selling album worldwide (Guilty). Early in 1981, shortly after Barry and Linda's third child Travis was born, Barbra and Barry received a Grammy for "Best Duet". For the next few years life for Barry and family became rhythmic and domestic with Barry writing and producing numerous albums for artists such as Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick and various others. At this time Linda became deeply involved with the community and charity work. Michael Gibb the fourth son to Barry and Linda arrived on December 1st 1984 and by this time the Bee Gees had become the recipients of what is known as disco backlash. This was punctuated in 1985 by the global success of the song " You Win Again" which compounded the groups ability to write hit songs but did little to enhance their imagery. Try as they may the disco ball would remain suspended over their heads and the time of automatic acceptance did not remain. From 1985-1990 it became a mesh of World touring and family life and generally a time of maturing for Barry and his family. On March 10, 1988 tragedy struck the Gibb family, Andy at the age of 30 suddenly died of heart failure ( inflammation of the heart commonly caused by a virus) at The Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England. For Barry it was devastation and a loss he never quite recovered from, he could only imagine what his parents felt at this time. To lose your youngest child or any child is a terrible burden to bear and the grieving process was long. By 1989 the group was back in action and had acheived yet another top 10 single called "One" keeping them somewhat in the minds and eye of the public. As the band improved dramatically with so many live performances Barry's back problem went in the opposite direction. The idea of performing, which was the musical passion for Barry, had now become a painful ordeal which eventually led him to have back surgery. In 1991 Barry checked himself into the hospital for what was called a Lamanectomy. This procedure was fairly successful in relieving pain but his tennis days were over and only selective musical performances lay ahead. Ironically, in Barry's life wonderful things have often occured at the same time as painful things and the fifth blessing in Barry and Linda's life came to pass. As Barry was checking out of the hospital, Linda was preparing to check in and both were to celebrate the birth of their only daughter, Alexandra who was born on December 29th 1991. Again the balance of nature came to play and on March 6th 1992 Barry and the family lost their father Hughie who died in Los Angeles almost 4 years to the day of losing Andy. He was always a driving force behind his sons and his passing galvanised them into continuing on. For Barry necessity now became the mother of invention and in the years to come a formula was created to perform six live shows worldwide. The series was called "One Night Only" which started in Las Vegas in 1997 and continued into England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa and culminated back at home in Miami on the eve of the Millenium playing through into the New Year. Looking Back In 2005, Barry found it easy to be philosophical about the story of the Bee Gees and life in general. "it was more good than it was bad, there was more joy than there was conflict and we had a tendency to forget how many wonderful things happened to us and how fortunate we were to have been able to make our childhood dream come true. Sadly, with the loss of my Father-in-Law, George Gray and ultimately the untimely loss of Maurice, we are left polarized with the knowledge that nothing lasts forever but it was a great run. I am very proud and grateful for the love and support of our fans" Wherever you are barrygibb.com (c)

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