"I haven't exactly led the most typical or understated life in the world," says Andy Gibb with typical British understatement. The world's number one male singer has lately been doing some thinking and re-evaluating of his much-chronicled, frenzied lifestyle. There's a new Andy Gibb emerging - with some major surprises in store for his millions of fans.
First, there are the girls. Andy has already been married and divorced and he is a father, although he declines to discuss his past. He has dated countless girls, mostly blondes. "I like all females," he grins, "but I admit blondes have a certain attraction for me. However, my ideal girl could just as easily be a brunette or a redhead - anything but bald," he laughs during one of his SRO concert tours. Susan George, Andy's former flame, is now his best friend and he is coming to respect girls as friends.
He declares, "When I was a teen I was scared of girls. All boys are, really, only they act like they're not. Especially in countries where the macho thing is very big. Then I discovered they were fun to be with and I did a lot of dating. I've had good times and bad times, but I've come to find that having a terrific friend is worth more than dates, which are a dime a dozen, to borrow a cliché."
Of late, Andy hasn't been seen painting the town after hours, and he is spending more time at home in Florida, near his brothers and his protective, loving family. The singer hopes to do more songwriting and to compose material that is also worthy of other performers. He much admires Billy Joel, who is both a musician as well as a composer and singer. So far, a number of Andy's hits have come from his famous brothers, and biggest brother, Barry, is giving him more sound career advice than ever.
"It's not the easiest situation," admits Andy, "because each of the four of us has a sort of ego. That's healthy and natural, and in show business you can't help it. Even so, Barry has the most know-how, and I trust him implicitly. We all do. He's the wonder-boy of the family, you might say."
Barry recently disclosed that by mutual consent Andy will eventually become one of the Bee Gees, although he may retain part of his separate career, depending on how things work out. The integration will reportedly commence in 1980, perhaps with a joint worldwide concert tour and an album. How does Andy feel about becoming the fourth Bee Gee?
He can't say much about it yet, but admits, "They're the greatest. I think anybody would be flattered to become a part of that powerhouse of talent and performing." Andy still can't understand why or how Sgt. Pepper, his brothers' film debut, could have flopped, and says he's seen it several times. But what about Andy's own film future? Obviously, he has the potential of being another Travolta, and inside sources say he has acting talent and is preparing for the big day. Producer Allan Carr has tapped Andy for the lead in the sequel to Grease, titled Summer School. However, after the trouble the Bee Gees had, he's making certain his debut goes smoothly.
"Olivia Newton-John and I are good friends," he notes enthusiastically. "I'd love to work with her. We sang a duet at the United Nations for the UNICEF program my brothers and Robert Stigwood organized. I'd like to get together with her further, for maybe an album or in a movie . . . I like love stories myself, perhaps because I'm kind of romantic. But they don't make that kind of movie anymore."
A few recent rumors have connected Andy and Olivia romantically, but he denies this. "We're only friends. She has a beau and anyway, she is a bit older than me [she's 30]. I'm used to being linked with every other girl, and I don't really mind because it's kind of flattering. But if I get a steady girl who means a lot tome, then I'll mind it, because I won't want her to get hurt."
Likewise, big brother Barry watches over Andy and has helped him stay away from the destructive drug scene that's so prevalent in Hollywood. he's also trying to get Andy to settle down - not into marriage yet, but to focus his talents on his career and do a bit less partying.
"I'm tired of the running around kind of life," reveals Andy. "Touring all the time can be very tiresome, and so is meeting and dating several girls, none of which I get to know very well. I'd rather have a few good close friends than truckloads of acquaintances, and my family life is very important to me. I mean, I'm not a square or anything, but I think some of the old-fashioned values are great."
What kind of girl does he prefer? He has definite ideas: "Somebody a lot like Olivia, really." He enumerates, "She should be confident and self-respecting, intelligent and attractive, interested in herself and the world around her. I think if a person likes himself a lot, other will like her or him. Losers only attract other losers; people usually treat you the way you want to be treated; act grown-up and that's how you'll be treated."
So for now Andy is cooling his heels by the family pools outside Miami Beach, working on his music, preparing himself for movie stardom and perhaps to become the fourth Bee Gee soon. He is also seeing one "special" girl but it isn't very serious - yet. "I've never had the time, being an active performer, to get to know one girl really well. I'm still pretty young and there's lots of time, but I look forward to having more meaningful relationships. I think one-on-one is a beautiful concept."