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Andy Gibb Interview with Robert W. Morgan, 1978

Mr. Morgan: "Hugh and Barbara Gibb’s youngest son is a star and they couldn’t be happier."
Barbara: "I knew Andy would do it too"

Mr. Morgan: "Andy Gibb, he has packed more living into his first two decades than most people do in a lifetime."

Andy: "They’re going to bury me tomorrow" (laughs) "and yet it is weird, as I suppose I must really remember 20 years old and 3 #1’s is really quite a lot"

Mr. Morgan "(List of all kinds of bands) that had to struggle to the top... because there is no such thing as an overnight sensation, or is there?"

Mr. Morgan: "The exception that proves the rule, it is the story of a young man, who from infancy was groomed for success by rock’s "first family". But even though he is a true overnight sensation, on the morning after he had to face the same pressure and self-doubt most artists already confronted on their way up. From dancing in the shadow of his famous brothers to wanting to be everything to his fans; that’s not an easy journey."

Andy: "I can relate to how things have changed, obviously very differently. I still think back to the early days I mean when all this wasn’t happening at all, and it seemed like a big step but I’m glad I can remember it, I am glad I can still think about it and relate to it. If I couldn’t relate at all it would be a problem for me, because it would mean that’s as far as my head is concerned I couldn’t relate to what I was doing before I had a hit record. So I still don’t want to forget about the times before."

Mr. Morgan: "Andy Gibb has packed more living into his first two decades than most people do in a lifetime. Growing up with brothers Barry, Maurice and Robin, the Bee Gees, Andy had a ring-side view of the high-flying world of Rock N Roll. He also had high-flying parents, they were never reluctant to pull up stakes, pick up Andy and move to another part of the world whenever the mood struck them. So when Andy Gibb says he feels older than his years, he’s not boasting."

Andy: "They’re going to bury me tomorrow" (laughs). "No, I still feel pretty much, as far as the age goes, the same about it as I did before, because though everything has happened in a short time and so as much as, you know, I get tired sometimes and have done quite a few things I still, I don’t know, I can handle it and yet, it is weird as I suppose I must really remember ‘cause 20 years old and three #1’s is a lot; and I’m just worried about 10 years or all those years until I’m 30."

Andy: "Sometimes it is a strange thought thinking if all this can happen, and some days you get depressed and think that it’s been a long year. What is it going to be like having to fight through ten years. I know that success and everything that is happening now is great and it seems like it’s gonna last forever, as it’s happening to you now, but it’s amazing how short that space in time was when you look back on it and how quick things can all turn around."

Mr. Morgan: "It is amazing how fast its all happened for Andy Gibb. During his first year as a recording artist, every record he released, singles and albums, sold at least 1,000,000 copies. At one point he joined his brothers in occupying 4 of the top 5 positions on the music charts. That’s the kind of sudden stardom aspiring musicians dream about, but for Andy Gibb there were days when the sensation of being an overnight sensation was more than he could handle.
"
Andy: "Yea, I had a couple of days and I thought ‘gee, you know, you’ve got to be careful, you touch the edge and you see it all; and I went to Europe and it really gets me, probably a lot of people, I don’t know why. I just, I haven’t had a lot of years struggling in the business of non-stop touring and everything else, so I went out to do a promotional tour of Europe, well I’m not really big there, nothing like America. To go out there, naturally they are really ready there for me to work and we had five weeks promotion and for three weeks we would be going from like 6 in the morning until 2 in the morning. I wasn’t eating all my meals, I was getting called away to all these meetings, not being able to finish my meals. I broke down, it certainly wasn’t mental, it was a sort of physical collapse and we had to cut the tour a few weeks short and bring me home to Miami; and that was like a month ago, so that’s it, I just get very tired very quickly. Having to constantly talk about being successful, until you get used to that, I suppose is a different thing for a person."

Mr. Morgan: "Fortunately, when Andy came back from Europe on the verge of collapse, he could fall into the arms of his family. Miami is home for the Bee Gees and their parents Hugh and Barbara Gibb. Andy’s professional family also lives there including record producers Alhby Galuten, and Karl Richardson. And while most men his age tend to avoid their families, Andy thrives on being close to his."

Andy: "I want them involved in things and show them things that are happening. Even though they’ve been through it for many years, sort of for them, it’s like finishing it off."

Mr. Morgan: "By the time Andy was born in Manchester, England, there was already so much music in the Gibb household, it’s surprising his first words weren’t the lyrics to "Children of the World." Not only were his brothers singing in local theaters during Saturday matinees, but his father, Hugh Gibb, was just winding up his career as a band leader. According to Mr. Gibb, times were much harder for young musicians back when he was a boy."

Mr. Hugh: " I was the oddball in my family, cause I liked music and the attitude was that it would never do you any good. The main theme then, was: go to work, have a steady job, and bring your wages home every weekend. A sidetrack from that it wasn’t right in their eyes. To be a musician was like the old days, you know, when they were considered Vagabonds; and that’s all I ever wanted to do, I was the oddball. I am the only one, I think, the boys could have got anything from. Nobody could foresee what was going to happen."

Mr. Morgan: "The Gibbs had moved around so frequently, when Hugh was a band leader, that after a few months in Manchester they soon got the itch to travel once more. This time, to Australia. Mr. and Mrs. Gibb remember it well."

Mrs. Barbara: "I was having the baby and we had to wait until we got our papers to get on the ship you see. "

Mr. Hugh: "I think Andy was about 5 months old when we arrived in Australia."

Mrs. Barbara "6 months, we left in September. We got our shipping orders and everything about the end of March, Andy was just about 1 month old."

Mr. Hugh: "Sometimes you have to wait 2 years, we got it in 6 weeks.
"
Mrs. Barbara: " The first Monday in August we landed." (1958)

Mr. Hugh: "Because they say ‘don’t dispose of your property until you know what you’re doing’ and right out of the blue we got a note."

Mrs. Barbara: "And we emigrated."

Mr. Hugh: "Six weeks and we were off, amazing!"

Mr. Morgan: "It was amazing, while in Australia, Hugh and Barbara Gibb saw their three oldest sons grow up to become that continent’s biggest pop stars. But the Bee Gees soon outgrew Australia, so the Gibbs packed their bags again and went home to conquer England. Considering that Andy had left when he was only 1 month old it is remarkable how much he missed his homeland."

Andy: "That was really funny, We came by boat and I was told that when we came off, I went running down the gangplank, 9 years old ya know and I left at 5 months old, so I’d never even seen it. I was running down there and kissed the ground and ‘England, England’ you know, and my brothers all kissed the ground. After a few months we wondered why, but we did it."

Mr. Morgan: "Once they were back in Britain, the Bee Gees wasted no time. In rapid- fire succession, they were signed by Robert Stigwood, recorded their first world wide hit ‘New York Mining Disaster’ and were full-fledged superstars. Most kid’s might have found it strange to see their older brothers hounded by screaming fans, but not Andy Gibb."

Andy: "Well, it didn’t change my life that much, because I was only 10 years old and I knew they were in the business. And I had always known they were in the business, not being anything extra special to me. And at 10 years old you don’t think about show business, you don’t think glitter, you don’t think that you have 4 or 5 hundred kids outside the front door because your brothers are big stars. I just walk in after school, pass the 5 hundred kids at the front door, go in the back door, my brothers would all be sitting, watching television with the curtains drawn. Girls banging on the windows and that was their whole life, you know."

Andy: "I have never had a good day at school ever in my life I don’t think, that’s why I left school literally on my 13th Birthday. I thought my problem was there and that was a bit of a hassle, I mean there were kids there that I would do anything to get anomaly with them, any game/sport or if I would do something outstanding in the game/sport it was ‘a, you think you’re great don’t ‘cha, cause you’re the Bee Gees’ brother you think you can do that fabulously.’ To have that for quite a few years thrown at you, I mean it just got to me so bad in the end, I just couldn’t handle it anymore, I had to leave it."

Mr. Morgan: "Growing up in the shadow of his famous brothers it would have been understandable for Andy to resent Barry, Maurice and Robin, but instead of sibling rivalry, there was nothing but sibling revelry."
 
Andy: "Everyone said that most people in that position would say: ‘God, my brothers are responsible for all this, damn them in the end’. But no there is not for one second did I ever think that, I always decided to take everything myself and write it myself and not consider it as their fault. Naturally, I was always going to be related to them in any conversation or anything, so that has never bugged me really."

Mr. Morgan: "You would think that with 3 sons already in the music business Hugh and Barbara Gibb would have wanted their 4th to pursue another line of work, but considering the alternatives Andy offered his parents, Mr. & Mrs. Gibb really had no choice."

Mr. Hugh: " We said, ‘here we go again’"

Mrs. Barbara: "It was exciting, I knew that Andy would do it too. I knew, you know, of course it took him a little longer than it did the others."

Mr. Hugh: "Andy was later starting. Andy is the oddball of the brothers. He is a real sports freak. He tackles everything and once he masters it he starts on something else. First it was show jumping in England, he was the youngest member of the team, he was only 11 he had two horses. Then we go to Spain and he got interested in scuba diving, still a kid, you know, about 12."

Andy: "I didn’t have permanent friends in many places for long... all my friends were older than me I never had friends my own age. I left school at 13, so, I’ve always been surrounded by people in the business. So to have that and there was never really being able to relate and it was always ‘tipsy’ (always moving) in my family as far back as I can remember, we always moved. We never even stayed in a house more than 8 or 9 months. We never lasted a year at any one house, I don’t know what it was, we would have to get up and move somewhere else."

Mr. Morgan: "Because his parents moved more often than the California fault line, Andy got to see the world without joining the Navy. They lived all over the British Isles and Europe, but the port of call Andy calls the beginning of his career was a sleepy Spanish Island whose name most people mispronounce."

Andy: "Ibiza, it is spelled IBIZA and they pronounce the ‘Z’ as a ‘th’...I BE...TH...A. It’s a very, very pretty little island. There was a lot of work in piano bars and nightclubs and things... I did 3 1/2 years of that for experience... and went to the Isle of Man, which is a small island between Ireland and England, my brothers were all born there. I spent a year there after living in Ibiza, one full year performing in a club for money, the profit at the gate and what have you. We did pretty well there, made a bit of money and at the end of that year, Barry and my Dad said ‘Australia’."

Mr. Morgan: "Australia, three brothers Gibb: Barry, Maurice and Robin had already gotten their act together ‘down under’, now there would be a 4th, Andy."

Andy: " Barry and my Father suggested that I go out there to Australia and just go out there in general and try to become a big name there like they originally did. So they controlled it even from that point which was 1971, probably later than that even. So that even before I became any single at all, they were guiding it and they were planning for the future. They were planning for me to eventually come back to America, for Barry to produce me at the right age and to sign with RSO. So, therefore, even when I was very, very young they told me basically how they had it all worked out and I let them do it...it went pretty nice."

Mr. Morgan: "After 2 years undergoing ‘basic training’ in the Bee Gees Australia musical ‘boot camp’, Andy Gibb was ready to receive his commission. The only thing now standing between Andy and stardom was the telephone. Finally, it rang"

Andy: "The first call came from Barry in Anchorage, Alaska on tour. And he said he’d just been sitting there after the show and he said that ‘I want to produce your records and Robert (Stigwood) wants to manage you’, ("And I thought: ‘manage, oh that’s incredible!’)," ‘plus he wants to sign you up for the label’ (‘ So, what could I say!’), ‘2 weeks’. So a date was arranged and Barry instigated it."

Mr. Morgan: "Andy and Barry Gibb converged upon Robert Stigwood, the RS in RSO Records, at his home near Nassau. Here the Bermuda Trio mapped out the strategy that Made Andy an Overnight Sensation. To be sure, some critics have called his career ‘contrived’, but Andy’s producers Alhby Galuten and Karl Richardson claim what we were really witnessing was a boy becoming a man on vinyl."

AG or KR: "Andy’s got a lot of energy and what it is um, each time, like the first album we did with Andy, is to us has been so amazing to watch him grow to do the second album, and I am sure when we do the third one, it will be even another ‘quantum’ leap. Each time he grows the songs come through with more stuff, and he’s feeling it more, he spends a lot more time getting involved in the studio, so I’m looking forward to the next one. There is always a ‘quantum’ leap when you are dealing with someone that young."

Mr. Morgan: "Not surprisingly, the Bee Gees are Andy’s favorite group. He has sung along with their records and with them ever since he was a kid. So, I asked Andy if he’d ever consider joining his brothers as the 4th Bee Gee."

Andy: "I think that would only ever happen if I joined the Bee Gees soon, and then they split up and they all retired, ‘cause I’m not ready to retire, I’m not ready to stop yet ‘cause, you know they’ve got a lot of years.; and if they want to stop or not get into it anymore, at that point if I was a member of them which I’m not saying I am or I would, we just touched on it lightly many times: and if I was and they did, then I would continue as a solo artist."
 
Mr. Morgan: "Although Andy Gibb’s words and music are aimed at an older audience, he has also become a teen idol. His every move is breathlessly reported in the pages of countless teen magazines. Andy’s more amused than angered by these publications, especially the ones which used to run his name on the bottom of their covers."

Andy: "Now it’s at the top ‘Andy and Shaun, or Shaun and Andy’, you know, ‘Win a Date’ or ‘You Could Be Their Heart Throb’, or What Turns Andy On’. ‘Is it True About Andy and Marie’, you know and all of this across the top: ‘Are Shaun and Andy Battling For Marie’s Love?’ It’s fabulous!" (laughs)

Mr. Morgan: "Sensing a scoop in the making. I visited the Hollywood offices of ‘Tiger Beat’, a fan magazine, where I learned that Shaun Cassidy and Andy Gibb aren’t battling each other for Marie Osmond’s love. However, as long as I was there, I asked ‘Tiger Beat’ Editor Kathy Coen (Kirkland) what kind of fan mail Andy was getting these days."

Kathy Coen (Kirkland): "Of course they mention the records first ‘cause that’s really the only way they know him so far. It’s a little different with people like Shaun where they’ve seen him on TV, but it’s definitely a romantic feeling. ’You move so well on stage’, or ‘I’d die to meet you, please write me back’ that sort of thing; ‘cause, I mean, face it, he’s really cute, so...." (Andy laughing in background).

Mr. Morgan: "He might be an overnight sensation, but for Andy Gibb the real struggle is only now beginning. And yet he is growing day by day with every song he sings his voice takes on an added authority; and with every song that he writes he exhibits greater maturity. He is much more than just the Bee Gee’s younger brother or the teen idol, he is Andy Gibb and tomorrow belongs to him."

Andy: "I am so much more confident now after doing this second album, dealing with the pressures of proving to myself that the first one wasn’t a ‘fluke’ and that I could write a second album. So now I am a lot more confident."



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