His accent comes from British roots, makes its way to New York and travels down south to make its stay in Austin, Texas. He sounds identical to his father, Robin Gibb, looks similar to Robin, and to his two uncles Maurice and Barry Gibb.
All three were in the famous band The Bee Gees.
The coffee pot is on and whistling, like a train that could be heard from a bedroom window on a dreary summer night. “What is your first and last name and can you spell it,” the writer asks.
The coffee pot comes to a screeching halt as a small grin begins to rise over Spencer Gibbs face. “Am I at a police department?” Spencer jokingly asks. The writer laughs and gently asks why he is at the University of Northern Colorado of all places to be. Spencer adds, “I am here working with my long-time production partner, Ludck Drizhal, who is a professor at UNC running the film composition program.”
Spencer Gibb has musical roots dating back to his father and uncles of The Bee Gee’swho together formed a songwriting trio that would last for decades. Spencer began writing music at the age of 12 and is a self-taught piano and keyboard player, along with playing the keys and piano he is an experienced guitar player and sings.
At the age of only 14, Spencer dropped out of St. Paul’s public school in Barnes, London, to pursue his dream of becoming a professional musician. He soon began playing gigs throughout England with a few bands and worked as a solo artist for a while after that. Spencer then moved to New York City where he began playing guitar and not soon after traveled down to Miami, Florida in the early 1990’s.
During his stay in Miami, Spencer learned how to shred on the guitar while making a name for himself playing in clubs throughout the Miami area. He would then move to Austin, Texas to form the band 54 seconds in 1998. The band recorded two singles, “Ben’s Letter” and “World Stood Still”.
“Do you have to be sad to write a sad song or in love to write a love song? Like the song “Ben’s Letter” who is that about? And what inspired you to write it?”
“The answer to those questions are kind of true. I’ll write you a better sad song if I’m sad and I’ll write you a better love song if I’m actually in love with you. But most of my love songs I’ve ever written have always been kind of dark and bitter anyway, I mean if I’m telling you I love you in a certain song there is kind of a melancholy feel to it because otherwise it just too damn happy right?” Spencer replied,
“Ben’s Letter” was written for a friend of Spencer’s, who he felt deserved better. “She was completely dicked over by this guy called Ben, he had written her a letter that broke her heart.”
Oddly enough during the time, Spencer was going through a writing block and this song helped him break past it. Spencer wrote the song as a one-off on the acoustic guitar and brought it to the program director down at KGSR, a radio station in Austin, Texas. They loved the song and started spinning it and soon after Spencer had himself a hit single. Although the station was quite taken by the song, Spencer talked about what 54 seconds thought of it the first time they heard it, “I took it to the guys in the band and every time I took it, whenever 54 seconds shifted the guys were like this doesn’t sound like us, I was like ‘just play the fucking song guys, give it a try cause it’s like I’m diggin this maybe there is something we can do with it.’ Then we recorded it and we were all like oh yeah this is actually really cool and we ended up getting a record deal with “Warner Brothers” because of it.” Spencer calls “Ben’s Letter” one of the “hookiest” songs they had ever done and the song helped them record a full length record which also included one of Spencer’s favorites “Dirty Little Secret.”
His mom, and first wife of Robin Gibb, Molly Hullis, was Brian Epstein’s personal assistant, who was The Beatles manager until his early death on Aug 27, 1967 at the age of only 32. Molly had a great relationship with The Beatles, and ran into John Lennon only a week before he passed away on Dec 8, 1980, in New York City, NY. Molly also worked with Eric Clapton when he was together with the power trio Cream.Along with Spencer’s Mother and Father, his godfather Robert Stigwood was also in the music business. Stigwood managed The Bee Gees and Cream.
Although Spencer did not personally meet every member of The Beatles, they have all made an impact on his life one way or another.
Spencer’s uncle, Maurice Gibb, was very close with drummer, Ringo Starr, who Spencer met numerous times. John Lennon was Spencer’s greatest political influence, in which Spencer goes on to say, “I couldn’t have wrote the song ‘Hey World’ without being inspired by John Lennon.”
The title track is Spencer’s take on the effects of politics not only in the United States but in our world. George Harrison was Spencer’s greatest musical influence and said the album, “All Things Must Pass”, “changed his life”. Spencer has met Paul McCartney a few times most notably when he was flying to New York as a kid with his mother in the 70s. During that time Paul was currently in the band, Wings.
“Out of all the famous musicians you have met who influenced you the most?”
Spencer explained, Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton were among the top two artists who had a major influence on him musically.
Along with being a professional musician Spencer has also starred in a number of cinemas, his most notable film would include “The King” which also starred the famous William Hurt. The movie is based upon a former Navyman who sets out to seek the father he never met.
He was here helping Drizhal complete a movie that had been in the “works” for a very long time. Which involved some of “The Bee Gees” music that Spencer had covered. Drizhal thought it was very important to involve the UNC orchestra since the movie also called for some big band tunes, like strings and horns. Drizhal also wanted to include the students in their recordings because it gave them great experience and helped them get some exposure outside of UNC.
Spencer described the UNC band as, “insane, like such a good band, oh it was nuts they just did every little thing that they were asked to do, just so intuitive, I mean I’ve worked with so many great people and these guys kicked my ass it was really impressive.”
Spencer and Drizhal had been working together for nearly eight years, they previously worked together with the Czech National Symphony in Prague. Drizhal is not only the composer of the Symphony but also the conductor. Together Drizhal and Spencer formed a comfortable duo that has succeeded in not only the music industry but film as well.
Spencer loved his time spent at UNC and is planning on returning next semester