Celebrating the life of Andy Gibb

Andrew Roy Gibb was born in Manchester, England in March 1958.

By the age of 13 Andy  had left school and was performing at local clubs with the occasional accompaniment by his brothers.

Their harmonies, their ballads, all influenced me greatly. I guess you could say I idolised the Bee Gees as a band and loved them as brothers.

His voice was so appealing that in 1975 he was encouraged to go out on his own in Australia.

Stardom began in earnest when Andy was in great demand within his first year. His self-written single Words and Music reached No.5 in Sydney. Life was on the up for young Andy and he married Kim Reeder in July, 1977.

Andy’s musical career properly began in 1977, following the massive international success of the Bee Gees soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever.

His first three singles were I Just Want to Be Your Everything, (Love Is) Thicker Than Water, and Shadow Dancing. All 3 reached No. 1, making him the first male solo artist to score 3 consecutive number ones on the Billboard Top 100 chart.  Subsequently his popularity soared to a level that rivalled that of his older brothers.

Andy was nominated for two Grammy Awards, one for Best New Artist of the Year and Best Pop Vocal for the hit single I Just Want To Be Your Everything.

For reasons that we’ll never know Andy always doubted his talent, but knew he was lucky. In his first year he made $2 million when his single hit the top of the charts. The following year his income was $1 million. His second album, Shadow Dancing, went platinum within weeks of release.

The first cracks in the story began in early 1978 when Kim divorced Andy, shortly after the birth of their daughter Peta Reeder-Gibb (born on January 25, 1978).

Andy had no time to deal with this properly because he had a headline concert tour to do to promote Shadow Dancing. At this time Andy was reviewed as one of the top entertainers in America.

Subsequent singles such as Everlasting Love, (Our Love) Don’t Throw It All Away and Desire reached the Top 10.

Unfortunately, in the period immediately following the release of the 1980 After Dark album, Andy’s popularity plummeted as quickly as it had risen.

A crestfallen Andy found himself falling into the world of mediocre television, co-hosting the US show Solid Gold during 1981 and 1982, and making guest appearances on sitcoms like Gimme a Break! and Punky Brewster.  (Check out the IMDB Andy Gibb page for full details of his appearances.)

The musical side of Andy’s career was reduced to theatre where he began with a role in a 1981, Los Angeles production of The Pirates of Penzance opposite Pam Dawber. Apparently Andy loved the excitement of being on stage and said he wished every night could be opening night.

His Broadway debut came in 1982 with a starring role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It appeared that Andy may have found a new niche in which he could carve out a great career.

There were even suggestions that he was hot contender for a Tony award after his initial performances in ‘Dreamcoat’. Who knows, maybe it was this talk of awards that made Andy begin to doubt his talent again? Whatever the reasons, his cocaine habit once again came to the fore and he was eventually fired after he missed 12 performances in six weeks.

In 1985 Andy checked himself into The Betty Ford Clinic where he finally got the help he badly needed to tackle his addictions.

In September 1987 he was forced to file bankruptcy papers, owing $1.5 million., but in spite of this setback Andy was able to secure a record deal with Island Records.

And so it came to be that in 1988 he was staying at Robin’s estate in Oxford, England while making his “comeback” album.  However, it seems as though things weren’t going so well and a dejected Andy began to slip into old habits, hitting the bottle.
A memorial service for Andy was held in a private chapel on Robin’s estate in Oxford. The funeral was held 21 March in Los Angeles.On 9th March 1988, a few days after his thirtieth birthday, he began having chest pains and was admitted to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, accompanied by his mother. Reportedly the next morning, Andy’s doctor told him he needed more tests. Andy agreed, then fell unconscious. He was pronounced dead at 8:45a.m. The cause of death was myocarditis.

Andrew Roy Gibb is interred in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

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