10:47pm on 20 May will be a time Bee Gees fans the world over will never forget.
It was at that moment that Robin Gibb left the mortal world. It was at that moment the world lost a musical giant. More importantly, it was the moment his wife and children lost their hero, Barry Gibb lost his last surviving brother and Barbara Gibb lost yet another son.
Most of us, myself included, can only imagine how the family has coped with tragedy after tragedy. It would likely break any normal family to have gone through what they’ve been through (and are going through once more).
But we know they’re a strong family unit and will support each other through this latest setback. And at least this time there has to be at least a little comfort in knowing that it wasn’t sudden and unexpected like the deaths of Andy and Maurice.
A little. But probably not much.
Some of the celeb reaction
I guess it’s at this point that it would be customary to launch into a spiel on Robin’s history and, normally, I would. But many of us are well aware of Robin’s influence on the music world, the trials and tribulations in the Bee Gees history, the awards and accolades that, in my opinion, were far too slow coming.
There are others on this grand worldwide webscape who can, and have, put that side of things a lot more succinctly than I ever could.
Instead I’ll collate some of the reaction that highlights what we all know and that’s how loved and influential the man really was.
Robin was a wonderful fellow, really warm, a lovely man and he really had wonderful sense of humour. He will be sadly missed
… talented beyond even his own understanding …
… one of the important figures in the history of British music …
… one of the best white soul voices ever …
… the Bee Gees are second only to Lennon and McCartney as the most successful songwriting unit in British popular music.
Robin was not only an exceptional and extraordinary musician and songwriter, he was a highly intelligent, interested and committed human being.
He was a great friend with a wonderful open and fertile mind and a student of history and politics. I will miss him very much. My thoughts and prayers are with Dwina and all the family.
We have lost a truly brilliant musician today, one of my idols. My heart goes out to the Gibb family in this time of sorrow … RIP Robin.
… he said “I’ve got more songs to write”. Anyone else would have sat back on that legacy …
… Robin had the voice, the pathos, and he was a great writer.
He had a gift for melody and a gift for lyrics and left a phenomenal legacy, a phenomenal catalogue.
They had every award, every gold disc, every platinum disc, the Grammys, the lot, and had been doing it so long but were still so good at it.
He was wonderful. He was a jokester.
He had an incredibly witty sense of humour and was fun to be around. All three of them were sensational gentlemen first, just fun loving guys.
The Bee Gees from our era were quite important, especially the harmonies. I didn’t know him that well, I knew Maurice more than the other two, but he had a great voice and they wrote great songs.
My own reaction
Where do I start?
How about that voice? Oh, man, that voice! I think it’s fair to say that Robin had one of those unique voices that we will never hear the like of again. I can’t think of another singer that could convey such a wide range of emotion (although I’m sure they’re out there!).
Robin was definitely a fighter. That was one thing that has come across quite clearly in the past couple of months – that he was determined not to let a little thing like cancer get the better of him.
The world has not only lost one of its finest vocalists but also one of the all-time greatest lyricists.
He was a great ambassador for the charities and causes he was involved with, not least the Bomber Command Memorial. It’s a shame he didn’t live to see it unveiled.
Robin Gibb was an inspiration to many, and a hero to many more.