Andy Gibb

Biography: Andrew Roy Gibb was the fourth son and youngest child of Barbara Pass-Gibb (born November 2, 1920) and Hugh Gibb (born January 15, 1916). The Gibbs emigrated to Australia six months after Andy's birth...settling in Cribb Island, adjacent to Redcliffe, north of Brisbane. Gibb had four elder siblings: sister Lesley (January 12, 1945); brother Barry (September 1, 1946); twin brothers Maurice and Robin (both December 22, 1949; Maurice died on January 12, 2003). Andy began his music career by performing at tourist clubs around Spain's coastal Island of Ibiza; upon turning 13, he started performing on the Isle of Man as well. Gibb returned to Australia in 1975 and recorded a series of his own compositions. One of these was released as a single by ATA Records, owned by Australian performer Col Joye. "Words and Music" made the Top Five of the Sydney music charts in 1976. Robert Stigwood - who, at the time, was also the Bee Gees' manager - signed Andy to his label, RSO Records. AndyAndrew Roy Gibb was the fourth son and youngest child of Barbara Pass-Gibb (born November 2, 1920) and Hugh Gibb (born January 15, 1916). The Gibbs emigrated to Australia six months after Andy's birth...settling in Cribb Island, adjacent to Redcliffe, north of Brisbane. Gibb had four elder siblings: sister Lesley (January 12, 1945); brother Barry (September 1, 1946); twin brothers Maurice and Robin (both December 22, 1949; Maurice died on January 12, 2003). Andy began his music career by performing at tourist clubs around Spain's coastal Island of Ibiza; upon turning 13, he started performing on the Isle of Man as well. Gibb returned to Australia in 1975 and recorded a series of his own compositions. One of these was released as a single by ATA Records, owned by Australian performer Col Joye. "Words and Music" made the Top Five of the Sydney music charts in 1976. Robert Stigwood - who, at the time, was also the Bee Gees' manager - signed Andy to his label, RSO Records. Andy moved to Miami Beach, Florida, where he collaborating on songs with brother Barry...and with co-producers Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson.

Prior to leaving Australia, Gibb married his childhood girlfriend Kim Reeder. They had one child, daughter Peta Jaye, born 1/25/1978. Yet the couple was already separated at the time of Peta's birth; they later divorced, after only two years of marriage. ("We were terribly young," Andy later commented.) As of 2007, Peta breeds Staffordshire Bull Terriers and is a respected dog-show judge in New South Wales, Australia.

In the USA, Gibb became the first male solo artist to chart three consecutive Number One singles on the Billboard Hot 100. "I Just Want to Be Your Everything", written by his brother Barry, became Andy's first major hit; this was in July 1977, just as his debut album Flowing Rivers broke into the US Top 20. Flowing Rivers sold over a million copies; its second single, "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water", made the Top 20 in early 1978. Ironically, this song would replace the Bee Gees' own "Stayin' Alive" as #1 on the US charts, in March 1978...only to be surpassed itself by the Bee Gees' own "Night Fever". (Evidently, the Gibb brothers were their own biggest competition around this time.)

Andy worked with the Gibb-Galuten-Richardson production team on his second album, Shadow Dancing, which was released in April 1978. The title track, written by all four Gibb brothers, was released as a single in the US in April 1978. In June that same year, "Shadow Dancing" rose to #1 and remained there for seven weeks, achieving platinum status. The same album yielded: "An Everlasting Love", which peaked at #5; and "(Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away", which reached #9. (The latter song was remade and released by the Bee Gees themselves in 1979). Like Flowing Rivers, Shadow Dancing sold over a million copies.

In 1979, all four Gibb brothers joined ABBA and Olivia Newton-John as part of the "Music for UNICEF" Concert at the United Nations General Assembly, broadcast worldwide.

Gibb's third studio album was After Dark. In March 1980, "Desire" appeared on the Top 10 chart just ahead of the album's release. (This song was a remake, having already been recorded for the Bee Gees' 1979 album Spirits Having Flown.) Another single made it to the Top 20: "I Can't Help It", a duet with family friend Olivia Newton-John. Later that same year, Andy Gibb's Greatest Hits was released as his final RSO album. Included were two new tracks: "Time Is Time", which rose to #15 on the charts in January 1981); and "Me (Without You)", Gibb's final Top 40 chart entry during his lifetime. Both new tracks were also released as singles. Also on the new album was "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow", a duet with PP Arnold. (Arnold had worked with Andy's brother Barry, singing uncredited backups on "Bury Me Down By The River" from the Bee Gees' TV series Cucumber Castle.)

While dating Victoria Principal, Gibb worked on several projects outside of the recording studio. He starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (as the title character) on several venues, including Broadway. He also starred in Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance" in Los Angeles (as Frederick). And, from 1980 to 1982, Gibb co-hosted the television series Solid Gold...which (aptly for him) showcased chart-topping songs on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, at the time, Andy was going through a period of severe personal conflicts which inevitably affected his professional life as well. Said conflicts - insecurity, drug dependency, anxiety and the like - led to Gibb's untimely dismissal from Solid Gold as well as from both aforementioned plays. Yet those he worked for and with on these endeavors continued to speak highly of him, particularly Solid Gold producer Brad Lachman: "Andy was a charming, vulnerable and charismatic performer who clearly meant well. He wasn't being difficult; he was experiencing deep-rooted problems and couldn't deal. Andy wanted EVERYONE to love him. He had so much going on for him, and he just couldn't take it all in." Broadway producer Zev Buffman, who financed JATATD, seemed to agree: "Every time Andy showed up, he was a joy. He just didn't show up often enough. Andy was all heart, but without enough nerve to follow through...It was painful for me to let him go because - among other reasons - of the five Josephs I'd worked with up to that time, Andy was far and away the best actor." Things got much worse when Gibb was slated to appear on a Bob Hope TV special...only to back out at the proverbial eleventh hour. Neither Hope nor his producers took this well, and Gibb's professional reputation suffered as a result.

His romance with Victoria Principal also ended shortly thereafter, but not before they recorded and released a duet of the Everly Brothers' "All I Have To Do Is Dream", in the summer of 1981. This would be Gibb's last official single, and his last US chart entry, peaking at #51.

Ultimately, Andy's family convinced him to seek treatment for his drug dependency. After a stint at the Betty Ford Clinic in the mid-1980s, Gibb toured small venues with a stage show of his greatest hits and covers. He also guest-starred on several television series, including Gimme A Break! and Punky Brewster. (Andy was engaged to Kari Michaelsen, from the former show, at the time of his death.) Following an expansive East Asia tour, Gibb regularly performed shows in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. In 1984, Andy headlined at the Viña del Mar Festival in Chile. He also enjoyed an engagement at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel in early 1986. Although Gibb's work in his new lifestyle was well-received, he never managed to recapture the phenomenal success of his teens. In late 1986, with his debts and expenses far outweighing his income, Andy was forced to declare bankruptcy.

Gibb set to work alongside brothers Barry and Maurice. Their series of demo recordings with engineer Scott Glasel secured Andy a contract with the UK branch of Island Records. One of the demos, "Man On Fire", was released posthumously on a self-titled 1991 Polydor anthology. Another demo, "Arrow Through The Heart" - though unreleased to the present day - would be featured on an episode of VH1's series Behind the Music. ATTH will be available for the first time on Mythology, an upcoming Bee Gees collection slated for release in 2010.

In March 1988, Gibb celebrated his 30th birthday in London while working on his next album. He and his three brothers had decided to make the Bee Gees a quartet, thus making Andy's long-endured nickname "the Fourth Bee Gee" official. This never came to pass because, just days later, Andy entered John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford...complaining of chest pains. He died on March 10, 1988 as a result of myocarditis: an inflammation of the heart muscle due to viral infection. The Bee Gees' 1989 album One was dedicated to Andy, as was the single "Wish You Were Here" from that same album. Andy is entombed at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles. Gibb's father Hugh died four years later, in 1992; he is buried there as well.
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