I’m glad I came across this website, as it appears to be a good place for me to post my own personal BeeGees love affair, specifically with Barry.
has been the “love of my life” since I first picked up the “Saturday Night Fever” album and saw him in 1977. (I was a John Travolta fan at the time and actually thought the BeeGees were black!) I was a naïve 14 year old at the time, and my life just changed with that photo. I immediately forgot about John Travolta and just about everything and everyone else-I was hooked!!
Barry with his son Michael behind him and Maurice © Penny Hockey
Needless to say, I bought the album, took it home, and my undying love affair began! I absolutely ate, drank, slept, and breathed Barry Gibb (and the BeeGees). My room became covered from floor to ceiling with pictures, and I somehow free-handed the BeeGees logo over and over on my wall. I listened to their music night and day-everyday life got in the way of my “BeeGees World.”
My best friend, who at the time was into Paul Stanley of KISS, would come over and we’d pretend we were “couples” hanging out together-it was always amusing that Barry Gibb and Paul Stanley were friends! We’d write articles that we fantasized would appear in “Tiger Beat” magazine. We’d write interviews where Barry would be asked, “What do your brothers think of you dating a girl 17 years younger than you?” Of course his answer was, “She’s very mature for her age (14), and if I don’t have a problem with it, then they shouldn’t either.” (That still makes me laugh to this day.)
Of course, it was a dark day when I found out that Barry was married to Linda. I was devastated!! He was the love of MY life and I was supposed to be his wife! I started plotting to ride my bicycle to Miami (from Cleveland, Ohio), become his housekeeper, and make him leave Linda and fall madly in love with me. It was the only way I could bear the thought of someone else already being his wife.
When “Spirits Having Flown” came out, I knew I was a goner! That still remains my very favorite album ever! No album has ever been played more by anyone than that one by me! Barry was singing every song to me. “Why Aren’t We Living Together” was my hope and dream lyric! And I truly loved Barry “Inside and Out!”
In the summer of 1979, I spent the month of August in Sarasota, Florida with my aunt. I was so close to Barry! I was 15 years old and ready to marry my 32-year old dream man! I almost died, though, when I realized the tickets for the BeeGees “Spirits Having Flown” tour were going on sale while I was away. AAGHHH! Luckily my older sister’s boyfriend, who also bought me the SHF album, stood in line for me and got me front row seats.. behind the stage! So he, my sister, and I went, and I was so absolutely mesmerized! I had a perfect view of them walking on and off the stage. My sister and her boyfriend urged me to start writing “love notes” and throwing them into their paths. I did, but with a sinking feeling, knowing nothing would ever come of them. I just couldn’t believe how beautiful Barry was-so handsome and so perfect!
When the movie, “Sgt. Peppers..” came out, my heart grew even larger with love! To be able to watch my darling Barry in action for 2 hours straight was just what I needed! I rode my trusty old bike up to the theatre and saw the movie 14 times! I was so in love, I couldn’t think straight!
This crazy love affair just wouldn’t subside. I would save every little picture of Barry in my scrapbook-even if it was the tip of his shoe that was left from cutting out a picture on the other side of the page-every piece of him was saved! And I would write “I love Barry Gibb” in a steno notebook over and over until I filled the whole thing. I’d go to bed with my scrapbook under my pillow, so Barry would be close to me. I loved him so much that it was actually painful-the hole in my heart was very real and I didn’t know how I would be able to go on living without him. I had a large poster of the BeeGees on my closet door, and I would kiss Barry on New Year’s every year (and on many other non-occasions)! The funny thing was-my love was not anything sexual-like I said, I was naïve and didn’t really think in those terms yet-my love was actually some emotion stronger than love. I just wanted to be near him, maybe just hug him-but I had to be close to him.
Eventually I graduated from high school and had to start living in the real world. I still loved Barry from the depths of my soul but knew I had to get on with my life. My sister, her now-husband, and I went to see the BeeGees on their “One” tour-I just sat off on the totally wrong side of the crowd (Barry is always on the right-I was on the left) and secretly professed my undying love while I sang along. Of course Andy Gibb had died right around that time, and that was like losing my own brother. I wanted to send flowers, if only I knew where to send them.
Years went on, and I got married in 1992 when I was 28 (Barry was 45). Then in May of 1997 came the BeeGees’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which was, oh, how convenient, in Cleveland! I was so excited!! I had to meet Barry, but what could I possibly say or do to make a good impression and not a fool out of myself. My younger sister, who was gorgeous and very seasoned at meeting famous people, was supposed to go with me. When she ended up sick, I thought, “I’m going alone if I have to.” Well, my husband, who I thought would be the LAST person I’d want to have go with me, ended up going with me, and thank God he did! We ran from hotel to hotel in downtown Cleveland until we found the right one, and we stood and waited.
Penny with Barry © Penny Hockey
Then a white limo pulled up, and all of a sudden, there he was!! My Heart’s Desire literally 15 feet away from me! My husband grabbed me and we tried to follow him into the hotel, but a police woman stopped us. My husband thought fast and told her we left our umbrella in the hotel, so she let us in! We ran up the steps and there he was!!! I could’ve died right there! But then Marty (my husband) walked right up to him like he’s known him all his life, and said, “Hey, Mr. Gibb, I know you’re busy, but she’s your biggest fan-could we get a picture?” And then it happened-the moment I waited 18 years for-I was standing with my arm around Barry Gibb, and he had his arm around me! He was so tall, and impeccably dressed, and smelled SO GOOD! I felt so inadequate next to him, and yet at the same time, SO WONDERFUL!! I was afraid I would never let go of him. My husband took the picture, and then it was over-just like that. I walked away and I think I just stood staring at the wall like a mental patient. I couldn’t comprehend what had just happened. Of course, there was my darling husband, telling me to go talk to Barry, as he was just waiting for the elevator. I couldn’t!! I’d make a fool out of myself! I have nothing poignant to say that would leave a good impression. I can’t describe the emotions that ran through me-my biggest chance in life to make an impact on the most beloved figure I had ever known, and I knew I couldn’t do it! He eventually went up to his room and never came back down. My husband and I hung around for a few hours and actually spoke a bit to Maurice, who has got to be one of the cutest, friendliest people ever, also! Robin stopped for a picture, too, but he seemed to be busy. Maurice was a social butterfly! I guess that was the next best thing!
That was the highlight of my life to date. We went to see the BeeGees in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the millennium concert, which was fabulous. My cousins lived in Miami at the time, so they took us driving, and I think we found Barry’s house. We saw someone who looked very much like Linda in the doorway, and I’m pretty sure it was Barry who got in a car and drove off with who must have been Alexandra. Again, I could have done something to get noticed, but I’d rather not be known at all than be known as an idiot. I jotted the address down and every so often get the urge to mail him a letter! But at 38 years old, I can’t possibly write a fan letter. That would be ridiculous!
So that brings me to the present, working at my boring job, living a normal life with a great husband who saw to it that I at least have a terrific picture of myself with Barry-which of course is in my living room and next to my bed! I am jealous of people who have probably followed the BeeGees around, met them numerous times, and devote a lot more time than I do in pursuing them. But that just isn’t feasible for me. My only hope now is that perhaps my husband and I can retire to Florida, befriend Barry and Linda, and maybe grow old as friends. That would be the perfect retirement. Thank God for dreams.
Anyways, no matter what happens, Barry Gibb will always be a part of me.