Photo credits Jayne Lewis.
I have always dreamed of going to Miami and visiting Middle Ear Studio and may be meeting Barry.
Well part of that came true this year. My daughter Sara was 21 and graduated from University this year so we decided to have a holiday in Miami and meet up with my American friend Pat who is a huge Bee Gees fan just like myself. We met on the net on a fan site and have been emailing for about three years now.
The day after Pat arrived in Miami we decided to go on the off chance to the Studio to see if we were able to have a look around. The taxi dropped us off and we stood outside and all seemed very quiet. We could not see any familiar cars (ie Lamborghini’s or Bentley Continentals) so we decided to take photos of us all standing outside.
As we had finished a car arrived and parked in the car park and a gentleman got out. I decided that as this was probably the only chance I would ever have I would ask him if it was possible to have a look round. He was extremely friendly and said he would go in and ask if there was anyone available to give us a tour. Well you can imagine our excitement now, a few minutes later a lovely gentleman called Jay came out and asked us in and said he would be delighted to show us around.
"The Hall Of Fame" of Middle Ear covered with pictures
Wow everything was beating very fast now. He was so friendly and informative and first showed us into the mixing room and I had my photo taken sitting at Barry’s mixing table – (can you imagine how I felt just sitting there), next he showed us the room where they sing their songs and then where the instruments are kept and the instrument repair room. All the time he was telling us all he could about the studio and the guys. Then we went upstairs to the offices and introduced us to none other than Dick Ashby, Barry’s Personal Assistant (and who was the gentleman who I had asked if it was possible to see round the studio without knowing who he was), he again was a charming gentleman who proceeded to tell us stories about the guys and then I mentioned I had seen Barry at the Bunbury Cricket Match here in England back in May this year, and he said, Oh yes I was there too. I told him my adventures there and he agreed it was a bit hectic that day. He then told us he thought Barry would be coming to the studio on the following Monday to work on his new songs.
Sitting at the mixing table
Having spoken to Dick we then went on with Jay to the hall of fame, it was just covered with pictures of the guys and their peers and their awards etc, I was absolutely mesmerized and was trying hard to concentrate and take it all in. All the time Jay was talking to us, he was so considerate and did not try to rush us round and said do take your time and take photos as well. Last of all he showed us into the guys relaxing room which was filled with more photos and comfy settees and recliners and a snooker table. Mo’s keyboards were in the corner and Jay showed me Andy’s chair which was a very plush blue comfortable looking chair. He asked me whether I would like to sit in it, but I did not feel that would be right.
Having looked at everything in as much detail as we could and having chatted with Jay and Dick we thanked them and left having had an amazing tour by the most wonderful of staff you could find.
I left with Dick a letter for Barry and he said he would put it on his desk for him. In it were photos I had taken at the Cricket Match and I was hoping Barry would sign them for me.
We went back on the Monday in the hope of seeing Barry but it was not to be, I later learnt from the net that he had gone home early because there was a technical fault in the studio.
The rest of the day seemed to go by in a daze and I was still reeling at the fact that I had actually been around Middle Ear Studio and been where Barry, Robin and Mo composed and worked and wrote some of their brilliant songs. It was an amazing feeling.
More luck when I came home to England, a week after I received a package from Florida, you won’t believe it but Barry had signed my photos and returned them to me. I was so happy that he had taken the trouble to do that, he is everything I have ever read about him and more, a true gentleman who cares about his fans. THANK YOU BARRY.