Story: Rosalien Beks
Photo credit: Piet Beks
Finally the day had come. After many months of looking forward to this trip we finally were in München.
By the end of May 2004 I heard it was definite: Robin was planning to tour in Germany! And of course I would love to be there, however there was one small problem. I couldn’t walk and had to use a wheel chair.
Piet (my husband) made the final decision that I could also visit a concert in a wheel chair so it was time to try and get tickets. My girl friend Monique spent many hours behind the computer to try and get these tickets and finally she succeeded in ordering 4 tickets. The countdown to September 25th began.
Last year I’d begun to compile a Tribute Album for Maurice and was planning to visit Miami in Spring 2004 to hand over this book to Yvonne, Barry and Robin. Due to personal circumstances we couldn’t make this trip at that time but maybe I was able to present a Copy-Album of this tribute I’d made to Robin in München The original version of the Tribute Album of course is for presenting to Yvonne and her kids.
Monique and I joined forces and worked very had together to get the album ready in time. Many hours we spent with translating, to cut and paste photos and illustrations and that sort of things until the album looked like the way we had in mind. A beautiful tribute album filled with fan emotions!
Rosalien backstage in Robins' dressing room. Behind Rosalien you see Ken Graydon, Robins 'personal manager.
Now that the album was finished there was one problem left. We had to arrange to speak with Robin and next to that get a chance to present the album. How to do that?! I have been trying everything however until the day of departure with didn’t know anything for sure. The only thing I’d found out was in what hotel Robin would be staying in München. (my dear friend Keiko had found out this for me, during her short stay in Germany of course to see some of the shows as well).
‘Always try to be positive’ we said and so we took the Tribute Album with us to München ‘you never know what happens’, that’s what we thought!! And… there would happen a lot!
What I didn’t know was that Günther Riedinger (a German fan with whom I’ve mailed before I left) had arranged a meeting backstage for us.
Shortly after arriving at the Philharmony building Günther joined us and said: ‘Rosalien we are expected back stage at 20.20 hours’. I first couldn’t believe it of course. We’re going back stage? This was too good to be true however there was one tiny problem, we didn’t have taken the Tribute Book with us to the concert, too afraid that something would happen wit hit.
What to do now? Just go back stage and see what happens.
We were welcomed back stage and taken to a special room to wait for Robin. Robin hadn’t arrived yet but as soon as he was there we would be called in. The group waiting for Robin were: Monique and Adrie, Günther, Bettina and Roland, Anita, Piet and myself. A nice bunch of people together but some were getting very nervous at this point.
After a bout 20 minutes of waiting we were called. Rainer Hänsel then came up to me and asked for the Tribute Album to look at but I had to tell him I didn’t have it with me I told him the whole story and he said: ‘just wait a minute, I just have to go inside’. After about 10 minutes he came back and said: ‘you may enter (the dressing room of Robin) but only with two persons’. Piet and I into the dressing room of Robin, unbelievable but true!! It of course was a pity for the others in the group but I just was on cloud number nine.
Robin was so very kind and interested. I told him the whole story about the Tribute Album and he was very seized with emotion. I then asked him if it would be possible to present him the Album the next day amazingly enough he answered me: ‘sure no problem’. We left the dressing room with Robins’ remark: ‘enjoy the concert and we will meet tomorrow’. Now I became really nervous. Again Rainer arranged for us a meeting in the hotel, Sunday afternoon at 15.00 hours.
Because of all these great things which just had happened to us back stage we hadn’t seen a thing of the support act, the first part of the concert evening. When we entered the hall Robin just had started to sing his first song. I have enjoyed the concert immensely and really got back this special Bee Gees feeling. You could also see that Robin was enjoying himself as well and he loved the enthusiastic responses from the audience. He smiled and thanked the audience over and over. All in all it was a great evening!!
The presentation by Rosalien of the Maurice Tribute Book to Robin. Girl friend Monique is watching.
And of course the party wasn’t over yet. After a sleepless night in München we left for the Hilton am Park Hotel. We wondered if we would indeed get to see Robin there. We arrived at the hotel at about half past 2 and waited for what would happen in the hotel lounge.
After waiting for about 2 hours we saw Robin! What we didn’t know what that there were more fans waiting for him. Robin of course right away was absorbed by a number of fans and their questions. I just waited a little in the back in my wheel chair and then Ken Graydon came up to me and said that Robin would have special time for me after his interview.
Finally it was time for us. The moment Robin noticed us he said: ‘of course the book’. He was very interested and took all the time of the world. A really special person!
When finally Robin left the hotel he kept the Tribute Book very tight under his arms and again thanked us several times.
We at the end had to say goodbye too but for me a wish had become true.
‘Robin thanks so much for these very special moments.
I’ll cherish these moments it forever’!
These meetings with Robin have giving me lots of new energy. My first new goal is of course to walk again and after that… on to Miami to try and present the albums to Yvonne and her children and to Barry.