Biography - About the Life of Andy, by Marion Adriaensen
Andrew Roy Gibb was born March 5th., 1958 in Manchester, England, the youngest of the Gibb Brothers. His mother was a singer, his father a drummer and the leader of a big band, and his three older brothers: the world famous Bee Gees
In 1967 in response to the rising popularity of the older Gibb sons Barry, Robin and Maurice, the Gibb family returned to England.
There, in a London suburb, Andy confronted for the first time both the English school system and his brothers` fans, who assembled daily outside the Gibb home.
After three years in England , it was time for another move.
The Gibb family took up residence on the tiny island of Ibiza, off the coast of Spain, where the primary pastimes are swimming, boating and skin diving activities.
Andy enjoyed this very much.
Ibiza is an island set in the dark blue sea. A retreat removed from the excitement of suburban London, where the Gibb family found the fame of The Bee Gees a magnet for swarms of enthusiastic followers.
Family privacy was a wry impossibility.
Sauntering home from school, young Andy found himself shouldering his way through a crush of Bee Gees admirers, anxious for a closer look at Barry, Maurice and Robin.
Not at all ideal for a closely-knit family that treasured hours away from the spotlight and the easy-going fun of just being together.
Ibiza brought the rest between tours, isolation, and days of bright sun for boating etc.
It also gave Andy the time to feel the music that seemed to come naturally as a family legacy.
Shortly after settling in to the new home, Andy was given his first guitar by his brother Barry.
Just a year later, at the age of thirteen, Andy made his performing debut at a local tourist club.
Although unpaid because of his age and his English citizenship, Andy began appearing at the club on a fairly regular basis, occasionally joined by his brothers who supplied harmonic accompaniment.
He now was sure he wanted to be a singer.
School turned him off.
He was bored stiff.
He concentrated on athletics, a sun-bronzed towhead at home in the green shallows, and his guitar.
He played his Bee Gees albums over and over.
It is a small surprise his clear melodic voice owned a style that echoed distantly a bright blend of his older brothers` voices.
At the small tourist bar the clientele received him well however it was experiencing in showmanship and presentation at that time.
The family Gibb island-hopped once again.
Andy singing in a club, Ibiza 1972
This time to the Isle Of Man, a windswept sapphire in the Irish Sea.
Here Andy got his first job in the music business in 1973.
He formed a band with some local musicians and for a year they kept themselves gainfully employed by playing at the islands` two major clubs.
One of the clubs where Andy performed during the period he lived in Douglas was the Cellar Bar near the Douglas harbour.
The Gibb family gradually became convinced that yet another member was destined for a career in music.
Andy started to write his own songs.
He was determined to develop his own career and following the course that his brothers had set years earlier, he moved back to Australia in 1975, planning to spend several years perfecting his music and performing before some of the worlds` most critical audiences.
He put his band together, secured a few gigs and began a sojourn expected to last about five or six years.
Events did not proceed as planned however.
Australia did not agree that Andy needed such extensive seasoning.
In less than a year Andy was in great demand and his occasional small concerts gave way to regular appearances in large halls.
Then his first single, `Words And Music`/ `Westfield Mansions`, produced by long time Gibb family friend Col Joye, made the top 5 in the nations` capital city.
It was in July of 1976 when Robert Stigwood heard some of Andy`s demos and arranged for Andy to fly to Miami to record some tapes.
Andy at that time lived in Seven Hills, an outer Sydney suburb where he married his girlfriend Kim at the Wayside Chapel on July 11th, 18 months after they had met. `Kim breeds Staffordshire bull terriers and my sister does too` he once said.
`We met at a dog show when my sister Lesley introduced us`.
Andy interrupted his honeymoon in Bermuda ( where he and Kim stayed at the house of Robert Stigwood) and headed for Miami where he and Barry, who flew over from his home in Douglas, formulated plans for a debut album at Criteria Studios in Miami North. The recordings were finished after a few days and Andy returned to Australia.
The tapes were submitted to RSO Records.
Shortly after Andy returned home, he received the good news: his tapes were very well liked.
Wedding picture of Andy and Kim, Australia July 1976
He returned to Miami almost immediately to record his first album: `Flowing Rivers`, for RSO Records. Much of the material from the album dated from his recent Australia days.
Soon after the release of `Flowing Rivers`, in 1977 Andy embarked on his first American concert tour which was a huge success.
His single: `I Just Want To Be Your Everything`, written by Barry, was one of the biggest selling records of 1977.
His second international hit which he wrote with Barry became: `Love Is Thicker Than Water`.
Both singles reached the number one spot in the U.S. charts and both became certified gold.
In keeping with the close-knit tradition of the Gibb family, Barry worked as executive producer on the album.
Co-producers Karl Richardson and Albhy Galuten called upon an impressive array of veteran session musicians and artists such as George Terry and Joe Walsh to work in the studio on Andy`s first album.
His extraordinary talent earned him Grammy nominations in the categories of Best New Artist Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance for `I Just Want To Be Your Everything`.
Around that time Andy and Kim separated and their child a baby girl named Peta was born January 25th. 1978.
`Shadow Dancing`, Andy`s second album, was also produced by Karl Richardson and Albhy Galuten with Barry Gibb as executive producer.
An extensive, headlining concert tour following the release of that new album confirmed Andy`s status as one of America`s top entertainers.
The album was certified platinum within weeks of its release.
Andy`s popularity had also led to appearances on a number of television shows, including Rock Concert, American Bandstand, Midnight Special, The Olivia Newton-John Special, A Gift Of Song, the music for Unicef concert, and many, many more.
On the `After Dark` album Andy was joined by a number of outstanding musicians, including family friend Olivia Newton-John.
A fourth album was released: `Greatest Hits`.
In 1986 Andy told he had plans for a new album with a title song he wrote with Barry called: It`s My Neighbourhood . ( Know idea however if this composition has any relation to the Bee Gees song of 1987 with the same name).
Around the time he died his manager was negotiating a contract with Island Records and Andy was getting songs together.
He never got into the studio to record them for release.
There were demos of songs he`d done with Barry and Maurice in Miami Beach around 1987 like: Arrow Through The Heart and Man On Fire.
And two others: Hell Or High Water and Price Of Fame of which melodies and lyrics had already been completed.
Early 1988 he was trying to write songs alone at Robin`s house.
On March 10th, 1988 Andy died at the John Radcliff hospital in Oxford, England from myocarditis, (an inflammation of the heart muscle caused by a viral infection). Later on the Gibb family heard that Andy had been suffering from heart problems already for a while before he died but he never told anyone about it. He was buried at Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills on March 21st. Shortly after his death the Andy Gibb Memorial Foundation was started in his honour.
Kim and Peta, 1978