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Remembering Andy 

Andrew Roy Gibb
March 5, 1958 - March 10, 1988

Ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wrote of the dangers of too much, too soon. "The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.” Could this saying be truer of anyone more than the late global singing star and all-round entertainer Andrew Roy 'Andy' Gibb?


From his birth on March 5, 1958 in Manchester, through his upbringing in the U.K, the island of Ibiza in Spain and Australia, his rise to success in the USA, until his untimely passing back in the country of his birth on March 10, 1988, Andy Gibb lived life large and to the extreme. He fitted more into his thirty short years, with vigour and enthusiasm, than most could ever imagine in a lifetime. 


Still a small child when his much older brothers, Barry, Robin and Maurice, began their ascent to international icon status as the legendary Bee Gees, Andy grew up a mischievous child, overshadowed by the spotlight placed on his siblings and over-indulged as he followed his parents Barbara and Hugh around the world. 


A natural musician who could play by ear, Andy cut his teeth in the clubs of Ibiza with the guitar his brother Barry bought him when he was 13, and later in Sydney, Australia, where he moved at the age of 15 to live with his older sister Lesley. It was in Sydney that Andy found his spiritual home in the outdoor lifestyle and during his years in Australia he found his greatest happiness - a simple life, writing songs and performing around the local clubs under the supervision of Australian industry legend Col Joye. He also met his girlfriend, local girl Kim Reeder, when attending a dog show with his sister, and they went on to marry in 1976 and have a daughter Peta in 1978.

The call to America to join his more famous brothers and start his international career was a call that could not be ignored. Andy and Kim made the move to Florida in 1976 to make Andy's first album, 'Flowing Rivers' under the watchful eye of his brother Barry and industry supremo Robert Stigwood, later settling in Los Angeles.


Success came almost instantly. Andy's stage presence, good looks, and lively tenor vocals were a winning combination that took his first three singles from the album to number one on the Billboard charts. Almost overnight, this naive teenager was a global superstar. Bob Hope, introducing Andy during one of his Christmas specials, referred to him as "the hottest selling import to hit our [American] shores since the Toyota".

But fame has its limitations and its obstacles. Another, more modern, observer of the human condition, the recently departed comic actor Matthew Perry of Friends fame, said in his 2022 autobiography, “You have to get famous to know that it’s not the answer. And nobody who is not famous, will ever truly believe that”.

Andy Gibb was destined for fame, his talent too great to be denied. But fame was not the answer for him and never provided him the safety, security and self-belief he longed for his entire life as a child growing up in the shadow of his brothers. He struggled from his mid teens with drug use and alcoholism in attempt to mask his pain and insecurity and deal with his mental health. This impacted not only his career, but also his relationships - with his wife, daughter, family, significant partners and lovers, band members and employers.  

A son, husband, father, lover, brother, uncle and beloved friend, and now also - in his afterlife - a grandfather of two, it's easy to forget that Andy was so much more than just a musician and actor. He was a great lover of animals, a keen fisherman and water lover in general, and an enthusiastic and capable photographer. In the period before his passing he achieved his dream to become a licensed pilot. Although his passion for music was undeniable, this outstanding young man was lost to us far too soon, leaving many of us to wonder what may have become of his all-too-short life if he had been given the opportunity to pursue one of these other passions. We wouldn't have the gift and legacy of his music, but maybe his loving family and friends would still have him.

Andy was quite simply loved by everyone who knew him, and you would be hard pressed to find anyone speak of him as anything other than one of the kindest humans they ever knew. His demons were too much for him in the end, and Andy passed away five days after his 30th birthday in Oxfordshire, England from myocarditis, a heart condition brought about by his years of constant drug abuse. He is still spoken about and his spirit evoked frequently by not only his family, close friends and many fans, but the many members of the media, entertainment industry and the wider community who worked with him or made his acquaintance. 


Andy Gibb was the brightest star in the sky for a period in musical history we can never forget. In the immortal words of Bernie Taupin, "your candle burned out long before your legend ever did...".



Peta Gibb Weber, December 2023

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