Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spirit Having Flown

Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees died today at the age of 62.

The Bee Gees have been a part of my life since junior high.  I discovered their music, like most people, back in 1977 with Saturday Night Fever.  I was only 13 at the time and the movie was rated R, but my mom still took me to see it.  We would go to the movie theater every week and see whatever was playing.  I’ll save those stories for future posts.

I was lucky though to have a friend whose parents were big fans.  My buddy, Eric, introduced me to some of their earlier music.  I ran out and bought Main Course, which contains my favorite song, “Nights on Broadway.”

When we were in 8th grade, I would go hang out at Eric’s house after school.  Then, we would walk to my house so he could pick up his little brother from pre-school.  On the way there, we would sing Bee Gees songs.  “Nights on Broadway” was a big one for us; we would switch off on the different parts.

My very first concert was The Bee Gees at the Chicago Stadium in the Summer of ’79.  I had finished my freshman year at Gordon Tech and was working at the school for the summer.  Back in those days, you could only purchase concert t-shirts at an actual concert.  So, if you had one that meant you actually went to the concert.  It was a big deal.  Unfortunately, the majority of concert shirts worn in those days were rock or heavy metal.  The Bee Gees were frowned upon because they were considered disco.  I didn’t care.  I was proud of my black concert shirt with the Bee Gees logo and all three of their faces on it.  Another student who had also gone to the concert told me I was brave to wear my shirt at the school.

Ten years later, Eric, my cousin Adrienne (another long-time fan) and I went to see The Bee Gees at Poplar Creek.  We had great seats.  The pavilion was full, but the lawn was a little sparse.  We had a blast.

The death of Maurice Gibb in 2003 signaled the end of The Bee Gees.  Their music and its influence on my life, however, will continue on.