“We’ve not only lost a great friend in Michael but also lost a wonderful sensitive human being. The Bee Gees heard music with the same ears. Michael had a great voice and millions of people yet to be born will sing his songs. This tragedy should teach us a lesson to value and praise those gifts while we still have them in the world. If even a small portion of the praise that is bestowed on Michael Jackson now in death was given to him last year in life, he might well still be with us. That is the sad truth. One consolation is that he will triumph by his legacy.” (Robin Gibb)
I found the above quote from a post on an Italian Bee Gees’ website, dated June 28, 2009. I didn’t have to understand a word of Italian to note the sincerity of the tribute, for the loss of their dear friend Michael hit the Gibb family deeply. Many of you may not be aware of this, but Michael Jackson was the godfather of Barry Gibb’s son, also named Michael. And perhaps, not coincidentally in keeping with my latest series, the Gibbs just happened to be one more among Michael’s many close Jewish friends.
Now, once again, and in in less than three days’ time, I have been called away from work on my current post as tragedy strikes close to home for the MJ fan community once again. Of course, Robin Gibb’s passing has been, I suppose, somewhat inevitable and expected for some time. Still, very sad news to come home to on this Sunday afternoon. Michael dearly loved the Gibb family, and they loved him. But what’s even sadder for me is thinking how their mother, Barbara Gibb, now past 90, has held up to losing three sons. By the way, for anyone interested, this was a lovely article on the courageous and very resilient Barbara Gibb that was published in 2004, one year after the death of Maurice:
And so sad for Barry to be the last one left of all his brothers. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must feel like. Just as with so many artists who have passed recently, the Bee Gees were an integral part of my growing up years.
I hate to close out on a cliche’ but that line from the old song Rock and Roll Heaven really says it best right now.
“If there’s a rock and roll heaven
Well you know they got a hell of a band”