"ANDY GIBB: A STAR OVERNIGHT"

(TG Magazine, March 1978)

His name is Andy but it could, just as easily, be Barry, Robin or Maurice, the names of his three older brothers. All four share the same common features; stringy thin, long, angular faces and gentle manner. Andy looks somewhat more like Robin and Maurice, who are shorter than Barry.

His style is partly his own. But he's borrowed liberally from Barry, Robin and Maurice. The arranging techniques came from Barry, the vocal manners from all three of the brothers, and his songwriting has definitely been influenced by Barry's songs of close to ten years ago.

Andy's first single immediately became one of the hottest records released anywhere in the world this year. At a time when hit singles just don't exist anymore, Andy's record took off just like a record from Barry, Robin and Maurice.

For at least five years and, perhaps, for his entire life Andy Gibb has been training under his older brothers to become a singing star. He was probably ready to strike out on his own a year or two ago but brother Barry wanted to wait a while longer. And, when your brothers are the Bee Gees, you listen.

Andy Gibb did follow his brothers' advice. He listened with particular care to Barry's advice. Then, earlier this year, Barry took Andy into a recording studio in Miami, where Barry, Maurice, Andy and their parents now live, and they made an album called Flowing Rivers. From that album, they took "I Just Want to be Your Everything", a song so good that it could have been on the better recent Bee Gee's albums like Main Course, and almost, overnight, Andy was a star.

Virtually every radio station in North America worked the song into its programming.

Andy's record hit the charts early in the summer and gathered steam right through until last August. Virtually every radio station in North America found a way to work the song into its programming. All of which was very good for Andy's career and made for some unpleasant experiences with Neil Sedaka.

Sedaka, whose career has cooled spectacularly over the past year, hired Andy to open for him on a tour of North America. At the time the contracts were signed, Andy was unknown and Neil was probably hoping to ingratiate himself with Andy's older brothers. But, by the time the tour actually started, Andy was a star. And, by the end of August, Andy was drawing as many fans to the shows as Sedaka. Sedaka was angry and Andy was not treated well. (Andy himself won't say a word against Sedaka. However, people who worked closely with both artists remarked on Sedaka's annoyance).

TG caught up with Andy recently to ask him a few questions about his skyrocketing career. He speaks easily, a little self-consciously, still surprised that reporters want to talk with him. Apparently, he hasn't realized yet that he is very definitely a star.

"I've been working at performing for five years now," Andy points out. "I've been working in Australia and Spain and England. When I was only 15 or 16, 1 was performing in bars; I could have had legal problems but it's also the only way to get to know what music is all about.

If you've noted the similarity between Andy's record and the Bee Gees' records, don't be too surprised. Barry helped out with the vocal backgrounds and there is a marked similarity between Andy's technique and brother Robin's high-pitched voice.

"I Just Want To Be Your Everything" could easily be mistaken for a revised version of "You Should Be Dancing", the Bee Gee's hit. The common feeling between the two songs was deliberate. Barry knew that the North American market would quickly accept anything which sounded like the disco sound of the "new" Bee Gees, so he produced Andy in exactly the same way as he produces his own act.

"I love the soul sound that the Bee Gees are into now," Andy confesses. "And that's the kind of feel that I want to have on all my records. Unfortunately, though, I don't write in that vein. I'm better at writing country-rock music because, while I was recording in Miami, the Eagles were working in the studio next door and I was heavily influenced by their sound. The album they were doing, by the way, was called Hotel California, so you know why I was influenced.

"For the next album (which will be in the works by the time you read this) Barry has decided that we are going to work on a completely new sort of soul sound, something that no one has ever heard before. It will be as original and as unique as the sound Barry created for "Jive Talkin'." But I'll have to get people to write songs for me right now until my own writing comes around."

How long will Andy need to rely on others? He's a seasoned performer already; the next few years will only see him get better and better. Andy Gibb is the brother of the Bee Gees. But he doesn't need to ride on his brothers' reputation. He's a super talent in his own right.

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