MAURICE GIBB'S FUNERAL
|"Private funeral for Maurice Gibb" (BBC - Wednesday, 15 January, 2003)|
|Family and friends of Bee Gees singer Maurice Gibb are
attending his private funeral in Miami, United States, following his death on
Sunday. The ceremony at Riverside Gordon Memorial Chapel on Miami Beach is a
ceremony for friends and family will be followed by a cremation service.
The only stars reported to be attending the service are Michael Jackson and Scottish singer Lulu, who was married to Gibb for four years from 1969.
Gibb died from a heart attack after being admitted to hospital for an operation on his intestines.
The Bee Gees management have asked in lieu of flowers, contributions be sent in Maurice Gibb's name to: The Andy Gibb Memorial Foundation, c/o Dade Community Foundation, 200 South Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 505, Miami, Florida or sent to a charity of the contributor's choice.
Barry and Robin Gibb have been talking to officials at the hospital where their brother died, after expressing their concern over his treatment. Speaking exclusively to the BBC, the brothers said they were perplexed as to how their brother had been admitted with a stomach blockage - and then apparently died from another illness.
In an emotional state soon after Maurice's death, the brothers said they were "devastated" and "completely pole-axed" by their loss and paid tribute to the "most sweetest, generous" man.
Barry Gibb confirmed he had not been present at the Mount Sinai Medical Centre for many of the key moments of his brother's treatment and said he had been told much of what he knew second-hand. But he said: "We will pursue every factor, every element, every second of the timeline, of the final hours of Maurice's life."
The brothers, who have been performing together since the late 1950s, made almost 30 albums together and sold more than 110 million albums in their career.
|"Mourners Recall Maurice Gibb" (January 15, 2003 - Wahington Post)|
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. About 200
mourners joined family members Wednesday at a private funeral for former Bee Gee Maurice
Gibb as the county medical examiner's office disclosed it was reviewing the Bee Gee's
|"Morners recall Bee Gee Maurice Gibb" (By John Pain, Associated Press - Jan 15 2003)|
|About 200 mourners, including singer Michael Jackson
and other celebrities, joined family members Wednesday at a private funeral for former Bee
Gee Maurice Gibb as the county medical examiner's office disclosed it was reviewing the
Bee Gee's sudden death.
Gibb, 53, who played keyboards and bass in the band, died Sunday at a hospital three days after doctors decided to operate on a blocked intestine after he suffered cardiac arrest.
His brothers have said they believe that decision was a mistake. Officials at Mount Sinai Medical Center have declined to comment on the allegation, citing patient privacy laws.
A spokeswoman said Wednesday that the hospital will cooperate with family members as they try to learn how Gibb died. "We want to see this come to a positive resolution," Kathleen Dorkowski said. "We want to see the family has its questions answered."
There was no mention of the controversy during Wednesday's service at the Riverside Funeral Chapel, said several attendees. Robin Gibb, one of the two surviving brothers of the British pop trio, spoke briefly about his love for his twin, they said.
"It was emotional, there was humor. ... Everybody talked about how this was a man who really celebrated life and so this was a celebration of his life," said family friend Jennifer Valoppi.
Jackson and Harry Wayne Casey, leader of KC & The Sunshine Band, were among celebrities who joined Maurice Gibb's wife, Yvonne, his son, Adam, and his older brother Barry at the service.
Pictures of Maurice and his family hung from the walls, along with the jacket he used to play paintball, his favorite game, Valoppi said.
Nat Kipner, who managed the Bee Gees early in their career in Brisbane, Australia, traveled by coincidence to south Florida the same day Gibb died. The brothers decided to return to their native England in 1967.
"I heard right away that Maurice had died and I couldn't believe it," he said after the service.
The Bee Gees, short for the Brothers Gibb, were a falsetto-voiced disco sensation during the 1970s, with a string of hits from the movie "Saturday Night Fever," including "Stayin' Alive" and "Night Fever." Their contributions to the album in 1977 made it the best-selling movie soundtrack ever, with more than 40 million copies sold.
Meanwhile, the Miami-Dade medical examiner's office said Wednesday it is investigating Gibb's death and should complete the review by Friday. The medical examiner routinely reviews deaths when a body is going to be cremated or when a death is not caused by a readily recognizable disease.
The family hasn't yet decided whether to cremate or bury the remains, said a spokeswoman for Bee Gees manager Allen Kovac.
Also Wednesday, the county coroner's office said its expects to release autopsy results Friday.
|"Funeral Service for Maurice Gibb" (ITV - 15 Jan 2003|
|Friends and family of Bee Gee star Maurice Gibb are due to
hold a private funeral for the singer in Miami. Michael Jackson and Maurice's former wife
Lulu will both be there, alongside his brothers Barry and Robin Gibb.
Maurice died from a heart attack on Sunday. Robin, his twin, has described Maurice's death as a "nightmare from which I will never awake" but promised to honour his memory through music and not through sadness. In an emotional statement, he said that he and Barry were both "devastated" by the "untimely death" of the 53-year-old - "a friend, band member and kindred spirit".
Maurice suffered a heart attack just prior to an operation to remove an intestinal blockage after he collapsed at his home in Florida last week. He died in the Mount Sinai Medical Centre in Miami.
"Barry and I are both lost and devastated following Maurice's untimely death," said Robin. "The past few days have been a nightmare from which I will never awake. We had taken away from us, not just a brother, but a friend, band member and kindred spirit." He added: "Whilst we come to terms with this great personal loss, we also wish to thank all our fans for their support, and let them know that in our hour of despair they have given us strength to continue. Barry and I will shortly be announcing details of the funeral and memorial service, but our aim is to work even harder than before on our musical projects, as this is the only way we know to come to terms with recent tragic events. To dwell on sadness is not our way and is not the correct way to respect Maurice's memory. My intention is to get back to work shortly and pay tribute to Maurice the way he would have wished, through our music."
The remaining pair of the legendary band have questioned whether doctors had been right to operate on him. The brothers said they understood Maurice's intestines were twisted, possibly as the result of a birth defect. He had to have 80 per cent of his stomach removed in the operation. They also questioned why doctors had not been able to diagnose what was wrong with Maurice when he first arrived at hospital. "The fact that they had to operate on Maurice during the shock of cardiac arrest is questionable. We will pursue every factor, every element, every second of the timeline, of the final hours of Maurice's life. We will pursue that relentlessly. That will be our quest from now on."
Barry said: "None of the sequence of events have yet made sense to us." Robin added: "I still can't come to terms with it now. It's like a nightmare that you wake up to every day. It's going to take a long time even just for it to sink in. We'd just had a birthday. He still had a future out (ahead) of him and all I can say is he was just one of the most beautiful people in the world ... a very gifted man and it's a loss to the world, not just for us. He was the most sweetest, generous of people you could ever meet." Barry added: "He was an extrovert and he would never walk into a room. Maurice would prance into a room and his presence was immediate. He didn't reflect the glamour side of the pop business ... he was a very down to earth person. He never really lost his Lancashire accent. He never lost his roots."
Maurice's wife Yvonne and his children, son Adam and daughter Sammy, were distraught at his death, the brothers said. This has really decimated their lives and it's just destroyed them. It's going to take them years to come to terms with the loss of Mo. He was their world," Barry said.
Despite his death they said the Bee Gees would carry on and produce another album. Barry said: "We think that at this point in our lives, the sooner we get back to what we think our gift is, writing songs. Maurice will be a void and he will always be the third member of the Bee Gees. The Bee Gees will go on. The Bee Gees will not disintegrate because we've lost Mo. We will do it in Maurice's name."
|"Tributes paid to Bee Gee at famly service" (By Jacqui Godard, The Scotsman , Jan 16 2003)|
|HE WAS known as one of the world's greatest recording
artists, and the tribute to Bee Gee Maurice Gibb yesterday - though deeply private -
showed the marks of his fame. About 200 people attended the funeral for the
singer-musician three days after his death in a Florida hospital.
The musician Eric Clapton joined the mourners. An older brother, Barry Gibb, was reportedly too upset to attend - but joined singer Michael Jackson in a later, private visit to pay their respects.
Police sealed off the street outside the Riverside Funeral Chapel in Miami, and, for a while, a police helicopter buzzed overhead, but there were no fans in sight.
The singer, who enjoyed hits spanning five decades, was mourned at the service by those who knew him best. A dozen friends and relatives made speeches recalling their fondest memories.
Jennifer Valoppi, a friend of the family, said: "It was really a case of people expressing their love for Maurice. They are such a special family and he was a special man."
Bouquets, including one sent by Jackson, decorated the chapel where the body lay in a brown coffin. Family photographs adorned the chapel, and a jacket he used for paintball contests - a weekend sport that was his passion - hung alongside them.
His widow, Yvonne, who was at his side throughout his short illness last week, arrived in a stretch limousine with blacked-out windows, accompanied by their son, Adam, 26, and daughter, Samantha, 22.
Maurice's twin brother, Robin, 53, arrived wearing a black suit, dark glasses and his trademark black hat, holding the hand of his wife, Dwina, for support. Barry Gibb's son Steve, 26, arrived in a kilt.
Robin spoke briefly about how much he loved his brother, and Adam about how much he would miss his father, Ms Valoppi said.
"The theme of everybody's speeches was that Maurice was a man with all his priorities in order. It was touching and loving. It was very emotional."
The Gibbs' mother, Barbara, 83, hugged relatives as she accompanied the family through a back entrance into the oak-panelled chapel. It is the second time she has mourned a son - the youngest of the brothers, Andy Gibb, died in 1988 after developing a heart infection.
Other mourners included the recently-ousted head of Sony Records, Tommy Motola, singer Randy Newman and Harry Casey, the frontman of the group KC and the Sunshine Band.
"The family want it to be intimate and only really for those he was closest to," said a family source.
After a private cremation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a memorial service will be held in London at a later date, when friends from the world of music and showbusiness are expected to pay their respects.
|"The day the music cried..." (By Anna Cock - The Daily Telegraph - Jan 17 03)|
|ELDER Bee Gee Barry Gibb was too distraught to attend his
brother Maurice's funeral yesterday, choosing instead to pay his respects privately with
friend Michael Jackson.
The superstar pair arrived at the Riverside Funeral Chapel in Miami Beach after 300 family and friends had left a sombre, low-key service for 53-year-old Maurice, who died at Miami's Mount Sinai Medical Centre on the weekend.
While Maurice's twin, Robin, spoke at the service, Barry, 55, accompanied by Jackson, stayed at the chapel for only 10 minutes after a black stretch limousine took them to a rear entrance.
Jackson, who stood out in a turquoise-colored suit with a cream turtleneck, is a close friend of the Gibb brothers and is understood to be working on a project with the singer-songwriters. Celebrities attending yesterday's service were shielded by police and barricades.
The turnout included guitarist Eric Clapton, former Sony Music boss Tommy Mottola, KC and the Sunshine Band frontman Harry Casey, singer-songwriter Randy Newman, and actor Henry Winkler, best known for his role as television's Fonzie.
Maurice's wife Yvonne, children Adam and Samantha, and mother Barbara, 83, arrived via the rear entrance, as did Robin, who was among 20 speakers at the 90-minute lunchtime ceremony which hand no music.
"Robin did speak for a very brief time and he basically just spoke about how much he loved him, and his [Maurice's] son Adam spoke also very briefly about how much he will miss his father," family friend Jennifer Valoppi told reporters afterwards. "The service was not religious and was really people just talking about what a phenomenal man he was."
"It was emotional, there was humour . . . this was the man who really celebrated life so this was a celebration of his life.
Ms Valoppi described the chapel as decorated with white flowers, pictures, as well as Maurice's beloved paintball jacket.
"It was just people expressing their love and really speaking about how he was so in touch with the common man . . .and how despite his fame and all his celebrity how close the family is, what a loving family this is.
"They're such special people, they've been part of Miami Beach for so long," she said.
One of those "common men" referred to in the speeches was Luis G, 43, a recovered alcoholic who attended yesterday's service to say good-bye to a man he credited with helping his own battle against alcoholism.
Luis said he met Maurice, also a former alcoholic, at a local sobriety support centre. "He was really involved in helping people change their lives, and enhancing people's lives he was like an angel here on earth," said Luis. "It hurts me so much to see him pass." He said the fact there was no music reflected "the seriousness of the event" "but we can all close our eyes and hear some of the Bee Gees' tunes in our minds, that's the impact they had".
Bystander Sue Kaye-Martin, 70, was one of a small group of locals who stood outside to pay respects. "I love all the Bee Gees but Maurice was the quiet one," she said. "There are stars that are splashy front men and then there are stars like Maurice he just quietly did his music, supported charities."
After yesterday's funeral service, Maurice Gibb was cremated in Fort Lauderdale, near Miami. A public ceremony is planned to be held in London, with details yet to be announced.
|"Only words for Gibb: the day the music died" (By Frances Kerry, Reuters - Sydney Morning Herald, January 17 2003)|
|With emotional words but no music, family and friends paid
final tribute on Wednesday to Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees as the county medical
examiner's office disclosed it was reviewing the entertainer's sudden death.
Maurice's twin brother, Robin, his widow Yvonne, and children Adam and Samantha, who are in their 20s, were among mourners at the private funeral at Riverside Funeral Chapel in Miami Beach. Older brother Barry, 55, arrived with Michael Jackson at the chapel some time after the service ended, according to a local television station. The pair were seen entering the chapel and emerging about 15 minutes later. A family friend had earlier told British media that Barry was too upset to attend the funeral. Barry Gibb's son, Stephen, did attend, wearing a kilt.
Maurice Gibb, 53, was taken ill at his Miami Beach home last week and rushed to a hospital, where he suffered cardiac arrest before undergoing surgery for a blocked intestine. He died early on Sunday.
With Robin and Barry, Maurice helped create one of pop's best-selling groups, known around the world for their contributions to the soundtrack of the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever. The album defined the disco craze, selling more than 40 million copies, and was celebrated for hits such as Stayin' Alive, Night Fever and How Deep Is Your Love.
Gibb's funeral was a low-key affair. The event was not publicised and no fans were present outside the funeral chapel. Mourners filed in on a sunny Florida day into the low building a few blocks from the glitzy heart of South Miami Beach. A pastor introduced the service, but otherwise it was non-religious, with no music, just quiet and sometimes emotional words spoken by a string of family and friends, said one of the mourners, Jennifer Valoppi, a family friend and local television journalist.
Gibb's dark brown coffin was surrounded by white flowers and photos of him, she said. "Friends talked about how much he was in touch with the common man. They said how much he had his priorities right. It was emotional, but there was humour too."
Brother Robin and son Adam spoke briefly for the family, she said. Among the show business names present were singer-songwriter Randy Newman and Harry Casey of disco hitmakers KC and the Sunshine Band.
Gibb's sudden death shocked his family. In an interview on Sunday, Barry Gibb questioned his brother's treatment. The Miami-Dade medical examiner's office said on Wednesday it was investigating Gibb's death and its review should be completed by today. The medical examiner routinely reviews deaths when a body is going to be cremated or when a death is not caused by a readily recognisable disease.
|"Gibb brother torn in emotion" (By Anna Cock - The Courier Mail - 17 Jan 2003)|
|ELDER Bee Gee Barry Gibb was too distraught to attend his
brother Maurice's funeral yesterday, choosing instead to pay his respects privately with
friend Michael Jackson.
The superstar pair arrived at the Riverside Funeral Chapel in Miami Beach after 300 family and friends had left a sombre, low-key service for 53-year-old Maurice, who died at Miami's Mount Sinai Medical Centre last weekend.
While Maurice's twin Robin spoke at the service, Barry, 55, accompanied by Jackson, stayed at the chapel for only 10 minutes, a black stretch limousine taking them to a rear entrance.
Jackson, who stood out in a turquoise-coloured suit with a cream turtleneck, is a close friend of the Gibb brothers and is understood to be working on a project with them.
Celebrities attending yesterday's service were shielded by police and barricades. They include guitarist Eric Clapton, former Sony Music boss Tommy Mottola, KC and the Sunshine Band frontman Harry Casey, singer-songwriter Randy Newman and actor Henry Winkler, best known for his role as Fonzie.
Maurice's wife Yvonne, children Adam and Samantha, and mother Barbara, 83, arrived via the rear entrance, as did Robin, who was among 20 speakers at the 90-minute lunchtime ceremony which had no music.
"Robin did speak for a very brief time and he basically just spoke about how much he loved him, and his (Maurice's) son Adam spoke also very briefly about how much he will miss his father," family friend Jennifer Valoppi told reporters.
The service was not religious and "was really people just talking about what a phenomenal man he was", said Valoppi, a local television anchorwoman, who described the chapel as decorated with white flowers, pictures, as well as Maurice's beloved paintball jacket.
"It was emotional, there was humour. This was about a man who really celebrated life, so this was a celebration of his life.
"One person said we pass through this life and this is one person who really got it right. It was just people expressing their love and really speaking about how he was so in touch with the common man . . . and how despite his fame and all his celebrity how close the family is, what a loving family this is.
"They're such special people, they've been part of Miami Beach for so long."
One of those "common men" referred to in the speeches was Luis G, 43, a recovered alcoholic who attended yesterday's service to say goodbye to a man he credited with helping his own battle against alcoholism. Luis said he met Maurice, also a former alcoholic, at a local sobriety support centre, the Little River Club.
"He was really involved in helping people change their lives, helping people better their lives and enhancing people's lives. He was like an angel here on Earth," said Luis, who now works as a substance abuse counsellor. "It hurts me so much to see him pass."
After yesterday's service, Maurice Gibb was cremated at Fort Lauderdale, near Miami. A public ceremony is planned for London. Details are yet to be announced.
|"Manx flag for Maurice Gibb" (www.manxradio.com)|
|A remarkable series of events has secured a Manx flag to
drape the coffin of Maurice Gibb at his funeral in Miami on Wednesday.
The Bee Gees did have a flag in their Miami studio but it was a little worse for wear, and they wanted a new one in time for the funeral.
But the problem was time and flight connections, and with just 36 hours to go, it was looking impossible.
The Bee Gees personal manager telephoned Bernie Quayle's wife at 11 o'clock last night with an urgent request for a Manx flag.
The message was passed to Bernie, who was broadcasting a special tribute programme to Maurice at the time, and he made an appeal over the air for anyone in Florida that may have a Manx flag.
Alan Cotterill of DMS in Douglas, called in with the number of his cousin Tony Brown, in Florida, saying Tony had a brand new flag.
Former Manx resident Tony was able to arrange for a courier to deliver the flag, and was very moved when the Gibb family offered to replace the flag so that they could retain his following the funeral.
|"Paintball friends talk about Maurice Gibb" (Daily Telegraph - Jan 18 2003)|
|MUSIC was his life but the growing sport of paintball had
become Maurice Gibb's consuming passion.
By the time of his death last weekend, the sport was an obsession for the 53-year-old Bee Gee who owned a paintball store, ran his own team and had become well-known on the international tournament circuit.
Gibb's love of the sport a sophisticated game of combat simulation using guns loaded with paint was even reflected in his funeral this week, where his team jacket hung on the walls of the Riverside Funeral Chapel during the service.
Members of his Royal Rat Rangers team were among the mourners, as well as many others linked to the sport.
"Paintball was 24/7 for him all we'd talk about was paintball," Gibb's friend Frederic Renucci told The Daily Telegraph yesterday.
"It was a different world for him. People treated him like one of the guys and he loved it," said Mr Renucci, who runs Gibb's store, Commander Mo's Paintball Shop, in North Miami.
Gibb opened the store last year as paintball became a priority in his life. He played every Sunday at a field in Miami, sometimes fitting games in during the week, and took the Royal Rat Rangers to tournaments as far afield as the UK and Las Vegas.
And it was not just about sport it was the social outlet that it offered. Mr Renucci said he remembered Gibb saying that the camaraderie he enjoyed on a paintball trip to Las Vegas was one of the happiest times of his life.
While his family did not play paintball, they often accompanied Gibb to tournaments and have already pledged to keep Commander Mo's open.
The name of Gibb's team, the Royal Rat Rangers, symbolised two aspects of his life in which he took great pride.
"Royal" was a reference to the Commander of the British Empire bestowed upon all three Bee Gees by the Queen for their services to music.
The "rat" relates to a Miami sobriety support centre, the Little River Club, where those who won their battles against alcoholism are known as Little River Rats.