Barbara Gibb, the Mother of the Brothers Gibb, Dies at 95

by VVN Music

Barbara Gibb, the matriarch of the Gibb family and mother of Barry, Maurice, Robin and Andy Gibb, died on Friday night in Miami at the age of 95.

Born Barbara Pass, she married drummer Hugh Gibb and began their family with a daughter, Lesley. Barry was next, born in 1946 while his twin brothers, Maurice and Robin, were born three years later.

One day in the mid-50's, Barbara's father was visiting the family and she asked if he would like her to turn down the radio so he could better watch the cricket match. He told her it wasn't the radio, but her three sons singing in the bedroom. Gibb spoke with Australia's Women's Weekly in 2004, telling them "I couldn't believe it, so I went into their room, and there they were, three little kids on the bed singing Lollipop Lollipop in perfect harmony!"

In 1958, the last of Barbara and Hugh's children, Andy (pictured with his mother, above right), was born and, six months later, the family moved from England to Australia. It was there that Barry, Maurice and Robin began developing a career, singing on Brisbane TV shows and clubs.

The Bee Gees, as they were now called, had their first hit in Australia in 1966 with Spicks and Specks and, as much as their parents were proud, there were still worries. Maurice had developed a drinking problem, one that would plague him for much of his life, and his mother would be there when he decided to become sober, going to the AA meetings with him.

As the three older brothers became world famous and went out on their own, younger brother Andy started drifting towards a musical career. In early 1976, Robert Stigwood, who was guiding the career of the Bee Gees, signed Andy to a contract and with his first single, I Just Want to Be Your Everything, his career went into the stratosphere. Only in his late teens, Barbara dedicated her life to touring the world with her youngest son, one that she admitted was a bit of a troublemaker as a youth.

Still, her influence during the earliest days in the spotlight didn't stop him from falling into a cocaine habit. Barbara said "Andy had an inferiority complex. He didn't think he was as good as his brothers. He felt that he couldn't measure up and I think drugs filled that ache."

Barbara worked with Andy through two stints in rehab and said he had been clean for a year when he died in 1988. The doctors told her the drugs had damaged his heart badly. Three years later, Hugh Gibb died, some attributing his death to the stress after Andy's passing.

In 2003, tragedy once again struck when her son Maurice was admitted to a Miami hospital for stomach pains. He died from a heart attack after surgery for a blocked intestine.

Then, in 2012, Maruice's twin brother, Robin, died from colorectal cancer.

Barbara had lived in Miami for the last twenty years before her death. She is survived by her children Barry and Lesley and eighteen grandchildren.

1 comment

Phyllis Hall said...

Oh no. Anyone who loves the Bee Gees, loved their mum as well....she was mum to us, too. My heart, prayers and thoughts to Barry during this devastating time. I will always remember her talking of having a pie in her purse when she would be in the audience to watch her boys sing, just in case she got hungry. Wonderful sense of humor that she passed on to her children. You will be missed by so many. Barry, please be strong. Although you feel alone right now, you aren't. We, your fans, can't all be with you in body, but ALL of us are with you in mind, heart and soul to help support you through this. Rest well, Mum. Hug and kiss your sons for us. We love you all.

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