The Bee Gees & Andy Gibb
The Bee Gees:​​

The Bee Gees had just released their record Jive Talkin and the BBC wanted to film them for Top of The Pops. Barry Gibb popped into our music shop in Douglas and asked could he borrow an acoustic guitar for the recording.

Barry also had the problem that they didn't have anywhere for the BBC to film them, I suggested that we could possibly use the Palace Lido where I was sound engineer but I would have to check with the manager Derek Norris, Derek agreed to rent us the place for the afternoon for £25.00, Barry agreed to this so the recording was on.

The BBC arrived at the Lido and all they kept asking me was for ''more light, more light'' the lighting at the Lido was not great but they cracked on with it anyway, it took less than an hour, the Bee Gees stood on the Palace Lido stage and mimed to their record of Jive Talkin which was playing on a portable cassette player out of site on the stage. I had lent Barry my Hofner Jumbo to use for the video as he had requested, but this was only used for the first take, it was changed to an electric guitar for the main take as visually it looked better than the acoustic for this song.

This BBC video was shown on that weeks T.O.T.P. however, the quality was not good and the following week with Jive Talkin moving up the charts the Bee Gees were invited to the BBC Top of The Pops studios to do the job properly. The original video recorded at the Lido can be viewed on YouTube by clicking on the Bee Gees photo below.

The Bee Gees Rehearsing:

The Gibbs as far as I could see were a very hard working family, led by their mum Barbara. I only met Barbara once when buying a few items from the Post Office shop she ran in Union Mills, near Douglas. I know the Bee Gees had success in the 1960's with some top ten hits, but the family never gave the impression they were well off, however, that was to change very quickly after Jive Talkin hit the charts.

Prior to this the band had been living at home on the Island writing songs and putting weeks in rehearsing, and not always in glamorous surroundings. One day I went to deliver some equipment to them at the Castlemona Hotel on Douglas Promenade. They were rehearsing on the stage in a very little used and run down function room at the back of the Hotel, I was only there for a few minutes but I remember the lads were playing away in the company of one Kosangas {Butane} gas heater, and the room was damp and freezing cold.

Andy Gibb:

Around this time {1974} Andy Gibb was also working on the island with his local band Melody Fayre, in the band were John Stringer – Drums, and John Alderson-Guitar, and Andy of course who really was a fabulous vocalist, like his brothers he was very talented, we had several demo-recording sessions in our studio in Victoria Street. When not recording from time to time Andy would ‘’baby sit’’ ‘’look after’’ my eldest daughter in our music shop in Douglas while my wife nipped out to do the shopping, he used to play his guitar and sing to my daughter, so at around 3 years old she was possibly his youngest fan.

The Bee Gees parents lived in Alexander Drive, Douglas, and their father, Hugh was also a musician, he loved to play the electronic organ. One day when we were delivering a new organ to the house we asked about a brand new little red sports car in the drive that had a big red ribbon wrapped around it, we were told it was Andy's 16th birthday and the car was his present, he was really chuffed with it and could often be seen driving along the prom posing...

Melody Fayre {These Notes are from Andy's drummer - John Stringer's Diary}

I've always remembered Terry as being responsible for me getting together with Andy. I'd ordered a set of Paiste hi-hats from him in the Music Centre, and as my mum was in Douglas she picked them up for me. Terry told her that a guy called Andy was looking for a drummer and gave her the phone number, which was Barbara Gibb in Alexander Drive.

That was Wednesday 13 February 1974. My mum rang Barbara up and arrangements were made for me to go to Andy that night. I was quite reluctant to go when my mum told me as there was something I wanted to watch on TV, but I did go and jammed with him in the music room on his dad's drum kit. He told me there and then that I would be his drummer!

My diary says that on Sunday 24 Feb, 'me and Andy went to Terry's studio in Duke Street'. On Monday the 25th we went back to Terry's studio and were joined by Stan and John from the Ray Norman Combo. Back again on the 26th. just jamming and trying songs out.

On Monday 4th March went to Andy's at 5pm and then to Island Music Centre, packed our gear in Terry's Music Centre van and onto the Palace Lido, and set up on stage to practise. We practised a lot in the Lido according to my book and tried out different guitarists etc.

On Sun evening the 5th May we spent 4 hours at Terry's Island Music Centre studios recording some demos, 'Wouldn't I be someone' and Mon 6th 3 hours doing 'Whisky' and 'Most Beautiful Girl'. I remember Manx Radio playing them on a program about Andy around that time. Terry gave the original demo to Andy to take home to his mother.

Manx papers did articles and photos of us all. We started at the Peveril Hotel on the 25th June 1974, but it seems we did a few nights there and were also booked at the Grand Island Hotel in Ramsey, doing Barbecue nights as it was billed in the newspapers. I know the Grand Island sacked us because of noise complaints as we played outside on the terracing, and all the neighbours said it was too loud! So that's how we ended up doing the full 11 week season at the Peveril in Douglas. That was 2nd July onwards to 9th Sept.

Andy Gibb - Afterthoughts

It was very sad the way that Andy was purported to have died, I have never been convinced that drugs were involved, that was not the Andy I knew. He was 100% committed and focused on his music and his family, I personally feel that there was no way he would have done anything intentionally to upset his mother or brothers.

I know Andy was reported to be dating Victoria Principal of Dallas fame, lucky sod, I thought she was great, and one of the reasons I was glued to Dallas every week. However, there was an age difference and possibly Andy was out of his depth, it was obvious that Andy had fallen in love with Victoria and this is no more apparent than in this video showing Victoria and Andy singing ''All I Have to Do is Dream'' click on the YouTube link to view.

Bee Gees - Jive Talkin - Palace Lido - I.O.M - 1975
Click on Photo for YouTube

Melody Fayre 
with Andy Gibb
1974 Promo photo

John Alderson, Jerry Callaghan, John Stringer.
Robin Gibb & The King Williams College Choir
Singing the Isle of Man song - Ellan Vannin
Click on Photo to Access YouTube