This song came to me ‘just in time’. I have recently stopped listening to music when I go for walks out here at the lake. I want to turn off the noise of life sometimes. This track kinda caught my ears after some time away from listening to music so much and it was like BAM! It was like taking a trip to another world and it was smooth and full. Say what you will about BABS, her classic renditions of theatre and cabaret standards are one of a kind. Put your earphones on and put the volume way up.
I remember meeting my friend CHARLOTTE ROSS like it was yesterday; although in actuality it was in grade four at the age of 9. For many of us – these early childhood friendships either wither and fade, or they can sustain a lifetime; Charlotte is one of those rare friends whom time and distance won’t ever change. I pent last night with Char, along with DOUG & ANN. ANN is actually Charlotte’s mom, so in many ways I grew up with Ann as a second mom. I have countless stories; wouldn’t know where to begin in terms of sharing them.
I admire for her strength of character, and her passion for life. She was in a lot of ways my sister, my protecter growing up. She has lived in Australia for over 10 years and I remain connected to her.
Thank you for Charlotte in my life. Flin Flon has no shortage of blessings and experiences; that I was able to be here for this particular trip of hers means a lot (I’m not always able to be in Flin Flon during her trips home to Canada). We have been afforded more time together on this trip than we have in a while.
Below are a few photos I took of her, and additional pics from old vintage CiRCUS & CREEM magazines that Doug pulled out of his personal vaults. To top it all off, Doug, Ann & I pulled out the instruments for the first time in their new digs (they no longer live in the little log cabin, and have instead traded it for what will be their retirement home) , breaking their new home’s musical cherry so to speak (here I go again with the sexual metaphors!). It was great to share in music for Charlotte; next weekend we’ll do it all over again when we gather for another sleepover party which will possibly include the other two easy pieces (Chad & Derek) for a musical extravaganza!
I didn’t grow up with the music of ANDY GiBB, although I certainly remember him on Tv or in magazines. In my teens (late 80′s early 90′s) I discovered ANDY along with a lot of other music of that era but for me the thing that was more fascinating about him than anything was his early passing at age 30. Even just in drifting upon this ONJ duet I found myself a bit more curious about him than in my teens, and then after reading the wikki version of his bio I found him a sad sorta story. Breaks my heart actually. I read that although he had his own career going for him, apart from his older, mega star BEE GEES brothers, he became very depressed over time, and addicted to drugs. Coccaine I believe. But to be clear he did not die of a drug overdose, in fact he had cleaned up. It was the remaining depression that caused him severe social anxiety and an eventual natural death do to the wear and tear of drugs on his body. This is a piece of what I read on wikki-pedia:
“Broadway producer Zev Bufman who financed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat said this of Gibb, “When Andy was at the theater, he was a joy. But he wasn’t there enough”, adding that of the five people to play Joseph up to that point, Gibb was the best actor. He also said after Gibb’s death, “We’d lose him over long weekends. He’d come back on Tuesday, and he’d look beat. He was like a little puppy – so ashamed when he did something wrong. He was all heart, but he didn’t have enough muscle to carry through.” An unnamed co-star in Dreamcoat was quoted as saying, “I hear he spent most of his time in his hotel room in front of the TV. I guess he was frightened and insecure. That’s what happens when you’re the baby brother of the Bee Gees.” Commenting after Gibb’s death, Solid Gold producer Brad Lachman stated, “…[Andy] was a very charming, vulnerable and charismatic performer. He clearly meant well. He wasn’t being difficult. He was going through [drug] problems he couldn’t deal with. He wanted everyone to love him. He had so much going for him, and he just couldn’t believe it.”
This the kind of story that strikes me – but then on the other hand, its the kind of story that only makes the LOOKING BACK on these old artifacts you find on youtube much more intriguing and telling. Beautiful. This particular duet with ONJ (a fellow English-born-Aussie-raised-American superstar) was filmed 1981 when he would pass away in 1988. In todays over saturated world of music and pop culture, somethings bittersweet for me to see this story, that moment between the two of them has a newfound impression. Compared to today’s plethora of over inflated egos/personas this gets me a little nostalgic, and why not? Need I even say it – ONJ was a C.L.A.S.S. act women. That was love happening between them. How often do you see that in music today?
There’s also something in that description of him, the way they refer to him in the above comments as “all heart, but he didn’t have enough muscle to carry through” - that’s a frightful possibility to face within yourself; reminding somehow of the universality of his pain. I mean, isn’t that something we all grapple with somewhere deep down inside – the question of AM I STRONG ENOUGH TO MAKE IT??? Watching the footage of them, not only is it rather pretty, I think what effects me is that in his eyes and with his particular gift in that moment I see just that – shades of myself and many other people I know. His life does remain meaningful today. Very relevant. So I guess in the end, it makes you appreciate life somehow, regardless. Enjoy the ANDY GiBB experience.
_________________________________________________________________________________________ Back in the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s, I poured over Rolling Stone Magazine. Didn't a lot of…