No, you see - if Barry Alan Crompton Gibb is 60 that means I'm not 17 anymore. It means that August 4, 1979 has come and gone, and it means that Maurice isn't hiding out in my hotel room to escape the scolding he's going to get from his older brother for, well, for being too cute for words I guess. Damn - Barry turned 60 didn't he? I knew it the moment I heard that Sir Elton John had actually turned 60 this week. I just couldn't, and really wouldn't admit it to myself. I also don't like to admit that Jeanie and I have seen Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in the theatre over 50 times, not to mention the overtly insane amount of times we've watched it at home - Yes, I bought the DVD. I only watch it when I watch Cucumber Castle, more or less a Double Feature, so it's not like I'm obsessed - OK.....I am, sue me....Maurice, he's just well, Maurice!
Do you blame me? Robin, you understand darling, don't you? Thank you.
When I was 17 (sounds like the beginnings of a Beatles song now) I worked as an errand girl for Concerts West, a most influential, lucrative position for such a sneak like me. I have to admit, through my job ties and my own extreme carelessness and bravdo I went to over 300 concerts in just under 4 years and NO, I never paid for one. I saw Journey 11 times, Kansas 7 or 8, Loverboy, Brian Adams, Jackson Browne, The Commadores, Styx, REO, and yes - I will now admit it - Tom Jones. (But I saw Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, and Billy Joel too!) I can go on - I can name names, I can even produce pictures but most of them make me laugh because of my hair, my clothes, and the way I tried to apply makeup in the 80's. HOWEVER - (Oh, I forgot Van Halen...must have been a Freudian slip; sorry Alex) no concert, and I mean NO CONCERT, was as fun, as exciting, as full of evil plotting and twisted lying and con-work as that beautiful August evening of the 4th, in 1979 - The Bee Gee's Spirits Having Flown tour. My heart still patters when I think about it. Giggles - knowing the truth.
At 17 I must have been in love. I must have been giddy, I must have been fearless - whatever it was I was JUDE and I wasn't about to let security or management get in my way of meeting and getting to know the one man I had been secretly gushing over for years when I read about him books, magazines, saw him on television, watched him in interviews - YES, I'm talking about the most gorgeous of all men ever - NO, NO, NO, not BARRY Gibb, MAURICE Gibb! Maurice Ernest Gibb - Robin's twin! The quiet one, the one in the middle, whatever, Maurice - Maurice - Maurice! I can honestly say this: If it hadn't been for all the women in the freaking world trying to get their hands on Barry, it would have been so much easier to get to Maurice. No one was trying to attack him! Just me.
Jeanie and I were smarter than most you understand. We had money (jobs), we had access (management), we had really hot bodies in 1979, and wore bikinis around the hotel because we could, and we were guests to boot! What we didn't have was permission to be on the 10th floor of the Sheraton because it was taken, sold out, reserved, and otherwise off limits to anyone not with the band - and by with the band, I mean actually WITH the band - Jeanie and I were not WITH the band. I worked for the concert promoters, not the same thing - but hey, it was better than standing out in the streets with cameras and hoping to GLIMPSE Barry and his brothers as they were escorted through the street to the hall which was across the street. The really interesting fact about the Oklahoma City Sheraton - Myriad Convention Center connection is that there is a real connection - a tunnel system that connects the two venues. I was able to conceive the idea of taking the band through the tunnel to the stage without being seen - how this came about is another story, but maybe someday when I know you better I'll explain why my father left me down in the tunnels of Downtown OKC while he worked the graveyard shift. I was RAISED underground - literally...well from 4-midnight 2 or 3 nights a week.
Jeanie and I, Jeanie and I, Jeanie and I....wow, after 30 years of Saturday Night Fever being the Best Selling Soundtrack, I am still saying "Jeanie and I", but we're still 17...damnit! Jeanie and I found Maurice alright - after the concert and it didn't take much coaxing whatsoever to convince him that he was on the 10th floor when he was actually on the 9th. It took even less coaxing to get him to stay with us for hours that night and even if we only talked and drank Dr. Pepper, the memories of the beginning of our multi-year friendship with Maurice was born....Jeanie and I will celebrate 30 years together this August 21...30 YEARS of scheming, pretending, dreaming, shopping, fighting, lying, eating out, and NOT exchanging shoes because she has smaller feet. We've seen the inside, the outside, the side-side, and the upside of just about every concert hall in the state of Oklahoma as well as surrounding states. I drug that woman/girl every-damn-where and made her smile and act like we were mature and worldly - OMG, to think that I'm not 17 anymore just kills me; but at least after all this time I can say that I have laughed so very much, loved so very hard, lived so openly and honestly, and I have shared my life with a woman that I will always love and cherish - to my Bestest Best Friend - thanks! (Oh, and I'm so so so so so sorry that Barry refused to come down to retrieve Maurice in person. I know you wanted to touch his butt! I got mine! Smiles!!)
Maurice better rest up - Heaven can't be too far away for us all. I'm not about to let him go again!