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My memories of Robin Gibb

Robin Gibb.
Robin Gibb. GEERT VANDEN WIJNGAERT

I CAN remember meeting Robin Gibb for the first time back in early 1963.

He was 13 and I was 11.

The Bee Gees had just arrived in Sydney having moved from Redcliffe on Brisbane's Bayside.

Me and my mate Ricky Walton had just added a third and fourth storey to our cubby house in Lakemba, in Sydney's inner south-west.

Robin, accompanied by his twin, Maurice, came over to inquire why we were perched atop this rickety structure.

We were upsetting their backyard rehearsals by laughing and talking, he said.

We said it was none of his business and in any case our cubby was on private property.

The fact that it enabled us to peer over a six-foot paling fence and into their Colin Street backyard was just "too bad".

With his prominent front teeth firmly jutting out at us, Robin said if we didn't stop "looking" at them over the fence their dad would come over and sort us out.

Their dad was Hugh Gibb.

We didn't know it at the time, but he was the "old guy" wearing the funny hat and playing the drums.

"Old?" He probably wasn't even 40 at the time.

He never came.

Back in those days Lakemba was an unspectacular, solid working-class suburb that was part of the feeder area to the mighty Canterbury Bankstown Rugby league team.

These days it's home to Sydney's biggest and most influential Muslim mosque.

A block of eight flats now stands where the Gibb family's rental property was.

Despite us two cheeky kids laughing at their performances from the precarious heights of our cubby house "penthouse", the Bee Gees were soon signed to record contracts.

The Gibb family didn't stay long in Lakemba - probably six months - before moving to the beachside suburb of Maroubra.

The loss of Robin Gibb this week, at age 62, makes it the third brother of the Gibb clan and the second of the Bee Gees to have died, leaving only family elder statesman, Barry, and a sister Lesley Gibb.

Solo artist Andy Gibb died aged 30 in 1988 and Bee Gee Maurice in 2003 aged 53. Their mum, Barbara, 91, also survives.

Scott Nicol is a subeditor with the APN Group based on the Sunshine Coast.

Topics:  bee gees, music, robin gibb


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