Maurice Gibb

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Isle of Man



Words by: Theodora Sutcliffe

One-third of disco icons the Bee Gees, Maurice Gibb died on 12 January 2003. We pay tribute to this much-missed brother Gibb.

So who was Maurice Gibb?
Bright, articulate and talented, Maurice was one of the three brothers who comprised the Bee Gees - you know! Stayin' Alive - and twin to Robin Gibb. Manx-born, his role in one of the most successful pop groups of all time won him the CBE: Frank Sinatra, Janis Joplin and Otis Redding covered the songs he worked on.

A dedicated paintballer, Gibb owned a paintball store and was, at the time of his death, endeavouring to take the "sport" into the mainstream.

Where did he drink?
Gibb was a regular on the 1960s and 1970s celebrity circuit, at spots like the Playboy Club and Tramp, from which he used to drive home after drinking with Prince Charles.

What did he drink?
John Lennon introduced Gibb to his tipple of choice when he was 17: a Scotch and Coke, the Beatles' favourite drink. Maurice later recalled: "If he had given me cyanide, I would have drunk the cyanide."

Brandy was another favourite during the later stages of alcoholism, and his habit of consuming a bottle of Scotch by mid-afternoon helped destroy his first marriage.

Any famous drinking buddies?
Gibb lived next door to Ringo Starr in Esher and drank regularly with him and the other Beatles as a youngster. He partied with Michael Caine, Rod Stewart and David Bowie, was married to Lulu for four years and had a fling with Barbara Windsor.

How did drink change his life?
By age 25 Gibb was drinking every day, being sick every morning, hiding bottles around the house, and treating anxiety with alcohol.

Drink destroyed Gibb's first marriage, and tormented him throughout his life. He dried out once, then relapsed when his youngest brother, who struggled with coke and alcohol addiction, died aged only 30.

After an episode where he threatened his wife and children with one of his collection of guns in an incoherent, drunken rage, Gibb became a strict teetotaller, attending AA meetings twice a day to keep him on the wagon - later he took his daughter to her first AA meeting.

Any drinking stories?
During live shows, Gibb was sometimes so drunk that he couldn't see, and had to literally feel his way along the wall to the stage: when he fell over, his brothers would cover him with a blanket and carry on.

He once bought a Bentley, a Rolls and an Aston Martin in the space of four days - probably one reason why, despite selling more than 200 million records, he left only just over a million pounds in his will.

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