[From the archives – July 1997] Barry’s X-files

From “Barry’s X-Files”

“From flying saucers to ghosts and health crises, Barry Gibb’s life reads like a soap opera”(From U.K. magazine “Take A Break” – July 24, 1997 issue)

You’d like to study UFOs. Why?

I was driving when I looked out the window and hovering above one of the buildings was a silver saucer-shaped object.  It looked very pretty because it was reflecting the red of the setting sun.  It was floating in the air from side to side, like a falling leaf.  But at the same time it appeared to be a very solid object, under intelligent control.  Then, in an instant, it went away.

Haven’t you been ill recently?

I have a mystery illness.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to find myself paralyzed from head to foot.  It feels like my body is turning to stone.

What do the doctors say?

As I get older, this is getting worse and it isn’t even something I can explain to a doctor.  I try to describe it and they do all the tests they’re supposed to do, but they still end up scratching their heads.  One doctor told me that it might have been caused by an exotic mosquito bite dating back to my childhood in Australia.

Didn’t you suffer a cardiac arrest?

During surgery my blood pressure started to go up and later I had pains in my chest.  I went to see a heart doctor who did the usual tests.  He told me there was an abnormality.  So that led to further tests.

It just drove me crazy that I had something wrong with me and I didn’t know what it was.  So I went through all the tests and once again came to a dead end.


Do you fear death?

No, I never have done.  I’ve always thought that I would never be an old person, that I wouldn’t live a long life.  I’m quite comfortable with that.  Of course, I’m not comfortable with the idea of leaving behind everybody I care about.  But I’m far more curious about where I might be going than I am about dying.

How did you feel when your brother Andy died in 1988?

I was sad I couldn’t do more for Andy.  But I believe some things are meant to happen and if somebody’s life is supposed to stop at a certain point, then that’s the way it is.  I felt the same when my father passed away.
I know that truck may come round the corner for me any day too.  Every day could be my last, so I try hard to make every day special.


Is it true that you believe in ghosts and the afterlife?

Yes.  Both my wife Linda and my mother have seen Andy’s ghost.  They both saw him at the same time – in different parts of the world.  It was just a few weeks after he’d died.  He appeared in front of Linda, unshaven, and kissed her on the cheek.  He woke her up!  The very next day my mother phoned from Nevada and told me exactly the same story.

Have you ever seen a ghost?

I believe I saw a ghost when I was 11.  I was walking down a road in West Didsbury, near Manchester, and a little girl came out of a gate in front of me, about 100 yards away.  She was wearing a long white dress.  Across the road was a very high wall.  I’ve never forgotten it.

Does anything scare you?

One of my greatest fears is people spotting me.  I dread hearing people whisper: “It’s not him,” “It is!”, “No, it’s not.”  It makes me feel so self-conscious.
I think insecurity must be a Gibb family trait.  My brother Andy was extremely insecure.  He didn’t believe in himself at all.

Would you consider yourself a spiritual person?

I do pray.  I’ve been in and out of churches all my life.  When my daughter Alexandra was born prematurely and we weren’t sure whether she was going to make it, I hung a little crucifix on the rear-view mirror of my car.  For six months I lived and breathed that child.  I thought of little else.  And miraculously, Alexandra survived.


(Chris Hutchins)

This interview is now about 20 years old.  There is something really sad about the thought that Barry Gibb the superstar who went through so much in his life was afraid of being spotted in public.

I wonder what made Barry think that the girl in white dress was a ghost.  Did she disappear, or was there something uncanny about the whole situation?  But the image of a white-clad little girl coming out of a gate on a walled road is definitely haunting (pun not intended) – something you might see in the works by Belgian Symbolism artists.

And again the key word here is the feeling of insecurity or inferiority.  As stated before, that must be the flip side of being so talented.  With regard to death, Barry spoke of his fear of dying in a more recent interview.  That is only natural.  He has now survived all his younger brothers.  Long live Barry Gibb.

{Bee Gees Days}

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