Japanese Bee Gees Fan Meeting 2011
In October 2011, the Annual Meeting of BGML (Bee Gees Mailing List Japan) was held in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture. Here is a report from the organizers.
The 2001 Annual Meeting of Bee Gees Mailing List Japan took place in Utsunomiya on Saturday, October 1, 2011. It was the first big meeting held outside of major cities like Tokyo or Osaka. Only several months after the Great East Japan Earthquake, we did have doubts as to whether we should be meeting at all, but we finally decided that we should and needed to meet at this time to celebrate friendship, music, love, and life in the face of all the hardships.
Dozens of fans gathered from all corners of Japan including some who came all the way from the worst-hit areas.
We met in Utsunomiya at 12:30 p.m., and stuffed ourselves with the renowned Utsunomiya meat dumplings. At 14:00 p.m. a big karaoke session, "We need to sing Bee Gees songs NOW," was held at the live house Obligado, where everyone had a great time singing their favorite songs ranging from such hidden gems like "Face To Face," "Love Me," "If Only I Had My Mind On Something Else," "Rest Your Love On Me," "Lay It On Me," and "Still Waters," to the mega hits. The karaoke meet was concluded with "Too Much Heaven," sung in unison by everyone present, to send our love to the many Japanese children who lost their parents by the earthquake and tsunami. The dinner at the spa Nandaimon included special menus that used food from the northeatern Japan.
Then followed speeches and self-introductions, where fans from the northeastern Japan talked of the harsh realities they were (and are) faced with. One fun topic was that a question about the Bee Gees was included in a prep test in English for children preparing for high school examination in Nagagsaki, Kyushu.
The highlight of the evening was the screening of…surprise, surprise!…the video messages by Barry and Robin sent especially to Japan! Barry and Robin again touched our hearts the way nobody else could. With those messages, they inspired us to no end in our efforts to rebuild the northeastern Japan.
Then the charity auction took place. Valuable Bee Gees memorabilias donated by fans were auctioned for children in the afflicted area. Rare CDs, vinyl records, T-shirts, posters, and clippings, etc. of the Bee Gees went to their new homes and money raised was donated to special scholarship programs for the earthquake and tsunami victims.
To conclude our report, our big thank you goes to Barry and Robin who have made it all possible!
Happy 2012 to everyone!
To quote from Barry, "The sun will rise again!"
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