Spencer Gibb on “Run To Me” (2007 interview)

Spencer Gibb, age 1, with his parents (1973)

            Gibb, age 1, with his parents (1973)

Robin Gibb’s eldest son Spencer from his first marriage (1968-1980) turned 40 on September 21. Along with Stephen, eldest son of Barry, and Samantha, daughter of Maurice, he is one of the Next Generation of Gibbs who have been carrying on with the "family business."

In 2007, Spencer spoke to Thomas Conner from Chicago Sun Times about his own version of the Bee Gees’ 1972 smash hit, "Run To Me," (included in the album A Song For My Father) and the difficulties arising from being the son of a pop icon ("The kids are all right, " June Chicago Sun Times, June 17, 2007).

The photo on the right shows Spencer with his parents long before he became a musician.

 "People think it must have been a breeze being me."
"People know your heritage, so you never get to be you.

"They walk into the club where you’re playing, and they say, well, ‘You better be f—in’ good.’ I mean, facing that kind of thing certainly forced me to learn my instrument and be good. Because if you can just get people over that hump and get them to listen to what you’re doing, then it is actually worth doing."

 "I’ve been pitched a lot of this kind of thing over the years.  I always turn them down because myself and my band [54 Seconds] weren’t really into exploiting the name. And most projects seem kind of cheesy, but this one didn’t. We had creative control, and it seemed like it was being done for all the right reasons. It wasn’t just someone coming to me and saying, ‘Hey, will you do "Staying Alive"?’ Or asking some son of a Beach Boy to sing ‘Good Vibrations.’ "

"Initially, we thought ‘Run to Me’ was too obvious for the band," he says. "We have that ’60s melancholy thing going already, so we wanted to do a more well-known song and turn it upside down. We battled and battled, and we worked through some others in the studio, but it felt we were trying too hard. We kept coming back to ‘Run to Me.’ "

Asked what his father Robin’s reaction was like, Spencer replies:

"He surprised me: He really loved it," Gibb says. "He’s very critical of cover versions, but then he surprised me with something else. He told me ‘Run to Me’ was a hit single the week I was born. I never knew that. My only connection to it was that it was one of my favorite songs of theirs. And Dad wasn’t present for my birth — because he was promoting ‘Run to Me’ in the U.S.!"

Jim Brandmeier, who was behind this compilation, wanted the offspings of the boomer-era stars "to honor their dads but express themselves in the process, too."  And it seems that’s what happened with Spencer Gibb and his "Run To Me."

While being one of the Bee Gees’ classic love songs, "Run To Me" with its reference to needing "someone older to run to" in life is also a song from a father to a child in the tradition of Bob Dylan’s "Forever Young."  Robin Gibb valued this song because of its personal connection to the moment of being father for the first time in life, and he chose "Run To Me" for his "Mythology" disc. 

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