The first time I "officially" met Maurice
story and photos copyright by Dennis Bryon
The first time I "officially" met Maurice Gibb was at my audition to play drums with the Bee Gees late in the winter of 1973.
I was in-between bands and doing really well working as an independent tour manager; so well, that I was able to buy a brand new Mercedes truck (a status symbol in the music industry at that time).
It was in this van that Alan Kendall took me over to Barry's house just outside London.
Fast forward to the audition: we were in the kitchen at Barry and Linda's house, cutting up and laughing at the world.
George and May (Linda's mum and dad) were keeping the tea flowing and biscuits a-coming while at the same time loving on everybody.
Barry, Linda, Robin, Alan, Tom Kennedy and myself had tears rolling down our faces as we reminisced about my last band, Amen Corner.
We were one of the biggest bands in Europe in the late 60's with many hit records.
We were rivals with the Bee Gees and even knocked them from their number one spot in the Melody Maker Top 40 chart.
They went from number one to number two as we went from number three to number one. (Robin never forgave me for that one).
Both bands knew each other from the pop TV shows we did together, but it was always Maurice who would come over to my group to bust us.
"You know what...you guys really suck...you can't play and your songs are lousy...I don't know why you're even here".
Then he'd flash that "Mo" smile, wink, shake everybody's hand and wish us well. "Good luck guys, have a great show, you deserve it".
Maurice Gibb and Dennis Bryon
Suddenly from Barry's kitchen I heard this low growling rumble.
It was Maurice arriving in his new Aston Martin sports car. When the rumbling stopped the kitchen fell silent.
A moment later, the kitchen door burst open and Maurice made his entrance.
"Is that our Merc out there...did we have a hit record or something? Nobody told me... I thought we were broke." "No, that's Dennis's Mercedes" somebody said.
"The new guy huh...holy sh*t, can we afford him?"
Everybody laughed as Maurice stared me down. "I know you", Maurice said as he pointed his finger and moved in. I smiled and stuck out my hand for a shake.
He knocked my hand aside and gave me the biggest bear hug ever.
"Now I remember you", he said as he stared me in the eye and stood back. "Amen Corner, now I remember...Welcome to the family, mate!"
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(Dennis Bryon, drummer of the Bee Gees Band