TOURING AMERICA FOR SIX WEEKS DURING A BEE GEES TOUR:what more do you want being a Bee Gees fan!!!


he first concert we'd planned to see was the performance in Kansas City but ...
Unfortunately this show was cancelled. (we were told by the Gibb family about this canceling by letter as we found out later, but like this happens more often: the letter never arrived at my place)
Not a very good start of our Bee Gees Spirits Tour Holidays any way lots of other nice days would follow!!

he first concert of the tour we saw in Tulsa.
We couldn't believe it was going to happen after we'd picked up our cards in the afternoon.
News papers were full with articles about the group and the upcoming concert.
Thanks to the Gibb family all our tickets were waiting for us at the venues and so today before the first concert we went to the boys' dad to have a chat and thank him for everything the family had been doing so far to make it possible for us to attend these shows in America.
Hugh and some other people did take care of the lighting for the shows during this tour and always he was sitting somewhere in the middle of the hall behind a huge switchboard.
It was great to see him again and he was glad we could have made it.
He gave us the name and address of their hotel and asked to call Dick a.s.a.p. to make further arrangements to meet the boys during the tour etc.
Before the tour and our holidays had started the family had agreed that it was okay for us to meet them in the cities they would perform and attend their sound checks etc.
Of course we also asked if George (George Gray) would be around somewhere and Hugh assured us we'd meet him in New York for sure.
George was the person of the Gibb family who in that period helped me and assisted me a lot with all the fan club work for the boys and he and Dick helped us arrange to visit all these shows.
He'd already been of such a great help that I was very much looking forward to see him during this holiday.
Finally I was seeing a Bee Gees concert again. I enjoyed every minute of it and forgot the whole world around me.
At the end the public went crazy and everyone including we rushed to the stage to dance, to clap, to enjoy the boys close by.
The Sweet Inspiration being the opening act were backing voaclas during the Bee Gees performance and they were doing really great.
Stevie was busy on his own bringing his dad a cup of tea and a towel just before Barry would start to sing Words.

o next day when we'd arrived in Oklahoma City we immediately called Dick at their hotel and planned to visit the boys that afternoon before the show, to visit the sound check etc. etc.
We talked a bit about our holiday plans and of course about yesterday's show.
He sounded very enthusiastic and it seemed to go all according to plan for the boys.

Dick would arrange for us to get our tickets right at the Myriad Hall so we didn't have to go down town to the ticket office.
What a great service!!!.
Lucky for us because it was awfully hot and while walking around the hall we noticed great numbers of other fans who were already waiting and hanging around to try and see a glimpse of the boys.
We decided it was best to go and drink something first at the Sheraton Hotel opposite the hall.
Also in the lobby of the hotel it looked like some sort of Bee Gees fan gathering.
Everyone was waiting for our guys and hoping they might be here in this hotel but we were sure they weren't.
Around 5 we went to the back stage door of the Myriad to wait for Dick and the Gibbs.
Everywhere there were security people and some of them of course wondered what we were doing at the door and thought: they'll never get a chance to walk in there!
Some what after 5 several limos with police escort in front approached the hall.
There they were The Bee Gees and their family and assistants.
Followed by the Greyhound busses with band members, crew and even more assistants.
After the bus in which Dick came had disappeared behind the closed doors of the huge hall we waited for him to come and get us.
And indeed some moments later Dick came to pick us up and immediately gave us our back stage passes so it would also be clear for all the other personal and the security people that we were in the hall with permission of the Gibbs.
Almost immediately we were noticed by Linda and Yvonne and there were the boys as well...
We were chatting with them for a while and then went for a drink.
Later on we joined Hugh for a while who of 'cause was present too.
He told us that after this show the group would have a break of about three weeks (which we already knew of course!) and would fly back to Miami Beach to work at Criteria for amongst others the David Frost Special.
One had filmed also during this tour for a Bee Gees Biography he said.
The man had so much to tell and it's always great to chat with him.
A bit after 6 we got ourselves a small private concert when The Bee Gees did their sound check.
When we looked in front of the hall around 7 it was already crowded with fans but as we already had our tickets we decided to go back to the others back stage.
Where we sat down with Dick to have a talk about the tour so far and the plans for the future etc.
They'd had sold out halls so far and everything went according to plan.
Stevie probably had to go to school for the rest of the tour period.
Dick also told about the gigantic costs of organizing such a show every night and all those (more then 100 people) who helped to get things ready every time.
They all traveled with the Spirit plane, with busses and many, many rental cars and trucks.
At that point (as you know it was 1979!) they were planning to at least do one more studio album and one huge tour Dick mentioned to us.
How different the future would turn out to be...
Dick told about the plans of working with Barbra Streisand and how difficult it always was to book their shows in small countries with small halls like for instance The Netherlands, about film plans of the boys and future plans like living in America for a great part of the year and sometimes going to Britain.
Also interesting was his explanations of how everything works around and on the stage during such a gigantic Bee Gees concert.
Dick definitely enjoyed to tell us about this big concert tour of the group.
Specially the fabulous light effects on and above the stage which made it look like a gigantic disco.
It all worked by computer on the beat of the music.
Stevie was enjoying himself while we were talking to Dick and was running around back stage in his Superman cape.
During the first part of the show we decided to stay back stage with the Gibb family but later on when we decided to see the rest of the concert from the seats in the audience we saw that they were taken so we just went back stage again and sat down with the family to enjoy the rest of the concert there too.
Barry didn't give away his autograph what he had done in an earlier show and I heard them singing How Deep Is Your Love what I believe they didn't sing yesterday.
After the show we decided to go back to our own hotel straight away as we were very, very tired.

or The Bee Gees their tour break had started and we went to the west coast to meet with some fans and friends and see something more of that wonderful country.
What a coincidence: we were sitting in the same plane as many of the crew members who had their break too.

The next period of our stay in America we went sightseeing and met a lot of very nice people, most of them of 'cause Bee Gees fans too and pen pals from us.
Some of the fans I met there in 1979 I still write with today.
I've also phoned a few times with Shirlee Faur who at that time assisted me in the fan club I worked for back in 1979.
And we made a lot of trips at the west coast and of course wrote a nice letter to the Gibbs.
We even went to Mexico, spent some time in New Orleans, Miami and Washington etc. etc.
We really saw a lot of the country and enjoyed it very much but we were also looking forward to the second part of the Bee Gees Spirits Tour!!
During this tour break I'd phoned Dick once to talk over again some things and ask where they were all staying during the second part of the tour.
Dick also helped me to get some tickets for some other friends of ours and we made arrangements to meet again in several places during the second part of the tour.
We could hardly wait...

The second part of the Spirits Tour started in New Haven and the next couple of weeks we would be able to visit quite a number of concerts in the U.S. and Canada of which you'll find here details of some of these events.
Also for me and my friends the second part of the Bee Gees Tour started in New Haven which immediately became obvious upon entering our hotel. : we literally bumped into the Bee Gees crew who was just checking in as well.
Hello everyone!!! How are you! Are we all ready for the second part??!!
Yes we are.........

not too nice start of our day this time when we found out after checking at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum our reserved tickets weren't available. How was that possible.
We of course couldn't reach the Gibb family at that time to ask and finally after discussing a while I decided to write a short note to Dick to explain.
I simply gave the message to someone working in the hall to pass it on to Dick who had already arrived at the hall at that time.
A few minutes later someone of the crew came to ask what was wrong and another crew member approached us with the note I'd just written.
He went with me to the ticket box to find out what could have been wrong and guess what.......
In this hall the tickets had been registered under the name: Marion (which is my first name instead of Richards which is my last name!) Incredible but we finally had our tickets and we thanked the people of the crew.
Outside by that time it looked like a huge fair ground.
At all the corners people were selling T-shirts, candy, cold drinks and on the black market!
The place was also full with police.
Some fans who'd found out we knew the Gibbs gave us a parcel and a letter which was a gift to give Barry for his birthday.
During the afternoon I filmed a bit like before in the hall, talked again with Hugh.
He said the family now stayed in a New York hotel (St. Regis) for a while and would fly up and down the venues the coming time.
The hall was very warm that night during the concert.
The show was great again, complete with fireworks, laser beams etc. etc.
Afterward some fans we knew had found us amongst the public! Amie and her friends Marie and Maria gave us a ride back to the hotel.
It was nice to have met them too!! And we'd see eachother again during one of the next shows!

n another town: Providence we found out our hotel was situated right next to the venue.
This was some what chaotic.
Think of all those fans gathering around the hotel to see the boys (and they in fact stayed in New York).
We were staying with the crew and Sweet Inspiration etc. in this Holiday Inn.
This gave us a chance to talk some more with all the crew members and assistants during this tour like for instance Louis and Barry (a truck driver and a bus driver during this tour) Louis was such a funny guy and all the time joked around.
The concert was at the Civic Center and in the hall we again saw Amy, Marie and Maria with whom we went to the hotel bar afterwards to celebrate another wonderful show.
During the concert I remember there was a standing ovation after Massachusetts, this probably because we were very close to Massachusetts, the American State, here and I guess many fans who lived there were visiting this concert!
To get back into our hotel after the show was quite difficult as everything was crowded with fans who wanted to get in too.
With our hotel door keys we'd to proof we were guests at the hotel and so we finally got in to have a few drinks at the bar where also the three ladies of Sweet Inspiration and a greater part of the Bee Gees crew joined us.
We had a long chat with for instance John (Vogel) who worked for Showco and did the light technics during these shows.
And at the end of the evening when the hotel bar closed we went up to continue the party together with a group of crew guys like John, Don, Richie, Guz, Barry II etc. what a strange bunch of guys but we've had fun.
The party went on at the floor where the crew stayed until about 4 in the morning.
We were with about 15 people and had a lot of fun, learned a lot about this touring business and drinks were free, what more do you want!
When we finally returned back to our rooms we came across Willy Spears (one of the guitar tuners for the Bee Gees) who would take care of some tickets for us to visit the extra show tomorrow.
Great another extra concert!!! This day couldn't have ended better!!

© Story: Marion Adriaensen 2002
© Photos: Agnes Corstjens, Eva Maarschalk, S. Jenkins, Marion Adriaensen, GSI-Archive

Read more on Part 4


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