When Andy Gibb joined the Bee Gees for a rare phenomenal performance of 'You Should Be Dancing'

4 January 2021, 17:23

The Bee Gees were in the midst of their Spirits Having Flown tour when they welcomed their younger brother Andy on stage for a rendition of 'You Should Be Dancing'.
The Bee Gees were in the midst of their Spirits Having Flown tour when they welcomed their younger brother Andy on stage for a rendition of 'You Should Be Dancing'. Picture: NBC

By Giorgina Ramazzotti

Andy Gibb got on stage with the Bee Gees for an impromptu performance of 'You Should Be Dancing' in 1979 and blew the audience away.

It was rare to ever see Andy Gibb perform with brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, but that's exactly what happened on a special night in July, 1979.

The Bee Gees were in the midst of their Spirits Having Flown tour when they welcomed their younger brother Andy on stage for a rendition of one of their greatest disco hits 'You Should Be Dancing'.

See more: Andy Gibb: Remembering the life and career of the Bee Gees' younger brother

Filmed at the Oakland Coliseum Arena in California by a film crew following the band on tour, the footage wasn't publicly shown until November 21, 1979.

Andy Gibb got on stage with the Bee Gees for an impromptu performance of 'You Should Be Dancing' in 1979 and blew the audience away (pictured with Maurice Gibb)
Andy Gibb got on stage with the Bee Gees for an impromptu performance of 'You Should Be Dancing' in 1979 and blew the audience away (pictured with Maurice Gibb). Picture: NBC
Featured on The Bee Gees Special, a 90-minute one-off NBC broadcast celebrating the '70s superstars, the footage shows the moment when the three Bee Gees became four and sang a stunning live version of the hit song.
Featured on The Bee Gees Special, a 90-minute one-off NBC broadcast celebrating the '70s superstars, the footage shows the moment when the three Bee Gees became four and sang a stunning live version of the hit song. Picture: NBC

Featured on The Bee Gees Special, a 90-minute one-off NBC broadcast celebrating the '70s superstars, the footage shows the moment when the three Bee Gees became four and sang a stunning live version of the hit song.

See more: Relive Andy Gibb, ABBA and Olivia Newton-John's incredible 'jam session' from 1978

Filmed when Andy Gibb was only 21-years-old, the performance came nine years before the Bee Gees would officially announce he would be joining them as the fourth member of the band, just months before his untimely death in 1988.

The youngest Gibb brother fought a battle with drug addiction all of his life and would eventually succumb to it, dying from a heart attack caused by cocaine use when he was just 30-years-old.

See more: The day Andy Gibb, Bee Gees, Olivia Newton-John, Rod Stewart and ABBA sang a staggering medley

Just two years after the performance was filmed Andy Gibb would become host of music television show Solid Gold in 1981 and 1982 and performed in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on Broadway, but he was eventually sadly fired from both jobs due to his absenteeism.

The 1979 performance came nine years before the Bee Gees would officially announce Andy Gibb would be joining them as the fourth member of the band in 1988.
The 1979 performance came nine years before the Bee Gees would officially announce Andy Gibb would be joining them as the fourth member of the band in 1988. Picture: NBC
Andy Gibb fought a battle with drug addiction all of his life and would eventually succumb to it, dying from a heart attack caused by cocaine use when he was just 30-years-old.
Andy Gibb fought a battle with drug addiction all of his life and would eventually succumb to it, dying from a heart attack caused by cocaine use when he was just 30-years-old. Picture: NBC

Broadway producer Zev Bruffman said of Andy's time as an actor: "When Andy was at the theater, he was a joy. But he wasn't there enough."

See more: The greatest Bee Gees songs of all time, ranked

"We'd lose him over long weekends," he added. "He'd come back on Tuesday, and he'd look beat. He was like a little puppy—so ashamed when he did something wrong. He was all heart, but he didn't have enough muscle to carry through."

“The most embarrassing thing for me was the day Bob Hope called,” Andy later told an interviewer of his days of heavy drug use.

“I was supposed to do his TV special and didn’t turn up. Consequently, I was blacklisted by NBC for a long time. I damaged my career.”

See more: Private studio footage of Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees recording 'Tragedy' is phenomenal

Over the next few years Andy would go twice to drug rehabilitation and in 1988 planned a come back and a record deal with Island Records.

Robin Gibb would later say of Andy&squot;s state of mind in the spring of 1988 that he "just went downhill so fast... he was in a terrible state of depression." Pictured (L to R): Robin and Barry Gibb
Robin Gibb would later say of Andy's state of mind in the spring of 1988 that he "just went downhill so fast... he was in a terrible state of depression." Pictured (L to R): Robin and Barry Gibb. Picture: NBC

But the deal was never signed, and despite the Bee Gees also announcing Andy Gibb would be officially joining their group as the fourth Bee Gee in 1988, Andy was suffering.

See more: Bee Gees first TV gig: Teenage Barry Gibb and 10 year olds Robin and Maurice sing in 1960

Robin Gibb would later say of Andy's state of mind in the spring of 1988 that he "just went downhill so fast... he was in a terrible state of depression."

Just two days after celebrating his 30th birthday in London and while working on his new album, Andy was admitted to hospital in Oxford where he complained of chest pains and died not long afterwards.

See more: Bee Gees: When Barry and Robin Gibb sang a flawless medley as Maurice tried to make them laugh

After his death, his ex-wife Kim Reeder said: "I always knew that one day I'd get a call with news like this. It was only a matter of time." The Bee Gees made a statement to confirm Andy didn't die of a drug overdose – as it was widely reported – but from the side-effects of many years of drug use.

Andy's brothers all spoke publicly of Andy's wonderful personality in the years following his death.

See more: Barry Gibb releases love song 'Butterfly' he wrote with brothers Robin and Maurice when they were kids

“A lot of people remember particularly his kindness,” Maurice Gibb told VH1. “Because he helped a lot of people. He just couldn’t help himself.”

Just two days after celebrating his 30th birthday in London in 1988, Andy Gibb was admitted to hospital in Oxford where he complained of chest pains and died not long afterwards.
Just two days after celebrating his 30th birthday in London in 1988, Andy Gibb was admitted to hospital in Oxford where he complained of chest pains and died not long afterwards. Picture: Getty
“We were like twins,” Barry Gibb said of Andy. “The same voice, the same interests, the same birthmark.” Pictured (L to R) Maurice, Andy and Barry Gibb
“We were like twins,” Barry Gibb said of Andy. “The same voice, the same interests, the same birthmark.” Pictured (L to R) Maurice, Andy and Barry Gibb. Picture: Getty

“We were like twins,” Barry Gibb said in a 2014 Rolling Stone interview. “The same voice, the same interests, the same birthmark.”

See more: When Barry Gibb tenderly kissed Barbra Streisand live on stage at the 1981 Grammy Awards

“It was the saddest moment of my life,” he said and admitted he felt guilty for pushing Andy toward showbiz.

“He would have been better off finding something else,” Barry said. “He was a sweet person. We lost him too young.”

But it wouldn't be the final tragedy for the Gibb brothers: Barry's brother Robin Gibb passed away in 2012 after battling cancer for a number of years, while Robin's twin brother Maurice Gibb died in 2003 due to complications of a twisted intestine.

See more: The time Barry Gibb got his finger stuck in a bottle during a Bee Gees TV interview

In a recent interview Barry has admitted he cannot bring himself to watch the new critically-acclaimed documentary The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.

"I can&squot;t handle watching the rest of my family. I just can&squot;t handle it," Barry told CBS Sunday Morning on January 3.
"I can't handle watching the rest of my family. I just can't handle it," Barry told CBS Sunday Morning on January 3. Picture: Getty

See more: Barry Gibb inviting Maurice's daughter on stage for duet of 'How Can You Mend a Broken Heart' is so moving

"I can't handle watching the rest of my family. I just can't handle it," Barry told CBS Sunday Morning on January 3.

"Who would? I think it's perfectly normal to not want to see how each brother was lost, you know? And I don't want to address it. I'm past it.

"The first year after the last brother passed, Robin, that was the most difficult period for me. And people have said, 'He had a breakdown.' You know, I didn't have a breakdown, actually," he continued.

See more: QUIZ: How well do you know the Bee Gees' song lyrics?

"I just didn't know where to go. I didn't know what to do. And I didn't know how to be perceived. I didn't know how to perceive other people's opinions," said Barry. "So basically, I've been in lockdown for years now!"