Scoot: The Passing of Another Disco Icon -- Robin Gibb
by SCOOT,posted May 21 2012 6:29PM
Only days after the passing of the “Queen of Disco,” Donna Summer, we are again saddened by the death of another disco icon – Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees.
Sunday afternoon, I went on my usual safari walk through the French Quarter, and walking down Bourbon Street I heard a few Donna Summer songs flowing from the bars. I stopped at the Bourbon Pub, where there was a music and video tribute to Donna Summer and the disco era. Since this was the place where my first memories of disco were born, briefly reliving the disco era was instinctive. As the disco music and videos played, the crowd was overly festive as if they had also been taken back in time. Even those too young to have experienced disco were caught in the moment.
As with the passing of Donna Summer, our memories of the disco era continue following the death of Robin Gibb, who died at age 62 from a long battle with cancer. The Bee Gees sold over 200 million albums and it was their music that pushed the soundtrack from “Saturday Night Fever” to remain #1 on the charts for months and to ultimately become one of the best selling albums of all time.
The disco craze was upbeat and fun. Young people were dancing again. But every craze, no matter how big, falls from grace and disco’s fall was a rough one. Rock D.J.’s across America promoted their radio stations by organizing “Disco Sucks” rallies, where listeners would denounce the “cheesy” sounds of disco and profess their allegiance to rock! Disco has been “dissed” ever since.
Over the past few months, I have given updates on the failing health of Robin Gibb. After slipping into a coma and seemingly close to death, Robin woke up and was described by family as being upbeat and happy. But that was just a brief burst of life before Robin joined his two brothers, Maurice, who passed away in 2003 and Andy, who committed suicide in 1988. Only Barry remains.
The passing of Donna Summer at 63 and Robin Gibb at 62 also serves to remind us that we all must appreciate life and live it without wasting a day. Even the days that seem to be focused on work or family… the days that are not filled with fun are days…we must find a way to pursue happiness. And that’s what we all did during the disco era with the music of Donna and Robin.
While I don’t look at disco music as the epitome of great music, I do recognize that it was a genre that inspired a young generation to pursue happiness. Today, many of us who are part of that generation should remember that we once knew how to have fun and let life’s toughest moments go – at least, for the moment. And we should learn to do that again.