Andy Gibb is my gateway drug. Remember in the olden days when teachers and other adult propagandists would caution you against marijuana because of what smoking marijuana could one day lead to? Their scenario went something like this: one day you’re smoking a jay on the playground, the next week you’ll be banging horse in an alley. That’s because as your concerned elders saw it, marijuana was a gateway drug.
Well that’s what Andy Gibb has become to me. I don’t know exactly when or how I fell down this rabbit hole, all I can say is — I am very much in it now — and I don’t know if or when I’ll be coming up. It’s pretty wonderful down here.
Someone wrote on my Facebook wall, “I didn’t know following you on Facebook would mean a steady stream of Andy Gibb pictures.” Yeah well neither did I. That, dear reader, is the nature of addiction. One day I’m laughing with my best rat friend at pictures of bare-chested Andy in tight designer jeans, the next thing I know I am legitimately falling for this guy. And not just for him, but his whole crazy disco and post-disco era. I remember those “You know what comes between me and my Calvins?” days extremely well. Pop culture was all I cared about. From 1978 to the mid-80s my passions were : reading and deconstructing every issue of Seventeen magazine as if it were penned by Tolstoy; learning everything I could about Phoebe Cates; acquiring an entire set of Love’s Baby Soft beauty products and, of course, television and all its accoutrements (Read: TV Guide).
I may start my day perusing Andy interviews and articles, but it soon leads to Andy’s appearances on talk shows of the time, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Donahue and I am back there again. When lighting on television was flat and when hosts sang with corded microphones. And almost every article or fuzzy YouTube clip about Andy will lead me to fall in love with someone from his era.
This week it’s Nell Carter. Andy guest starred on Gimme a Break and he and Nell sing a duet together and it is sublime. Yes, I said sublime and I totally mean it:
And then I was like, oh yeah Nell Carter is amazing. Amazing in Hair, amazing in her frank confessions about addictions and totally amazing in the over the top fashion show portion of Night of 100 stars.
Is it a coincidence that she is right on after Andy’s girlfriend at the time, Victoria Principal? It certainly is now.
So there you have it. Andy Gibb is my gateway drug and he reminded me that Nell Carter is one of my great loves.