Longtime Bee Gees manager and producer Robert Stigwood died on January 4th at the age of 81, and Bee Gees member Barry Gibb has paid tribute to his "dear friend".
"Robert Stigwood was an enigma. A victorian figure cast into the sixties to work with Brian Epstein and The Beatles. He hitch hiked from Adelaide to London with a powerful vision to rule the entertainment world. He was almost aristocratic in nature, the mixture of talent and insight from the moment you met him was omnipresent," Gibb said in a statement.
"He signed us as his group at a moment in time when groups were no longer being signed. The odds against us having success was very high but Robert took an act of faith and against the advice of others, became our manager. He also became a member of our family and all the success we had was because of Robert Stigwood. On behalf of Linda and our family we wish you god speed. Every time the first of May comes around I will think of you and I will miss your phone call. We shared so many wonderful moments. I will never forget you my dear friend."
Stigwood also produced the classic film Saturday Night Fever and served as a manager for many other legendary acts, including Eric Clapton and The Who.
— New York Times Arts (@nytimesarts) January 6, 2016
Robin Gibb's son announced Stigwood's death on Monday.
"I would like to share the sad news with you all, that my godfather, and the longtime manager of my family, Robert Stigwood, has passed away. A creative genius with a very quick and dry wit, Robert was the driving force behind The Bee Gees career, as well as having discovered Cream, and subsequently managing Eric Clapton. He was also of course, the creator of the movies Saturday Night Fever and Grease, and many Broadway musicals with Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. RSO Records pretty much defined the late 70’s. Of course, his biography is very extensive and can easily be found online…..I would like to thank Robert for his kindness to me over the years as well as his mentorship to my family. “Stiggy", you will be missed," Spencer Gibb wrote on his Facebook page.