October 4, 2005 - Mike Gibbins has passed on - by Dan Matovina.
4, 2006 - one year since
Mike passed on - his proud wife, Ellie and his three sons carry on his legacy
with their great attitudes and highly talented, creative work - Seven Sisters,
Carnevil, MySpace pages... Ellie has stayed positive under difficult circumstances
Original tribute 2005: ------ Very sad news. A lot of fond memories of Mike. I'd been in contact off-and-on since 1978. A witty fellow, he was great with his participation in my book on Badfinger. We did extensive interviewing - mini interviews and chats done over many months time - I sent him the transcripts - which he edited. He was always one to be quick and off-the-cuff regarding his feelings. The majority of his quoted material was used in the book with his blessing, and he stood by it. He also verified other events. Mike later claimed he never read the book all the way through - he told me it was all in his head anyway and too painful to totally re-absorb himself into the past.
The man had a lot of great stories and he contributed some of the more humorous anecdotes in the book, but there also were a slew of more decadent R&R tales left behind. Partly, I left them out because I wanted to keep the sex and drugs aspects not too overplayed in the Badfinger story – and partly out respect to some of the players in the story who were still alive. In the end, Mike was fine with that, but I don't think he would've been ashamed of most of it. Mike was refreshing in that he wasn't not embarrassed of the past, realized it was all part of that insane 70s-80s rock'n'roll era, and that he and the band members were naïve young men thrust into a big situation that could be overwhelming for anyone at times. Mike could allow himself to be self-deprecating and acknowledge that no one is perfect, admit mistakes, move on, lessons learned.
Sadly, Mike seemed to be getting somewhat more frustrated as time went on after Tom Evans death in 1983. Some of his frustrations of the times were expressed in his interviews, but newer issues troubled him of late. I think he was always willing to let bygones-be-bygones at a certain point with anyone. For some of his thoughts you can see an extensive interview on his first two solo albums that is still posted on my site. I was set to do one on his following two CD's, but Mike seemed to lose interest when his latest CD wasn't selling that well and the idea was dropped. I am still hopeful the two CD compilation of his work will be released through Dreamscape.
I know he enjoyed getting questions and he always answered anything I would ask. I noticed on his webpage guestbook he enjoyed the attention and liked to converse with the fans. He answered pretty much everything - but sadly, his site's guestbook was swallowed up by a barrage of posts with an agenda of planting controversy and it became less about him, when - being his site - it should have been more respected. The unrelated issues and self-important grandstanding could have been done elsewhere. Mike and some of his family commented on the insanity and soon after the guestbook disappeared forever. So who lost there - Mike. It never should have happened.
An extremely underrated musician - I will always give Mike an A+ for his drumming on Straight Up and most of No Dice - just about perfect for each song - and beyond that – memorable drum fills. Hardcore Badfinger fans are all familiar with many of the tasteful toms of Mike sprinkled on the Badfinger albums. Though he told me he often wanted to flash out more, I could tell he was proud of what he did on record.
And of course, a very, very fine writer - "It Had To Be," "My Heart Goes Out," "Your So Fine," and his classic "In The Meantime," which he told me he wanted to be used alone and not part of a medley. But who can argue Chris Thomas and his genius of tying it together with Joey Molland's "Some Other Time," which is clearly acknowledged as one of the band's masterworks. Mike finally got his wish and re-did his song on his last CD In The Meantime - extended, of course. *Little known fact - Mike sang "In The Meantime" onstage at some of the Badfinger gigs on the 1974 tour supporting Man! That was stated in Bill Collins diaries.
And the Mike song rarities are outstanding - the 1972 tracks with his Welsh mates; all of the outtakes from the Head First bonus CD, "Loving You" - quality songs. And a real search-and-find for collectors - "It Hurt Me So Bad", - a mid-80s track, is, maybe, one of Mike's best and most commercial tunes. It's out there, because I got it off a collector years ago.
Mike was able to get out four solo CD's and I highly recommend searching for them. More Annoying Songs is his classic - in my opinion. But each have lots of very worthwhile music. Search them out.
Mike truly loved music and was an accomplished musician. He played great keyboards. He had his own unique style. I wish he could have done more touring with somebody, if not his own solo act. He was awesome when he played with Joey's 1986-87 version of Badfinger with Elliott Joffrey (Jeff Ross). The man was built to play music. Very progressive in his thinking, but a true roots-rock-kind-of-guy at heart.
A real "mate" to his friends, a funny guy who lived life to the fullest, much loved by his family, friends and the Welsh musicians back in South Wales. Condolences to his wife, Ellie, and their children. And also, to his ex-wife Gaynor, and their son, Owen.
It was too soon, but I think Mike had a lot of great moments in the end.
Michael George Gibbins
Born March 12, 1949 - Died October 4, 2005
56 years old
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