Today (January 12th), marks 18 years since Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees died at age 53 after undergoing emergency abdominal surgery in Florida. Gibb had complained of stomach pain before collapsing and being rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach. He went into cardiac arrest before undergoing surgery for intestinal blockage. Maurice was the second Gibb brother to die. On March 10th, 1988, the youngest Gibb brother, Andy Gibb, died just five days after his 30th birthday from an inflammatory heart virus exacerbated by years of substance abuse. Robin Gibb died of kidney failure at the age of 62 on May 20th, 2012 after battling colon and liver cancer.
Brothers and bandmates Barry and Robin Gibb said that they never recovered from Maurice's death, which was all the more devastating because it came completely out of the blue: “(Barry): “It was shattering to both of us. Shattering to both of us in countless ways. Countless ways. (Robin): And the speed in which it happened. . . (Barry): Yes. (Robin): It was so unexpected, because he was quite young and he'd never really been ill and it happened in such — in matter of hours. (Barry): Yes. (Robin): And it's still. . . it's mind-blowing that from a Wednesday night to the Saturday when he died. . . nothing could stop it.”
Longtime friend Elton John was among the first in the rock community to express his grief at Maurice's passing: “My thoughts on Maurice Gibb? It's a tragedy and a huge shock, and someone who I've known for a long time, the Bee Gees, and someone who's been 12 years sober, like me. For someone to go that quickly, I was really, really upset and sad.”