Bobby G

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Bobby G
Birth name Robert Gubby
Also known as Bobby Gee [1]
Born (1953-08-23) 23 August 1953 (age 60)
Epsom, Surrey, England
Genres pop music
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1981–present
Labels RCA, Polydor, BBC Records

Bobby G (also known as Bobby Gee) (born Robert Alan Gubby, 23 August 1953) is a member of pop group Bucks Fizz, best known for winning the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest and for achieving three UK number one hits with "Making Your Mind Up" (1981), "The Land of Make Believe" (1981) and "My Camera Never Lies" (1982).

Early career[edit]

G was born in Epsom, Surrey, England. After leaving school at 14, he began working in a number of trades, the most significant of these being the building trade. At the same time he joined a part-time rock band, which went under many different names.

In his late teens, he set up his own building business, based on the knowledge he'd gained from his experience and from his father, who was also a builder. Throughout much of the 1970s he remained doing this, as well as a plumbing business later.

By the end of the decade, both businesses had failed, leaving him with heavy debts as well as having chalked up two marriages - both which ended in divorce.

In 1979, G decided to embark on a career in music and began touring pubs and clubs as a solo singer/guitarist. In 1980, G auditioned for a role in the West End musical Jesus Christ Superstar and won the part of Pontius Pilate (understudy). The musical had been running for eight years at the Palace Theatre (then the longest running musical ever in the UK), but it was in this year that it ended. Bobby G then went on to perform as a resident singer in a local Country Club.

Bucks Fizz[edit]

In January 1981, G auditioned for a new pop group being put together by songwriter/manager Nichola Martin. The group was called Bucks Fizz and were to perform in that year's A Song for Europe contest with the song "Making Your Mind Up". After another singer Stephen Fischer became unavailable, G was offered the job following further auditions.

Along with other members Mike Nolan, Cheryl Baker and Jay Aston the group went on to win the contest and on 4 April 1981 took part in the Eurovision Song Contest representing the United Kingdom.[2][3] Bucks Fizz won the contest and the group were catapulted into overnight stardom. The song reached No.1 in the UK charts and sold four million copies worldwide.

Bucks Fizz began a career which saw them chalk up many hits around the world over the next few years, notably so in Britain, where they became one of the biggest groups of the 1980s and scored many hit singles and albums, including two further No.1s "The Land Of Make Believe" and "My Camera Never Lies".[4]

On 11 December 1984, while on tour in Newcastle, the group were involved in a coach crash. G received medical attention for whiplash injuries, but unlike other band members, was not seriously harmed. The accident gained much media attention including front-page headlines and television news reports.[5][6]

The group continued on for the rest of the decade and scored their final hit in 1988.

Later Bucks Fizz[edit]

In 1990, Bucks Fizz became a three-piece (G, Nolan and Baker), and they continued to tour the country. Apart from a 1991 Live album, no other recordings were made by the group.

Baker left the group in 1993 and around this time, G largely took over the management of Bucks Fizz. Employing two new members, Heidi Manton and Amanda Schwartz, the group continued to perform. In 1995, Nolan also left the group and so G became the only surviving original member. G took on former Dollar star David Van Day as Nolan's replacement.[7]

Van Day was keen to record with the group, but G decided that this was not economically viable and was happy to continue touring. Unrest grew between the two and eventually after a show in the Falklands, Van Day sensationally quit the group.[8] G rapidly employed a replacement, while Van Day launched a rival group along with former member Nolan. Unhappy with the situation, G filed a lawsuit against this version of the group and attempted to gain the rights to the Bucks Fizz name. In the early 2000s, G took Van Day to court, but was initially unsuccessful. Eventually he won the right to perform in the only officially recognised Bucks Fizz, following Nolan's departure from the Van Day version.[7] In 2002, the debacle became the subject of a BBC2 documentary entitled Trouble at the Top, which saw interviews with both G and Van Day centering around their conflicting views.[9][10]

In 2004, G performed once again with original members Nolan and Baker and later member, Shelley Preston as part of the Here and Now 1980's revival tour.[11][12] This took in several arenas around the UK, but remained a one-off as G returned to his currently performing line-up.[13] He also briefly appeared alongside Nolan, Baker, Preston and original member Aston in the video for Comic Relief's 2007 single "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"

Bucks Fizz continues to tour in two versions; one version consists of Mike Nolan, Cheryl Baker and Jay Aston whilst the other contains Bobby G, his wife and two other singers.[14][15]

Solo career[edit]

G was keen to launch a solo career during the hit-making days of Bucks Fizz. In the end, only one single was released. This was the theme tune to BBC TV's Big Deal, which was released in 1984 and although only reached No.46, the song remained on the UK Charts for 12 weeks.[16] G also wrote and produced a number of songs for Bucks Fizz, none of these were released as singles, but became album tracks and B-sides for the group.

Further solo recordings were made but went unreleased until 2006 and 2008 when two compilation CDs of unreleased Bucks Fizz tracks, The Lost Masters included some of his solo work.[17]

Personal life[edit]

In the 1970s, G married twice and had a child by his first wife. In the early 1980s he divorced his second wife but subsequently continued in a relationship with her while fathering a second child in 1982. They split in the 1990s and G began a relationship with band member Heidi Manton. They married in 2000 and are still together.[18] They have a daughter, Millie Rose (born July 2006, Tiverton, Devon).[19][20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ian Bairnson. "Bobby G versus Bobby Gee". Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  2. ^ Eurovision.tv. "Eurovision Song Contest 1981". Eurovision Song Contest. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  3. ^ Eurovision covers. "1981 Eurovision". Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  4. ^ Chartstats. "Bucks Fizz UK chart history". Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  5. ^ Nostalgia central. "Bucks Fizz biography". Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  6. ^ BBC. "Bucks Fizz - the band". Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  7. ^ a b BBC (2002-08-15). "Bucks Fizz name dispute settled". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  8. ^ Trouble at the Top, BBC Television, 14 February 2002
  9. ^ Off the Telly. "Trouble at the Top". Retrieved 2008-12-10. [dead link]
  10. ^ Movie & TV database. "Trouble at the Top - Making Your Mind Up". Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  11. ^ Bucks Fizz - the early years. "Here and Now Tour, 2004". Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  12. ^ BBC (2005-05-13). "Bucks Fizz story refuses to go flat". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  13. ^ Comedy kings. "Bobby G's Bucks Fizz on tour". Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  14. ^ North Wilts. "Bucks Fizz news article". Retrieved 2009-01-19. [dead link]
  15. ^ Bucks Fizz.co.uk. "Official website - gigs". Retrieved 2009-02-04. [dead link]
  16. ^ Discogs. "Bobby G - "Big Deal"". Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  17. ^ Ian Bairnson. "Bobby G - "I Want to Stay"". Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  18. ^ Official website. "Heidi Manton". Retrieved 2008-09-10. [dead link]
  19. ^ Official website. "Millie's page". Retrieved 2008-11-14. [dead link]
  20. ^ Births England and Wales 1984-2006

External links[edit]