May 9, 1997

By Howard Cohen

Stephen Gibb, son of Barry, rhythm guitar in hand and with enough tattoos on his arms to shock Marilyn Manson, has landed in one of South Florida's buzz bands, The Underbellys.

The five piece, Miami-based rock group, formed 2 1/2 years ago (without Gibb who joined in February) has signed a distribution deal with Columbia Records. The band recorded some new tunes at Water Studios in Hoboken, New Jersey with producer Pat Dinizio (the Smithereens) for a forthcoming album.


The London-born, Miami Beach-reared Gibb left home at 16 he says, to play in various rock bands. Along the way, Barry and Linda Gibb's first-born picked up the nickname, "Smutty."

That's something my closer friends call me," Gibb, 23, says sheepishly, "It's kind of embarrassing... I have a slight interest in tasteless things. I'm a sheep in wolf's clothing," he quickly adds. "I did enjoy the seedier side of life-- I've since reformed but the name sticks."

Gibb worked as a professional body piercer in South Beach and merited a liner note in the Bee Gees 1976 lp, Children of the World, thanking him for "many hours of mischief and magic."

He erupts in laughter when reminded of that long-forgotten note. "I have to give my father credit because he didn't raise me the way people would like to think he did," he says.

"When I said I wanted to get into music it wasn't something that was encouraged -- or discouraged. I never took it seriously until I saw a Van Halen show as a kid. Around that time I wanted to learn guitar. So I was told to buy a guitar and learn. My dad wasn't going to hand it to me on a plate. I didn't understand it then, but in retrospect I think that is great. He had no one hand him anything and he figured I better do it on my own as well."

"From what my mom and dad tell me I was sort of a real happy character of a kid. As you can see, I've turned into quite a character."

Copyright©1997 Miami Herald