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PERSONAL DETAILS

Where was Gilbert born?

Gilbert was born Raymond Edward O'Sullivan on 1st December, 1946 in Waterford, Ireland.


Who Does Gilbert share his birthday with?

Billy Paul [singer] born 1934

Woody Allen [Actor-director] born 1935

Lee Trevino [Golfer] born  1939

Eric Bloom [Rock singer-musician - Blue Oyster Cult] born 1944

John Densmore [Rock musician - The Doors] born 1944

Bette Midler [Actress-singer] born 1945

Treat Williams [Actor] born 1951

Charlene Tilton [Actress] born 1958


How tall is Gilbert?

Gilbert is 5ft 10in. and not 5ft. 2in as "No Matter How I Try" suggests.


What colour are his eyes?

Blue.


How many siblings has Gilbert?

Gilbert is the second oldest of six children, two sisters, Marie and Deirdre and three brothers, Kevin, John and Terry.


Is Gilbert married?

Gilbert is married to Aase and they have two daughters, Helen-Marie and Tara.


Where does Gilbert live now?

Gilbert has lived on the Channel Island of Jersey since 1985.


Where did Gilbert live previously?

Before moving to Jersey Gilbert lived for a few years in Bunclody , County Wexford in Ireland and before that in Weybridge, Surrey in England.


What is Gilbert's favourite drink?

Assam tea (strong) but only out of a china cup, never from a mug.  He hates teabags with a vengeance.


THE 60s

Who created Gilbert's early image?

It was Gilbert's own idea to have a pudding basin haircut, and to wear a Charlie Chaplin jacket, a waistcoat, school tie, cap, and long trousers.  Contrary to popular belief he only wore short trousers for photographs.


What was the first song that Gilbert ever wrote?

The song was called "Ready Miss Steady".  He has never recorded it but Gilbert plays it occasionally during sound checks, and in fact played it during the Berry Vest Tour of 2004.


Did Gilbert ever play in group?

He played drums in his first group The Doodles and left them to join The Prefects while attending Swindon Art College.  He also played in Ricks Blues a group formed in 1962 by Supertramp keyboardist Rick Davies. 


What was the first song that Gilbert ever recorded?

In his first recording session he recorded "What Can I Do" and "You".


What was Gilbert's first record release?

Gilbert's first record was "Disappear", released in 1967 on the CBS label.  The b-side was "You"


What was Gilbert's second record release?

His second record was "What Can I Do" again with "You" as the b-side.


Who was the song "I Wish I Could Cry" written about?

It was written about the then recent death of Robert Kennedy.


When was Gilbert's first radio broadcast?

Gilbert first appeared on radio was on John Peel's 'Top Gear' show on BBC Radio 1 in 1968.


What songs did Gilbert sing on John Peel's Top Gear show?

Gilbert made two appearances on the show.

19 May1968

You

What Can I Do

Disappear

My Front Door

Come On Home


16 June 1968

I Don't Know What To Do

Better Than Valentino


THE 70s

What song gave Gilbert his first chart success?

"Nothing Rhymed" reached No.8 in the UK charts in 1970.  The b-side was "Everybody Knows"


Is it true that "Alone Again (Naturally)" was almost overlooked as a single?

Yes, "Alone Again (Naturally)" was recorded in one three hour session along with "Out Of The Question".  Most people considered the latter to be the most commercial of the two.  However Gordon Mills decided to go with "Alone Again (Naturally)".


Who played the acoustic guitar solo on the song "Alone Again (Naturally)?"

That was played by Scottish born guitarist Big Jim Sullivan (no relation).


Is "Alone Again (Naturally)" taken from personal experiences?

To answer this I'm quoting Gilbert from an interview he gave to the New Musical Express in May 1972.


Are the songs every taken from personal experiences?

"I don't think so. 'Alone Again' wasn't.  A lot of letters I've had have said, it must be awful, your mother dying like that.  My father's dead, but that song's got nothing to do with me.  It's just that I think I understand that situation.  I get the feeling that if someone was jilted at the church, even though he had never contemplated suicide before, it might be such a shattering experience that he would.  Maybe I would.  Then, in that sort of deep depression, you would probably think of all the bad things that had happened during your life.  They'd all come to you.  But it's not about me."


When Gilbert changed his image where did he get the idea for the jumpers with the letter 'G' on them?

Gilbert got the idea when he saw the Buster Keaton movie "College" in which he played a student.


When and where did Gilbert make his concert debut?

Gilbert played two shows on 31st October 1972 in The National Stadium in Dublin.


Who is the hit song "Clair" about?

"Clair" was written for Gilbert's former manager Gordon Mills and his wife Jo about their youngest daughter, for whom Gilbert occasionally babysat.  The harmonica solo is played by Gordon (former U.K. harmonica champion), and the laugh at the end of the record is Clair herself.


How many No.1 singles has Gilbert had?

Gilbert has had two No.1 singles in the UK, with "Clair" and "Get Down", and one in the USA, with "Alone Again (Naturally)".  He has many other No.1s around the world: "Nothing Rhymed" (Holland), "Underneath The Blanket Go" (Holland), "Matrimony" (Norway), "Ooh-Wakka-Doo-Wakka-Day" (Ireland), "Get Down" (Germany), "What's In A Kiss" (Spain) and "Tomorrow Today" (Japan) to name a few.


How many Top-10 hits has Gilbert had in the U.K.?

Five

Nothing Rhymed [No. 8 - Nov 1970]

No Matter How I Try [No. 5 - Nov 1971]

Alone Again (Naturally) [No. 3 - March 1972]

Ooh Wakka Doo Wakka Day [No. 8 - June 1972]

Why, Oh Why, Oh Why [No. 6 - Nov 1973]


Did "Clair" reach the No.1 spot in the USA?

No it only reached No.2 for two weeks in Jan 1973.


Who did Gilbert lose out to at the 1972 Grammy Awards?

Gilbert and "Alone Again (Naturally)" were nominated for three awards:  "Song of The Year", "Record of The Year" and "Best Male Pop Vocal Performance".  "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face" written by Ewan MacColl and sung by Roberta Flack won both the "Song of The Year" and "Record of The Year" Awards, while "Without You" by Harry Nilsson won the "Best Male Pop Vocal Performance".


How many Ivor Novello awards has Gilbert won?

Three

"Best Ballad or Romantic Song" for No Matter How I Try in 1971

"Songwriter Of The Year" in 1972 

"Most Performed British Song" for "Get Down" in 1973


When was Gilbert's first appearance in the USA?

On the Dean Martin Show on 14 Sept 1972.


Has Gilbert ever toured America?

Yes Gilbert toured in the U.S. in Sept/Oct 1973.


When was Gilbert's last appearance in the USA?

Gilbert's last appearance was as a special guest on a Carpenters concert at the Hollywood Bowl in 1975.


Has Gilbert ever recorded anyone else's songs?

No, Gilbert has never recorded anyone else's songs, though he did duet with Dean Martin singing "Gentle On My Mind" as a guest on his TV show, and with Burt Bacharach singing "Do You Know The Way To San Jose?" on his TV show.


What was Gilbert's first self produced single?

That was "Doing What I Know" in 1976.


What was Gilbert's first self produced album?

That was "Southpaw" in 1977.


What does the album title "Southpaw" mean?

Southpaw is a boxing term for a left handed boxer who leads with the right hand.  It's basically a left-hander in any sphere, of which Gilbert is.


How many times has Gilbert appeared live on the BBC television programme Top Of The Pops?

Twenty Three

Nothing Rhymed [26 Nov 1970]

Nothing Rhymed [10 Dec 1970]

Underneath The Blanket Go [25 March 1971]

We Will [1 July 1971]

We Will [19 Aug 1971]

No Matter How I Try [18 Nov 1971]

Alone Again (Naturally) [24 Feb 1972]

Alone Again (Naturally) [16 March 1972]

Ooh Wakka Doo Wakka Day [15 June 1972]

Clair [12 Oct 1972]

Clair [16 Nov 1972]

Get Down [15 March 1973]

Ooh Baby [20 Sept 1973]

Why, Oh Why, Oh Why [15 Nov 1973]

Happiness Is Me And You [7 Feb 1974]

Christmas Song [12 Dec 1974]

You Are You [23 Jan 1975]

I Don't Love You But I Think I Like You [5 June 1975]

I'll Believe It When I See It [28 Aug 1975]

You Never Listen To Reason [23 Oct 1975]

Doing What I Know [22 April 1976]

What's In A Kiss? [9 Oct 1980]

What's In A Kiss? [23 Oct 1980]


Which famous people have been mentioned in Gilbert's songs?

[Alberto Fernando Riccardo] Semprini - [Just As You Are]

"Take it away Semprini"


Andy Warhol - [You Are You]

"A tin of soup like Andy Warhol"


Brigette Bardot - [You Are You]

"You're like Bridget Bardot"


Buddy Holly - [Nobody Wants To Know]

"Look at Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and Elvis

Why he sold more records after his death

Than he did when he was alive"


Cezanne - [You Are You]

"You're like a painting by Cezanne"


Chuck Berry - [Just Like Me]

"Just like Chuck Berry cruising"


D.H. Lawrence - [The Best Fun I Ever Had]

"Even D.H. Lawrence for all his novels

Would have been shocked had he heard"


Damon [Hill] - [Hey Mama]

"Over on the starting grid

Damon changes gear"


Danny La Rue - [You Are You]

"No way Danny La Rue"


Doctor [Henry Alfred] Kissinger - [You Are You]

"You're like Doctor Kissinger

On a peace trip or two"


[Don] Partridge - [Mr. Moody's Garden]


[Elizabeth] Taylor - [Can't Get You Out Of My Mind]

"We'll make the headlines as the world's greatest pair

Taylor and Burton they had better beware"


Elvis [Presley] - [Nobody Wants To Know]

"Look at Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and Elvis

Why he sold more records after his death

Than he did when he was alive"


[Elvis] Presley - [Lost A Friend]

"And for those of you who think that Presley

Only cared about what he could spend

Remember that without him might have been no Lennon

Feels like we lost a friend"


[Fryderyk Franciszek] Chopin - [You Are You]

"A sonata by Chopin"


Gary Sobers - [Or So They Say]

"Oh how would you like it

If I was invited

To Lords on the first day of play

I'm no Gary Sobers

But I can bowl overs

In quite an unorthodox way"


George Bernard Shaw - [The Luck Of The Irish]

"And although George Bernard Shaw was Irish

He's an Englishman"


George Melly - [Hell No]

"Fire in your belly who'll put it out

George as in Melly sipping a stout"


[Giacomo Girolamo] Casanova - [The Best Fun I Ever Had]

"Even Casanova for all his know how

Would have died had he been there"


Grace [Fields] - [Permissive Twit]

"Who I hear's been deaf since the day our Grace recorded Sally, Sally, Sally"


[Adolf] Hitler - [Could Have Made It With You]

"Even with the Russians coming into view

Hitler could have made it with you"


Buddy [Holly] - [Where Would We Be (With out Tea)]

"Buddy without his bins

Where would we be (without tea)"


[Harry] Houdini - [Houdini Said]

"Houdini said to get out of bed

Was the hardest thing he could do

Yet when he's tied strait-jacket plied

He's out at the count of two"


[Henry] Stanley & [Doctor] Livingstone - [Southpaw Intro]

"And as Stanley said to Livingstone

I presume the opening tune's

You got me going..."


[Henry] Stanley & Doctor Livingstone - [Down, Down, Down]

"Stanley had a girlfriend

who was given to him

which would take him on a journey aground

Yet all he had to do was to see 

I presumed to a fella who was known as doctor Livingstone"


[John] Lennon - [Lost A Friend]

"And to all the cynics who think that Lennon

Only cared about what he could spend

I say to hell with your money fixations

Feels like we lost a friend"


[John] Lennon - [You Are You]

"A song by Lennon and McCartney"


Lester [Piggott] - [Hey Mama]

"Going at the starting gate

Lester's horse is off"


Linford [Christie] - [Hey Mama]

"Down around the starting block

Linford awaits his cue"


Little Richard - [Just Like Me]

"Just like Little Richard oohing"


Marjorie Proops - [Underneath The Blanket Go]

"I've even wrote to Marjorie Proops, but she can't help

The best that she could offer me was disguise yourself"


Matt Monro - [Showbiz]

"I said Matt Monro not Gunga Din"


Muhammad Ali - [Good Company]

"Muhammad Ali better known as Cassius Clay

Boy what a boxer he was and still is today

I had a go myself once thought that I was him

But unlike Muhammad baby I could never win"


Muhammad Ali - [You Are You]

"A Mohammad Ali fight"


[Paul] McCartney - [You Are You]

"A song by Lennon and McCartney"


Pierre Cardin - [Mr. Moody's Garden]


[Richard] Burton - [Can't Get You Out Of My Mind]

"We'll make the headlines as the world's greatest pair

Taylor and Burton they had better beware"


Rocky Marciano - [A Woman's Place]

"Wonder what would have happened

Had a woman flattened

Rocky Marciano's nose"


Roy Orbison - [Nobody Wants To Know]

"Look at Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and Elvis

Why he sold more records after his death

Than he did when he was alive"


[Rudolph] Valentino - [Better Than Valentino]

"I knocked spots off Valentino with the rudy-o-doe"


Samson and Delilah - [Can't Find My Way Home]

"Samson and Delilah

Even beauty and the beast

Have about as much in common

As chalk to cheese"


Sharon Stone - [Heaven's Above]

"Sometimes of an evening instead of sleeping

Sometimes of an evening entirely in keeping

I'll watch the paint dry all over Sharon Stone"


Sophie Loren - [Just As You Are]

" Now Sophie Loren and yourself have in common

Really nothing whatsoever so far

But then who needs biggies when with a pair like Twiggy's

I love you just as you are"


Sophie Loren - [Shy]

"And by the sound of things

it looks as though I'm doomed

To spend the rest of my life living in one room

Dreaming of how one cold and windy night quite cooly

Sophia Loren seduced me"


The Duke [of Edinburgh] - [You Are You]

"You're like the Queen of England

Not forgetting the Duke"


The Queen - [Houdini Said]

"Doctor in love who is above

All others close to you

Is it the Queen is it obscene

Tell me I want you to"


The Queen - [Or So They Say]

"We once had a neighbour

Who came from Jamaica

(No - she came of her own accord)

Who talked with an accentLike that of a Dachshund

Whose cousin the Queen had adored"


The Queen - [Can't Get You To Love Me]

"I can tell tales hammer toe-nails

Write a letter to the Queen"


The Queen - [You Are You]

"You're like the Queen of England

Not forgetting the Duke"


Twiggy - [Just As You Are]

"Now Sophie Loren and yourself have in common

Really nothing whatsoever so far

But then who needs biggies when with a pair like Twiggy's

I love you just as you are"


Victor [Mature] - [Victor E]

"But something far more mature

Like Victor E"


[William] Shakespeare - [I've Never Been Short Of A Smile]

"To be or not to be what is it

About this phrase that gives it

A meaning so profound

That if Shakespeare were here today

I bet he'd throw it all away"


[William] Shakespeare - [The Allergy Song]

"I've read a lot of Shakespeare

I've seen his movies too"


THE 80s

What has Gilbert got in common with the group 10cc?

Gilbert's 1982 album "Life & Rhymes" was produced by Graham Gouldman, a founder member of 10cc.


Where is "Frobisher Drive"?

Gilbert lived on Frobisher Drive in Swindon, but the photograph on the album sleeve is not of Frobisher Drive.  It was taken on Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorset, England.


THE 90s

What is The Original Collection?

In 1990 Kitty Records released The Original Collection in Japan, a 5 CD box set of Gilbert's first five albums; Himself, Back To Front, I'm A Writer Not A Fighter, A Stranger In My Own Back Yard and Southpaw.  The box set included a lyrics booklet and a bonus 3" CD of "Alone Again (Naturally)" and "Save It".


Why did Gilbert sue American rapper Biz Markie in 1991?

Gilbert sued Biz Markie and won the decision after Markie's unauthorized sample of "Alone Again (Naturally)" on his 1991 album I Need a Haircut.


Does Gilbert write all his own songs?

Gilbert has written all his own songs with the exception of "What A Way (To Show I Love You)" which he co-wrote with Takao Kisugi in 1991.  Gilbert wrote the lyrics while Takao composed the music.


Has Gilbert done any acting?

In 1991 he went on the road with a stage show, entitled "Every Song Has It's Play", using actors to re-create the rise and fall and rise of a singer in the music business.  Gilbert played himself of course with actor Patrick Marlowe playing the young Gilbert.  A female string quartet 'A Touch of Class' provided musical accompaniment.


Are there any Video/DVDs available of Gilbert's music?

The "Live At Duo Music Exchange" was repackaged with bonus tracks added and released in the U.K. in July 2006 as "Gilbert O'Sullivan Live In Tokyo". To see the track listing for both, click HERE.


What tracks were on the video Tomorrow Today, Live in Japan '93?

At The Very Mention Of Your Name

Came To See Me Yesterday

Nothing Rhymed

No Matter How I Try

Got To Be That Way

Clair

Dear Dream

Hold On To What You Got

Matrimony

Can't Get Enough Of You

Not That It Bothers Me

Tomorrow Today

What's In A Kiss?

Get Down

Alone Again (Naturally)

Where Peaceful Waters Flow


Who is Larry in the album title "By Larry"?

Larry is a famous English cartoonist, much admired by Gilbert.  Larry provided original cartoons for the album sleeve  and booklet.


What songs did Gilbert sing at the Glastonbury Music Festival in 1995?

Nothing Rhymed (duet with Glenn Tilbrook from the group Squeeze)

I Wish I Could Cry

Hold On To What You Got

Matrimony

Miss My Love Today

What Could Be Nicer (Reggae Version)

Dishonourable Profession

Thunder And Lightning

Get Down

Where Peaceful Waters Flow


What does the album title "Singer Sowing Machine" mean?

The album title is a humorous reaction by Gilbert to being constantly referred to as a singer/songwriter.


THE 00s

What does the album title "Irlish" mean?

The album title "Irlish" is a combination of the words Irish and English, appropriate for someone born in Ireland and raised in England.  Gilbert's family was part of this migration.


Does Gilbert have his own record label?

Yes he does, Bygum Records.  Most of his back catalogue can be bought from their website: www.bygumrecords.com


What does the album title "Piano Foreplay" mean?

The title is a play on words: Piano Foreplay, Pianoforte, which is the formal term for a piano.


What is Caricature: The Box?

In 2004 Rhino Handmade Records released a 3 CD anthology in the USA of Gilbert's music entitled Caricature: The Box.  It contains 73 tracks which span the years 1967-2001.  This is the first in-depth survey of Gilbert's lengthy career. It contains numerous singles and b-sides, tracks from 16 of his albums, and five previously unreleased tracks.


What was the name of the documentary about Gilbert?

This documentary film, Out On His Own, is the result of a Wildfire film crew shadowing Gilbert for an 18-month period during 2008-2009.  They spent time with him at his home in Jersey and during the recording of his new album Gilbertville in Nashville and in London.  They also filmed and interviewed Gilbert while in concert in Dublin, Israel and at the Royal Albert Hall in London.


Where can I buy a Gilbert songbook?

"The Best of Gilbert O'Sullivan" songbook, which has the lyrics and music to 21 of Gilbert's songs is currently sold out at www.bygumrecords.com.  Occasionally individual sheet music comes up for sale on eBay.


Where can I buy Gilbert O'Sullivan CDs?

The best place to buy Gilbert's music is from ByGum Records


When will Gilbert be playing in my area?

If you would like to see Gilbert  in your area, we would suggest you contact your local venues and suggest that they look into booking his show.  Most promoters have access to the booking agents of artists such as Gilbert.  But if for some reason, they do not have access to this information, they can send an email to info@parkrecords.com and supply as much information as possible regarding the venue, etc.


What is the name of Gilbert's latest album?

Gilbert's new album is called "Latin ala G!" and was released on 8th June 2015 with a tracklisting of: Made In Love/I Guess I'll Always Love You/Hell No/If You Want Me To/(That's The Kind Of Love I Need/Let's See/Hablando Del Rey De Roma/No Way/Love I You/You Heard/Speaking Of Which/Singapore