From Spy magazine – 1989


I Was a Teenage Wolfgang


Power balladeer Debbie “the Gibber” Gibson is always the youngest girl at the prom: the youngest to have written, performed and produced a number one song (“Foolish Beat,” on Out of the Blue), headlined an act at Madison Square Garden and faced the specter of repetitiveness. But if her peculiar dilemma spells the words déjà vu to you, it should: Gibson’s eighteenth-century counterpart, Wolfgang “Wolferl” Mozart, was equally precocious. Further comparisons between the composers of, respectively, “Shake Your Love” and “Ach, Was Mussen Wir Erfahren” are almost … well, gosh, Gibber, they’re almost uncanny.




Wrote first composition, an Andante and Allegro (K. 1a and b), at age five

Wrote first power ballad, “Make Sure You Know Your Classroom,” at age five

Apparently ordinary sister, Maria Anna, was five years older

Apparently ordinary sister, Karen, is five years older

Told people of his ambition to gain audience with Viennese emperor Joseph II

Told People of her ambition to gain audience with pop emperor Billy “Vienna” Joel

Early publisher and proponent of compositions: Brietkopf & Hartel

Early copyrighter and proponent of power ballads: entertainment lawyer Doug Breitbart

Wrote fulsome 1765 anthem entitled God Is Our Refuge

Wrote fulsome 1988 high school yearbook quote: “What you are is God’s gift to you – What you become is your gift to God”

Haunted entire life by greater success of establishment-sanctioned mediocrity Salieri

Haunted entire life by greater success of establishment-sanctioned mediocrity Madonna

“I am convinced that I should do better with a wife … than I do by myself” – letter to father, Leopold

“AMBITION: To get married and have children” – Calhoun High School yearbook

“Sometimes he reached absently for the door-pocket, took out his case of illegible scrap papers and jotted down a theme or phrase.” – biographer Marcia Davenport

“She writes both the lyrics and music for a number in approximately 15 minutes, scribbling on napkins and scrap paper, which she then jams carelessly into her pockets.” – Life magazine


-- Martin Kihn