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childhood memories





Childhood:




Barry Gibb: "My childhood is fairly vivid to me. I remember standing in Spring Valley... Being about 4 or 5, I remember standing on the loading dock at the back of the ice cream factory pretending to perform." (1997)
Barry Gibb: " We were street kids. Our parents had no control over us. I had a great fear of he law, but I also was very rebellious. Life on the street became more fun, and we wouldn't come home until 11 at night, 12 at night. We'd be on the streets every night." (Daily Express, 1997)
Robin Gibb: "I think it was the environment, especially in Manchester because there were a lot of restless kids on the street. But the fortunate thing with us is that we had something that we wanted to pursue even that early and that was our music... Our father couldn't quite understand where we were coming from at first because we weren't taught anything. We suddenly ended up in the bedroom just harmonising together... We started singing on street corners and cinemas before the film started - it was kind of a grass roots kind of thing, very natural. My parents were a bit worried at first because they didn't know where it was going to end or whether they should encourage it." (1997)
Barry Gibb: "I think a lot of our father's frustration for not quite making it goes into us. We carry on from him." (1997)
Robin Gibb: "We were like the Bronte sisters in that we created our own world and fed off our fantasies and ideas. Once we'd created this inner world we immersed ourselves in that. The Brontes wrote stories, we wrote songs. Outsiders thought we were mad, but once we discovered music we never doubted we would succeed. And it was never about money, it was about being recognised and being liked." (Daily Express, 1997)
Robin Gibb: "When we were little kids we had natural- three-part harmony. We started singing in local theaters around Manchester [England] when Maurice and I were 7 or 8, and we turned professional around 1959-60, after the family had emigrated to Australia. Our dad, who'd been a professional drummer and bandleader for 20 years, was struggling to make ends meet; our mom was ill, and there were five kids. Singing wasn't a question of having a career at that point. It was a question of survival. We started performing between the races at the Redcliffe Speedway in Brisbane, and then we put an act together for the Australian nightclub circuit. That's when we began to have career ambitions." (TV Guide, 1979)

Maurice Gibb: "At school we sang to the other kids. They didn't like us much, but we used to stand against the wall, tell jokes and sing. In fact, most choirs we were in at school, we were thrown out of so it is interesting that we ended up doing what we did. Most of the schools didn't like us harmonising to 'God Save The Queen'. We didn't mean to. It's just that we sang it that way, and naturally they said, 'What are you doing? Get out of my class!'" (1997)
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Image credit:  Getty Images
“New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Have You Seen My Wife, Mr. Jones)”
Written by Barry and Robin Gibb (1967)
Performed by Bee Gees


The MusicWhen the Bee Gees debut US single was released in April 1967, a lot of people thought it was The Beatles masquerading as another band. Even the name Bee Gees was read as code for “Beatles Group.” But within a year, brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb established themselves not only as hit makers in their own right, but as chart rivals to the Fabs. “New York Mining Disaster 1941,” the first of thirty-some hits, is one of those rare pop songs in which the title never appears in the lyrics. Most people still refer to it by its subtitle “Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones.” Inspired by the Aberfan mining disas…