Skip to main content

Barry Gibb: The Last Brother part 3

Maurice was the next to pass, in 2003. He'd had problems with alcohol – in the late Seventies, he used to have to run his hand along the wall just to make it to the stage. He got clean in the Nineties, but he died of a heart attack at age 53, no doubt exacerbated by a lifetime of drinking.
"With Andy, we could see it coming," says Gibb. "But Maurice was a shock." At first Barry and Robin said they would continue as the Bee Gees, but soon reversed course: "It wasn't the same. We didn't want to be the Bee Gees without Mo."

The only two left were the two who'd never gotten along. Robin and Barry tried to organize a tribute concert for Maurice, but they couldn't even agree on that. "The distance between us became more and more dramatic," Gibb says. "There were times when we didn't talk for a year."
In February 2012, Gibb played his first-ever solo show. "God bless you," he told the fans. "And say a little prayer for Rob." At the time Robin was undergoing chemotherapy. Barry went to visit him in London, where Robin told him he loved him. Six weeks after that, he was gone.

Gibb says that, when it comes to his brothers, "my only regret is that we weren't great pals at the end. There was always an argument in some form. Andy left to go to L.A. because he wanted to make it on his own. Maurice was gone in two days, and we weren't getting on very well. Robin and I functioned musically, but we never functioned in any other way. We were brothers, but we weren't really friends.

"There were too many bad times and not enough good times," he says finally. "A few more good times would have been wonderful."
The first time he lost his brothers – back in 1969 – Gibb didn't perform in public for a year and a half. Now that he's getting back on the road, he's taking his family with him. His son Stephen plays guitar in his band, and Maurice's daughter, Samantha, is a featured singer. Gibb still plays Bee Gees songs, although he won't sing any that Robin sang, out of respect. And he wants to record a new album soon. He keeps a tape recorder on his night stand in case an idea comes to him in the middle of the night. "I've got bits of paper with songs all over the house," Gibb says. "They just sit and wink at me every time I go by."

Gibb thinks about death a lot. "But I don't have any fear of it," he says, "like I might've if I'd never lost a brother." He knows his performing days are numbered: "I will not end up in a casino somewhere – I can't do that."

When his time comes, all he asks is that it's "fucking quick. A heart attack onstage would be ideal," he says, laughing. "Right in the middle of 'Stayin' Alive.'" He can tell the time is getting closer. "I have a bucket list now," he says. "I didn't used to have a bucket list." He'd like to have one more hit – "Who wouldn't?" And he'd like to see the inside of a nuclear submarine. "I'm not sure why," he says. "You can still have little dreams."

Gibb isn't sure what he thinks about an afterlife. "When people say, 'Your brothers are looking down on you and smiling,'" he says, "I don't know if that's true. But maybe, if there's any truth to that stuff, one day I'll bump into my brothers again. And they'll say, 'What kept you?'"
This is from the June 5th, 2014 issue of Rolling Stone.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Meaning of Songs

Clos
THE MEANING OF SONGSCollaborator:Stephan Koenig ALONE (1997) BARRY GIBB: What the song's really about is that little child inside. It's that abstract feeling we all have that no matter how close or how many relatives we have or how many people around us we love, we still feel alone. There's an aloneness about all of us. That "How do I, why is it always end up alone?" Well, I'm not alone, but I might feel alone, that no one really thinks the way I do. I guess that's because everybody's unique in their own way. We all do feel the same way about most things, but why is it that nobody feels the same way I do about everything? So you're alone. You have that feeling sometimes.

BARKER OF THE UFO (1967)
MAURICE GIBB: Always with experimentation in mind, this was a fun time. The memories of this session will always be remembered. I loved the tuba and reverse cymbal effect.

BLUE ISLAND (1993)
BARRY GIBB: The other side…

the story behind the song NY Mining Disaster 1941

Music History #8: "New York Mining Disaster 1941"By Bill De Main september 2012
<font color="#ffffff" size="5"></font>




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…