Skip to main content

Bee Gees : Boeing 7201 spirits plane

At the beginning of the 1950's the Boeing company created one of the greatest planes of the Twentieth Century - the Boeing 707, which undoubtedly initiated the era of passenger jet travel for the masses. In 1957, the company's management decided to modify the aircraft for possible use on medium-range routes and on runways of shorter length. Thus the Boeing 720 was developed, which in comparison with its predecessor was slightly shorter (the fuselage was reduced by 2.45m) and had a redesigned wing and in general was more straightforward to operate than the Boeing 707. Pratt & Whitney JT3C-7 engines were installed in the airplane. On November 23, 1959 its first flight took place, and 65 were constructed. A year later a more advanced modification was developed, the Boeing 720B, with JT3D engines. The principal operators of the Boeing 720 were US airlines, although a small number was sold to Germany, Israel, Pakistan, Ireland and some other countries. This machine with the serial number N7201U was delivered to United Airlines and was used by it on internal routes from 1960 to 1973.

 In 1973 famous former American actor and singer Bobby Sherman together with his manager Ward Sylvester, co-owners of artists agency Contemporary Entertainment, purchased the plane from United Airlines with the intent of converting it into a convenient and comfortable 'flying hotel' for effecting flights between cities and out of the country by various artists. The music industry during this period was at its peak - a considerable number of performers of all styles of music plied their trade on numerous tours of the territory of the USA, and without any particular financial drawbacks the considerable fees received by them for concerts at that time allowed them to rent the plane for fast and comfortable travel from city to city.

 The idols of that time, bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, the Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers Band, and singers Elton John, Peter Frampton, Sonny & Cher, and John Lennon, from time to time were clients of the VIP plane, known as Starship One. However, in the late 1970s, because of problems with its engines, it was retired, and then the famous American luxury hotel Caesar's Palace offered to the various bands' managers their own plane. It was also a Boeing 720 and it likewise had its own name - 'Caesar's Chariot' - which emphasized its glamorous status. The level of comfort on board was the equal of its predecessor, although Led Zeppelin, the first of the stars who used the services of the new machine, noted that they remembered Starship One with special nostalgia.
In 1979 following a number of 'bad events', Led Zeppelin cancelled their regular tour across America, and the Bee Gees pop group became the next clients of the 'superplane'. Now the Gibb brothers trio already had enormous popularity around the world, selling disks with sales of millions of copies. Their recent album Spirits Having Flown had been hugely successful and it wasn't surprising that their tour of the cities of the USA was undertaken with special grandiosity. For this purpose the plane was once again completely repainted - on its fuselage and tail was written the name of the album and a characteristic logo featuring profiles of the group members. In such fashion Caesar's Chariot made a grand tour with the Bee Gees around the country, however for the plane it was to be the last 'star tour' – Led Zeppelin's tour of the cities of the US, due to take place shortly, was cancelled because of John Bonham's death and the effective demise of the well-known rock group. The Bee Gees may have been the last clients of Caesar's Chariot, however this tradition has carried on, and stars of later eras continue to hire modern aircraft, carrying out tours on different continents  and the countries of the world.


Popular posts from this blog

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…

Meaning of Songs

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.

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.

BARRY GIBB: The other side…