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The Bee Gees' Barry Gibb on success, loss and finding contentment

april 14Th 2017
 
He is the last surviving Bee Gee, but at 70 years old, Barry Gibb said he is enjoying being his age.
“The point comes when young ladies look at you, but they’re actually looking over your shoulder... when that starts happening, that’s the moment,” Gibb told “CBS This Morning: Saturday” co-host Anthony Mason at his home in Miami Beach.  
When asked by Mason what it felt like to have once been widely considered a sex symbol, Gibb replied humbly, “Well, I haven’t experienced it yet. But if I do, I’ll call you right away.” 
The Bee Gees, comprised of brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, recorded or wrote more than 40 top 40 hits across four decades. Their remarkable career will be celebrated in a prime time special Sunday night on CBS
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On having a primetime special, Gibb said, “Well, it’s dozens of thoughts. How much laughter we actually had. How many really nice songs we came up with. And hearing other people sing them.”
 
Forty years ago this December, “Saturday Night Fever” made a movie star of John Travolta and the film’s soundtrack, primarily written and performed by the Bee Gees, would spend six months at number one. 
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“We achieved whatever that dream was. Whatever happens afterwards, that doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter. We got there somehow,” Gibb said.  
The album went on to sell more than 40 million copies and permanently imprinted the Bee Gees on pop culture, but a series of tragic losses would shatter the family. In 1988, the youngest brother, Andy, died of drug-related causes and in 2003, Maurice died suddenly of a tangled intestine. Then in 2012, Robin lost a long battle with cancer.
 
“So when I lost them all, I didn’t know whether I wanted to go on. I’m leading a double life. I’m being - I’m trying to be me, the individual, but I’m also, I feel passionate that I have to be one of the Bee Gees no matter what happens.”
In 2014, Gibb finally went out on his first ever solo tour. 
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Going it alone, Gibb said, was, “bittersweet.” 
“But I love being on that stage and I love those people and the way they respond to the songs,” he said.

His main concern at the moment is finding contentment, which he thinks he has. But he admits it took some forgiveness. 
“More than anything, the sibling rivalry. I had to let go of that,” Gibb said. “That’s been hard because for me there still has been a conversation. I’ve spent many days over the last decade talking to my brothers and sometimes I talk to them on stage.”
But Gibb said he’s learning to enjoy just being around.

“Seize life. That’s the thing,” Gibb said. “That’s where I am now. As long as it happens after 11 o’clock in the morning, I’m not seizing anything until 11 o’clock.”
 
 

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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…