Over on theguardian.com Alexis Petridis offers a look at Bee Gee Barry Gibb, 74 years old and the last remaining Gibb brother…
The Bee Gee’s Barry Gibb: “There’s fame and there’s ultra-fame – It can destroy you.”
As someone who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, I was all too familiar with the meteoric rise of The Bee Gees, mostly on the wave of Disco and the film Saturday Night Fever…
Here’s the thing: As monster a hit as the Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever soundtrack was, as popular as Disco was, there was an incredible backlash that happened only a couple of years after its zenith.
I recall a professor in High School or College mused that the death of Disco was inevitable the moment the parents (the older generation) showed up at the Discos and the younger crowds decided they no longer wanted any part of it. But there were other issues as well, and some feel they might have related to homophobia or perhaps the too “out there” styles of that time.
I don’t know.
As I said, I grew up in that era but I was too young to go to Discos and by the time I could go to clubs, Disco was long gone.
But, as with all things, there comes a re-evaluation over time and I suspect people hold the Disco era in far better/nicer terms than they did in the later 1970’s and into the 1980’s, when there was a sense it should not only be buried, but incinerated before burying.
Which brings us to the above article. Barry Gibb, as I noted, is the last remaining Gibb brother. Maurice and Robin, the two brothers who along with Barry made up the Bee Gees, and younger brother Andy Gibb, are gone. Andy Gibb, who had at least one big hit with the song Shadow Dancing…
…was a cocaine addict and would die at the too young age of 30.
Brothers Maurice and Robin would die years later, and they too had problems with addiction.
What’s saddest regarding this article is that not only does Barry Gibb still feel the hurt of how people turned against their music (the author notes he is surprised people like the music now) but how his relationship with his brothers in turn soured as their success grew.
Barry Gibb notes that he was essentially not talking to his brothers when they passed away, and I can’t imagine the pain that must cause in him.
Once someone’s gone, whatever chance at closure is gone as well.
Still, the music remains and, one must note, it is still remembered and, in many parts, cherished.
A sad article, certainly, but at least there’s that.