The Bee Gees sold more than 120 million records and recorded 27 albums in the band’s five decades together. But there was always one song in particular that the Gibb brothers — Barry, Maurice and Robin — apparently all agreed was the best.
Barry Gibb said the song was written for Celine Dion for her “Let’s Talk About Love” studio album in 1998, and features the Bee Gees singing in the background.
As the only remaining brother in the band, Barry performed the hit for a packed crowd at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday night as part of his solo “Mythology” tour, rousing the crowd with the lyrics: “I make my journey through eternity, I keep the memory of you and me alive inside.”
But that song was apparently one of the few things the brothers agreed on throughout their long career.
“The microphone was the one time the three of us communicated,” Gibb said. “Apart from that, we argued all the time.”
The concert proved to be a moving tribute to the band, with Gibb sharing stories and rare photographs of his former band mates and siblings.
“Maurice loved children and magic tricks. If he was around today, the iPad would be his world,” Gibb said of his brother, who died in 2003 of cardiac arrest. “And Robin (who passed away two years ago after a long cancer battle) was two opposites. He could be in a fantastic mood one second, and not the next… I could never quite gauge that, and Maurice was the mediator between us.”
Gibb even sang “I Started a Joke” with footage of Robin singing on the video screen with the band, giving the illusion that he was right there on the stage.
And the youngest Gibb, Andy — who was just thirty when he died in 1988 from an inflammation of the heart muscle after battling years of substance abuse — was certainly not forgotten, with Barry referring to him as the brother who was most like himself.
With his brothers gone, Gibb still makes his show a family affair. His son Steve played lead guitar and his niece (Maurice’s daughter) Samantha joined him center stage for several duets. At various times throughout the emotionally-charged performance, Gibb appeared to get choked up honoring his brothers, and at the overwhelming support and applause from the audience.
Yet it wasn’t all just about the Bee Gees either, rather a celebration of music as a whole, and of those who have made their mark. During his recent tour, Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to the band’s Australian roots by performing “Stayin’ Alive” in Sydney, so Gibb returned the favor Wednesday with his own cover of “I’m on Fire” after referring to the Jersey native as the “greatest artist” he knows.
Gibb went on to give his rendition of “Islands in the Stream” and the theme song from the hit motion picture “Grease,” which he wrote and was sung in the film by Frankie Valli.
Even more fitting? Olivia Newton-John was right there in the audience, singing along.
By Hollie McKay