AND JUDY: ROBIN INTERVIEW
(Richard and Judy,
Channel 4, December 3rd 2004)
Robin Gibb was in this show to
promote Number Ones
Judy: Barry Gibb is one of the top writers and producers, but
I am in awe of this man. The Bee Gees have sold over 110 million albums,
that's two for every person in Britain. Their latest is a compilation,
not of their greatest hits, but their greatest number ones. Fabulous
music. Robin is here now
Robin Gibb: Can I just say about something you said earlier about
Barry writing all the songs? Well, actually we wrote all the songs
Richard: Sorry about that.
Robin Gibb: It's OK
Richard: I thought Barry had ...
Robin Gibb: Barry wrote some songs.
Judy: Barry produced...
Robin Gibb: Yes, he did, but we wrote all of the songs together.
Richard: That's my error. I wrote the script very early this
morning because we had an awards thing. When I wrote the production
thing I put... I apologise...
Robin Gibb: That's the wonderful thing about the album, it
presents what we've written for other artists as well, like"Heartbreaker"
we did for Dionne Warwick, "Chain reaction" for Diana Ross,
"Woman in love" for Streisand.
Judy: Yes. It's vast really, isn't it? As you just said, it's
astonishing when you look back on your track record of success. Every
record was just stunning.
Robin Gibb: Thank you.
Judy: Is there a kind of sense in this particular album that it
is something of a memorial to Maurice?
Robin Gibb: Yes, I think so. I think there's a lot of that as
well. It's the first release since Maurice died and it is in a sense a
tribute to Maurice and I think that will be ongoing in a way in our
whole career, you don't really get over it, something like that... It's
a real part of my whole life now and forever. You wake up with that fact
everyday. But yes, the music, everything we do now will be that.
Richard: We have lost a lot of friends this year. One of our
closest friends -as people watching on here will know- was Caron
Keating, we were very close to her and her family. I remember something
the vicar said at her funeral: it was that "Those of us that loved
her and who were loved by her could maintain contact with her through
that channel, that's the one channel, the one frequency that remains
open between the living and the dead - love, and it's two-way
Robin Gibb: That's right, yes.
Richard: Do you feel that with Maurice?
Robin Gibb: Yes.
Richard: I think that's the one way you can...
Robin Gibb: Yes, and again I think we had this special
relationship, not just as a twin, as three brothers, all our lives, so
it goes beyond just being brothers; it's a musical relationship that we
shared from the beginning.
Richard: What I mean't was... Are you conscious of him? Yes, he's
beyond reach now...
Robin Gibb: Yes.
Richard: But nevertheless, he's contactable in another
Robin Gibb: Yes. I don't know if I can actually feel that he is getting in
touch with me. I'd love that.
I'm not saying that you can't and that people don't feel that, but I actually feel sometimes that he
is... that there's a
presence, that he's there... And I think that's probaly what you mean, I think there is that
feeling, that he's always there.
Judy: Talk about the three of you. It really is remarkable that you were all
gifted with such fantastic voices, isn't it?
Robin Gibb: Yes.
Judy: And you and Maurice, you used to harmonize together in the bathroom
in Manchester, didn't you?
Robin Gibb: My mother used to wash us in the kitchen sink as well;
that well off!
Judy: My mother used to wash me in the kitchen sink!
Robin Gibb: Two of us, one each side. Then she'd get us out and do the
Richard: I used to wash my mother in the kitchen sink...
Robin Gibb: That's right! I used to wash my mother as well...
We had a great bath tub in front of the fire as well that she used to
wash us in and she used to sing "Ding dong dell pussy in the well,"
you know, all the old stuff, all the rhymes.
Judy: So that wasn't just you and Maurice, that was all three of you?
Robin Gibb: In that? Well... the three of us used to sleep in the same bed
didn't have many bedrooms and we all used to
sit in bed at night and talk about what we were going to do in the
future, we needed that kind of quality time to talk about what we were
going to do.
Richard: Yes.The first time I was conscious of the Bee Gees cornering
the market in that beautiful close harmony falsetto was 'Jive Talkin.' Had you done it before then?
Robin Gibb: Yes, in the late 60's, "Massachusetts"
Richard: Massachuetts , of course!
Robin Gibb: "I've gotta get a message to you," they were all number
ones. And "Words," that went on to be recorded by Ronan Keating later
on, that was top ten.
Richard: How did you get in to that? Because it's quite a challenging way to
sing, falsetto, I mean in all the other ways...
Robin Gibb: A lot of other artists were doing it at
that time, people like Mick Jagger were doing it, and of course
later Prince was doing it. It was kind of a melting pot in music to do
that. It was actually only done on a few songs, only two or three songs, that was stuff from
Fever. Incidentally all the
stuff for Fever was written in the countryside in France, in a little
village. The cows got to hear it first!
Richard: Let's see a clip, this is "Stayin' alive,"
your careers were
already mega. It's a bit like these satellites that go into space
and they get extra velocity going round the planet, Saturday night
fever really sling shot you into...
Robin Gibb: Yes, it was a special project; we didn't realise how big
it was going to be,
it was just a project to us.
Richard: Well, you never know, do you?
Robin Gibb: No.
Richard: Well, let's have a look.
Richard: Well, you're going to like this, not a lot, but a bit. Well, you must know
this... he has to get permission: Have you heard that Ozzy Osbourne wants to do his own version of
Robin Gibb: I'd love to hear that!
Richard: We've done it. We went into the studios in Abbey Road earlier
today. He's not quite got it together but it's not too bad.
[Osbourne's lookalike perfoms the song]
Robin Gibb: I think it could be a bit better than that...
Richard: Yes. I think it will be better than that... It was a
Robin Gibb: Yeah!
Judy: Did you know he's done that? That's definitely what we've
Robin Gibb: Yes, he's doing it. I can't wait to hear it!
Richard: Tell us how did you guys work together
when you were writing songs together and rehearsing them... what
did you do? Did you always work in a studio like the Beatles mostly used to
do? How did you write together?
Robin Gibb: Exactly the same way.
We'd be sitting around a table like this, we'd have a memocord in the
middle of the table and there'd be a keyboard and a guitar and
we'd have ideas, maybe a title, and one of us would come to the table
with an idea of two halves of a song, or we'd get the ideas putting them both together to make
one song. Lyrics used to come
later, music first.
Richard: So the melody first. he melody, and the sound and the
harmonies; then you'd work on the lyrics?
Robin Gibb: Yes. Well, with the song you don't really worry about
the harmonies right away, you just worry about the melody, and then you
write the lyrics. With the Streisand album for instance "Woman in
love" and "Guilty" we wrote all the melodies first in one week and then
the following week we wrote all the lyrics
Judy: You've got children, two sons. Has any of your kids kind of inherited the...
Robin Gibb: Yes. Robin-John is very much into producing and
writing, and he's working on stuff right now.
And I've got Spencer in Austin,Texas and he has a blues band.
Judy: And what about Maurice's and Barry's?
Robin Gibb: They're working in music too.
Richard: Well, it's in the genes.
This is a wonderful album. It really is. It's the Bee Gees' number ones...
Robin Gibb: Thanks very much, thanks a lot!
Richard: I think Paul McCartney said about the White album in the
documentary about the Beatles "Look, it's the white album,
Robin Gibb: Yes.
Richard: It's great.
It's lovely to see you again.
Robin Gibb: Thanks a lot Richard.
Judy: Nice to see you.
Robin Gibb: Congratulations on the award!
Judy: Thank you!
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