They have been hailed as successors to the Beatles, are unperturbed by
the failure of their last record, and will be out if the country almost
continually until early next year. Are the Bee Gees justified in their
attitude towards British fans who established them. Or do they owe more
Last week, before the Bee Gees left for their five week tour of the
States, Disc asked them just how responsible they were to their British
fans, and whether, after failure of their last single “Jumbo”, they
could afford to be out of the country when their next single, “Gotta
Getta Message To You”, is released in two weeks.
“It’s not our responsibility to be in the country when the record
is out,” said drummer Colin Petersen indignantly. “We’ve got as
much responsibility to our fans in America as over here, you can’t be
everywhere at once. They’re much more pop conscious in America than
they are here. It doesn’t make it a better record whether you’re
here or not.”
“I’d like to have been here when the record comes out,” said
bass guitarist Maurice Gibb, “I think popularity in England is
marvellous. In other countries it grows and goes up and down, but here
it seems to stay the same.
“An artist can establish himself more so in Britain than any other
country, two or three records and you’re a star, but in America you
have to have hit after hit. I’m not saying you’ve got to sell
records, but you haven’t got to be number one every week”.
For a group who’s recognition rests mainly on two hits “Massachusetts”
and “New York Mining Disaster”, the Bee Gees cannot afford another
“We don’t experiment with our music that much,” said Maurice.
“We don’t seem to be progressing in the same form as the Beatles’
progression into ‘Sergeant Pepper’, but I think we are slowly
progressing in backing.
“We may not go away one weekend and come back with new ideas like
George Harrison, he went to India and came back an Indian. There’s one
thing we don’t want to lose and that’s the melody of our songs”.
“Our ideas are different from theirs,” said Vince Melouney, “We
respect their ideas and I hope they respect ours. I don’t think ‘Jumbo’
damaged our reputation. It was different. If it had been released a week
later it might have been a hit.”
The advantages and disadvantages of pop groups venturing into the
film world have probably been best illustrated by the Beatles and
Monkees. The Bee Gees are fortunate in having had Frankie Howerd as a
coach in the art of comedy, when they made a series with him to be shown
on BBC in September.
“He was a great guy to work with,” said Colin. “He’s so
professional and he taught us a lot. In the end he just sends us up and
we send him up”.