(Disc & Music Echo, July 6 1968)

Transposed by Anne Marie

Bee Gee Colin Petersen’s secret marriage to Joanne Newfield was not only something of a lightning and surprise affair – but will go down in history as pop’s most unusual marriage.

Most girls who end up as a pop singers wives have never had any contact with the pop business apart from going out and buying a record, or seeing their boyfriend on stage. But Joanne has been immersed in pop, through her work as the late Brian Epstein’s secretary and her current job as personal assistant to Bee Gee’s manager Robert Stigwood, for over three years.

She us a highly competent cool headed girl, intelligent and very active in the pop world. She will organise the Bee Gees to be in the right place at the right time, book cars to pick them up, travel all over the world with Robert Stigwood. She, more than anyone, has been close enough to pop to appreciate the pitfalls of a pop marriage and all it entails.

“When things first started getting serious I really fought against it. I never wanted to marry someone in the pop world – I thought I might marry someone behind the scenes, but I’ve seen too much of the pressures and strains put on marriages when boys are actually group members to want to get involved”.


Joanne in a crisp turquoise shirt, white skirt and cardigan and white ribbon in her hair was sitting in her plushly furnished office amidst the Stigwood Empire. Colin had made a tactful retreat into another room.

“But I’m convinced our marriage will work because we ARE in the same business. Because I can understand Colin’s work and be cause my own work is so interesting – that’s why I won’t give it up and stay at home.

“It means I can travel with Colin but in a working capacity as Robert’s assistant. I don’t want to be one of those wives that’s always in the way, hanging around. After all, road managers have enough problems with the group and equipment without having to keep worrying if someone’s wife is okay too, and it brings pressure on the group.

“And Colin isn’t like an ordinary boy from a group. He isn’t a raver, or a big club-goer. He likes a family life, he’s quiet and intelligent. It’s just a job to him. Well, he’s been in show business since he was a child”.

Joanne first met Colin through her close friend Lulu, who introduced them last Christmas.

“I went down to Top Of The Pops hen Lulu was going out with Maurice. I didn’t really think much about Colin except that he was rather sweet. That afternoon some sort of row developed between us and Lu and Maurice were trying to get us together like mad.

“We went out – the four of us – and had a meal – we both cancelled dates with people to do it – and the next day Colin was leaving for an Australian tour. I thought “Oh well a brief romance” but I had a pretty miserable Christmas.


“When he came back we always went out with Lu and Maurice – hardly ever on our own and things never got really serious. Just before he left for a tour of Germany we broke it off and then I had to go out with Robert to see them.

“I realised I was more than just a bit interested because I asked Maurice how Colin had been and he said “Oh great – been dating all the bids”, and I felt terrible.

“On the plane back from Germany we talked things out and a month before we got married he turned to me and said ‘Marry me’ and my stomach turned over and before I knew where I was I’d said yes!

“My mother knew I was going out with a Bee Gee but she never knew which one it was – she was always telling people the wrong name. a week before we went to the Bahamas with Vince and Diane we told her we thought we’d get married”

Did they have a ‘secret’ marriage away from London to escape the Bee Gee’s fans?

“No. it as just that we thought it would be nice to go away and do it without a lot of publicity. Vince and Diane were our witnesses and they cried all the way through the ceremony; it was lovely”.

Joanne and Colin live in a mews house in Bayswater, so far they have hardly had a quiet time of it. Joanne was very ill with German measles on their return from the Bahamas and since then a steady influx of friends, well wishers, and neighbours have entrenched themselves at the house.

“It’s funny really” Joanne said giggling “You know, since I married Colin I’ve got more and more organised. There’s a great strength in him I didn’t realise existed until I went to Germany. He’s really quite a dominant person.


“And he’s very domesticated – I’m a rotten cook, though I’m trying to improve.

“You know I was talking to someone the other day about how Colin often works on sessions until early in the morning and sleeps all day if he’s not working, and how I get up early to get to work, and she said ‘you poor dear, it must be terrible for you’. But I’ve never been so happy in my life”.

On the way out the pretty blonde girl at the reception desk was still managing to keep the stalwart band of Bee Gee fans OUTSIDE the door.

“When Joanne first started going out with Colin the fans didn’t like it. But now they’re married they really accept her and like her”.

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