"BEE GEES - NO CHANGE!"

(Lon Goddard, Record Mirror, February 26, 1972)

Transcript by Anne Marie


Every record the Bee Gees ever made was written in the studio as it was recorded.

Now that riffs and tiffs are out of the way and things are back to normal with the new member Geoff Bridgeford fitting snugly unto the quartet, this approach has been resumed and the first result “My World”.

“We were never conscious of what we were going to record until we got to the studio” revealed Barry, relaxing in an official Stigwood chair “All the songs were written there, while we thought about the arrangements at the same time. Everything is going just as before – we’ve only had two single out since we last made the charts”

“And those singles suffered from distribution problems”, exclaimed Robin, also seated comfortably in a Stigwood chair. “There were so many hang ups. I don’t think it was because the records were bad – we haven’t had a re-think about musical ‘policy’. If there was such a thing, music would be in a bad way. Most of it is spontaneous; ‘Lonely Days’ started out as a jam and the lyric wasn’t even re-written.

“Even the audiences are practically the same – we can see parents, teeny-boppers and people in their sixties. The majority are about 18 to 26 and they’re Zeppelin fans too. We try to cover all age groups”

“In the U.S.” said Barry, “We’re regarded as a heavy band. Soft-rock. We’ve had a Grammy nomination for ‘How Can You Mend A Broken Heart’, along with George Harrison’s ‘My sweet Lord’ – the only two British bands nominated.

“It will be a great event if we get it. It will mean a lot, but success isn’t the main thing – we were in this business for 15 years before we ever made a penny – in fact, we’ve had more broke periods than successful ones. We’re up shit creek if people don’t like our songs, but we’ll go on doing them until we drop”.

“What we do isn’t just a product – some companies forget that. Its music and we’re dedicated to it even if we aren’t in the money. Underground people think commerciality means we’re only in it for the money; they hate capitalism. But this is not true of us and it’s a very pretentious attitude, anyway. A happy bank manager is not our idea of success.

“We’ve struggled for so long that we just enjoy people appreciating us. There are other sides to the profession, though – like Jonathan King. He has his finger in a lot of pies and it just brings you down to talk about it”

Geoff sat rather stiffly in a less comfortable chair. Silent for the most part, he joined the brothers in comment by saying, “We respect all types of music – even jazz. We don’t have to like it to respect it – what we do is simply our favourite style.

“The public have come round in cycle, but the Bee Gee’s have never wavered. We’re very serious about it. I was a big fan long before I joined the group. I had played with them, before in Australia and I always wanted to be in a group with good songs and good lyrics. No one can touch them and I also dug their dedication.

“I don’t think the group has changed – the music is more important than the line-up”.

“The Bee Gees that made ‘World’ and ‘Massachusetts’ are the same ones here today” said Robin “Colin Petersen never sang and Vince Melouney hardly ever played. In a backbone sense, it’s the same band”.

“Even to me” admitted Geoff, “They’re still a three-brother group with their own style. They – Barry, Robin and Maurice – are the main three. That’s what people want to hear. It’s the harmony and vocal thing. I don’t mind I’m sure people in Duke Ellington’s band don’t mind when he’s given all the headlines.”

“There will never be a vocal change in the Bee Gees” says Robin “Colin only came into the group because we needed a drummer – he didn’t sing. People remember your sound and that’s what they want. They associate sounds with times in their lives, perhaps they stood in Earls Court when they heard a song and it brings back memories”.

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