"WE SELL AS MANY RECORDS AS MARC BOLAN, SAY THE BEE GEES BUT..."

(Disc and Music Echo, November 27, 1971)

Transcript by Anne Marie


Will your curiosity be strong enough to induce you to go to see the Bee Gees when they finally do dates in Britain again, in April and May? The Bee Gees hope it will, because they haven’t appeared live here for three years and they aren’t at all sure about the reception they will get.

The reason for their prolonged absence of work here, they say, is that they couldn’t get the venues they wanted when they wanted, and they are also wary of appearing in front of an audience which remembers their squabbles of a couple of years ago.

Berry Gibb told Disc: “It has been too long between tours and it’s been so long since we met a British audience, I don’t know how they’ll take us. I’m nervous about it. To be honest, if we saw one of our records in the charts here, none of the number one records in all the other countries would matter a bit”.

But it’s been a long time since the Bee Gees had their peak of success and tastes have changed.

“I don’t think it has changed – I think it’s just a mood the country is going through and I don’t think the Bee Gees will suffer by it. We sold the same number of copies of ‘Lonely Days’ as ‘Ride A White Swan’ did, but our records weren’t in the shops that are used for the computer to make up the BBC charts”.

The Bee Gees say they don’t want to make a lot of money – they get supertax on it here anyway – and they most likely won’t either, when they tour with their 25 piece orchestra. They will also take another band with them. It’s not definite yet, but will probably be Tin Tin.

At the moment, they are more concerned with the success of their latest album ’Trafalgar’ which is already high in the American charts.

“I suppose you could say that melodies are our strong point. Basically they are the same as five years ago, but we don’t think consciously of producing the melody. ‘Trafalgar’ was written by Robin and Maurice and myself. Geoff (Bridgeford) doesn’t do much writing for the group. He prefers to sit back and leave us to it. He’s very happy-go-lucky. Before, we’ve had songs thrown in our faces from group members.”

And that brings us to the row that was blown out of all proportion when Colin Petersen left the group. However, the Bee Gees think they have learnt by their mistakes and take care to see that it doesn’t happen again.

“It seems to be taking us a long time after the row to convince the public that the Bee gees are alive and together. Of course, we still have a go at each other, but we don’t argue. Arguments are a malignant growth and we crush them from the start. It’s things like that which break up groups. By no means are we on the way down. We’ve kept up our morale and the fan letters have helped.

“Of course there are the number ones in other countries – like the two gold singles for ‘Lonely Days’ and ‘How Do You Mend A Broken Heart’ in the States. And there are number one records which have been taken off our album and released in places like Israel without us even knowing. We’re going to Japan, Australia and back to the States in the New Year. We also have a new single out here in January. It’s called ‘My World’ and is not from the album.

Barry Gibb is also hoping that another acting part will come up for him soon. He was offered a part as a murderer in the Peter Wyngarde series, but his actors’ equity card ran out just as he was about to begin work on it and couldn’t be renewed in time to begin.

“I had the script at home and everything. I needed a scooter for the part and I had arranged to have my own brought from England. It was a big disappointment, but there might be a next time”.

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