LUCK LIKE THE BEE GEES" Transcript by Anne Marie
Transcript by Anne Marie
For years NEMS Enterprises, the management organisation run by Brian Epstein, has been famous for its Liverpool artists. But as the ‘Made In Liverpool’ tag has tended to have less impact, NEMS have been looking around elsewhere. The Bee Gees are their latest big promotion, and the NEMS publicity set-up has worked really hard and successfully to get the new boys away.
How did it all happen? Well let’s forget the publicity blurb and look at the paths that the Bee Gees followed, before ‘New York Mining Disaster’ was released. As you probably have read a dozen times, three of the Bee Gees were born and raised in Manchester. They are 17 year old twins Maurice and Robin Gibb and their 19 year old brother, Barry. Australian drummer Colin Petersen, also 19, is the group’s most recent addition. He joined them in London a couple of months ago, when the Bee Gees came home from Australia. The Bee Gees started off like a thousand other groups, by posting a parcel of tape recordings to Brian Epstein. Every top manager and agent receives regular parcels of such tapes from artists and groups, trying to break in. but managers and agents are notoriously short of time and often those tapes get left on a shelf, to be posted back after several months to their hopeful senders. The Bee Gees didn’t hear anything, so when they arrived in England, they trotted up to the NEMS Office, next to the London Palladium
RANG A BALL
Brian Epstein wasn’t in, but Bob Stigwood, NEMS joint managing director, was. And the name Bee Gees rang a responsive bell in his memory box, because, being Australian himself, he’d always taken the trouble to keep up on the down-under charts, and had noticed a string of number one hits by a group called the Bee Gees. Bob invited them into his office and was immediately impressed with the quality and variety of the boys’ original material. Then followed the usual discussions before the contract was signed, after which they had to produce their first single. Many trips were made by Bob Stigwood and the Bee Gees to IBC Studios in Portland Place before everyone was satisfied. They recorded three basic tracks, took them away and deliberated for some time, and returned to choose ‘Mining Disaster’ as their first A-side.
Then the well oiled NEMS publicity machine was put into motion. Everyone had to be made aware of the Bee Gees as quickly as possible. If the record is good, then most disc-jockeys and editors are happy to co-operate and ‘New York Mining Disaster’, or ‘Mr Jones’ as I prefer to call it, is. The record is also doing well trans-Atlantically, and the Bee Gees have already been across to boost the sales of their first biggie.
It’s not often that the same manager or organisation gets two really
world-shaking artists or groups under their wing in the same period, and
whether or not the Bee Gees will live up to their big send off remains to
be seen. On the basis of their first single and Polydor album, no one can
complain about their writing and recording. The looks and sounds are
already there. The future will give us the answer about their longevity.