(December 2002)

There’s no doubt that the Bee Gees are set in stone as true music legends. They’ve sold 110 million records in some 30 years and they are still going strong. There’s some new stuff from the group on the way later this year I think but if you can’t wait that long, next month you need to rush and buy a copy of "Magnet", the new solo album from Robin Gibb

I’m delighted to welcome Robin to Wave 105. Good morning Robin.
Good morning. How are you?

I’m very well thank you. We’re highly honoured to have you at this time of day because I understand you don’t normally get up before about midday?

Well this is it. I’m not used to seeing the sun on that side of the sky, it’s a little disorientating!

M: So you’re a night time person?

Yeah I am actually. I think that’s because of the business I’m in and recording, you know, you record more at night and usually come home in the early hours of the morning and you see everyone going to work.

Is that when you do your best work then, after dark?

Yeah I think so, I think a lot of people do. They get up in the afternoon and you tend to do all your work at night and it seems to be the quietest time. Because when you’re in the studio there’s no clocks or anything you don’t really go by time, so you just go until you get it right.

Well there you were in the Sunday papers luxuriating on a sofa in your 11th century manor. One of the oldest houses in Britain I think?
It is, yeah.

Does it have any ghosts?
Well people have seen ghosts in it. It’s got a nice feeling in it. I think if there are ghosts they’re not that miserable, they’re quite happy, so it’s got a nice presence. It used to be a place of prayer for the monks. For hundreds of years it was prayed in, so if there are ghosts there maybe they are nice ghosts. I haven’t seen any myself but other people have.

And you ripped out the tennis court apparently and put a stone circle there because your wife is patroness of the druids isn’t she.
Yes, but I mean the Archbishop of Canterbury is one. It’s a positive thing, it’s a way of thinking and it’s got nothing to do with rituals or anything like that.

Does that mean you have to be a druid too?

No it doesn’t actually. It’s not something that actually comes up in conversation very often, even at home, the druid thing. It’s just, you know, Walt Disney was one and Churchill was one, so it’s a way of thinking, just positive thoughts.

So we’re not likely to see you on June 21st at Stonehenge then?
Not as such though. You might.

Ooo, we’ll have a look this year then! I must say in those pictures in the article I was reading you’re looking a little bit like John Lennon in those little round specs there.

Oh, my little blue glasses.

That’s right, and I know he’s a hero of yours. Have you ever wondered what John Lennon might be doing if he was alive today, musically?
Probably gardening. I don’t know, what would he be doing musically today? He was a bit of a rebel all his life so I don’t think he would have gone with any particular flow. I still think he would have stayed with his roots and I personally don’t think he’d be making much music today, if he’d been around today. I think he’d be a bit like George Harrison was. I think he’d be much more sort of quieter.

You don’t think he would have been tempted with a Beatles reunion somewhere along the line?

Not at all, no. I don’t think that would have been in his nature.

Now I’m getting a modern R&B feel from this new album "Magnet" of yours and you’ve used I know songs from some up-and-coming young writers. Where did you find them?

Well there was the producer Deacon who worked with Mary J Blige in Los Angeles and Michael Grieves in this country with two young black producers, two great songwriters as well and they played the tracks. They love to give attention to new young songwriters coming up and I thought it was a good opportunity to do it and I liked the songs and I thought to myself "well, why don’t I do it". You know, if I like them I should be doing them. And that’s what I did.

The first single to be lifted from the album is called "Please". Anything you can tell us about this song?

Well again, it was one of the tracks that Michael Grieves played and it was a torch song which I like, and a good one at that, and it had the soul R&B value which I go for, which is in my roots anyway. It appealed to me right away, it appealed instantly.

The new album will be in your shops about 3rd February – yes Robin, something like that?
That’s for the album, yeah, and the single 20th January.

Do you keep strong tabs on what’s going on with regard to release dates and that kind of thing, or is that not important to you?

Well it’s only important when people go to the shops and it’s not there. (laughing) Can be a little bit tricky. But no, not really – I haven’t really got a head for all that.

I mentioned that the Bee Gees are going to be doing some stuff this year. Can you confirm that for us?

Oh definitely yeah. It’s just a question of when during the year. We’re talking about it now, so it’s definitely going to take place.

So there’ll be an album?

There’ll be an album and probably some live shows as well.

Oh fantastic. Can you give us an insight into what kind of music that might be? Have you started writing anything together yet?

Well it’s going to have R&B Soul roots again which is still our favourite and we’re progressing in that area.

I was going to ask you which part of being in the music business you enjoy the most, but again, having read this article I think you just enjoy being in the studio don’t you?

Love being in the studio. It’s like a canvas, you know, to a painter. You go into the studio and it’s just that excited feeling you get. You don’t know what you’re going to come out with. And being a writer as well, the studio is where you do most work, the most lasting work. I mean, live performance is fine but it’s like, that’s for the moment. You know, when you produce a piece of work in the studio it’s forever and that’s a very exciting feeling.

Well good luck with the album "Magnet" and to round off I’ve got together a silly little quiz, a Bee Gees quiz for you, because you’ve been in the business over 30 years now. Your first ever performance, you were very young when you did that weren’t you?
Which one was that?

Oh, on a Saturday morning picture show in Manchester or something.

Oh gosh, about 7 years old, yeah. Very young.

We won’t say how many years ago that was. That would be a giveaway.

Yes that would be a giveaway.

But a little Bee Gees quiz to finish off with, Robin, if you don’t mind that.
All right then, yes.

You’re first no. 1 in Britain was a Massachusetts in 1967. Can you spell Massachusetts?

No I can’t actually. I think it’s m-a-s-s-a-c-h-u-s-e-t-t-e-s. I think that’s it isn’t it.

Oh, if you just hadn’t put that "e" in at the end there you’d have got it spot on.

Isn’t there an "e" at the end then?

No there is no "e" after the "t"’s and before the "s"’s, but I’m highly impressed. Now I don’t know if you recall this far back but that same year 1967 you switched on the Carnaby Street Christmas lights, which only goes to show how big stars you were even then. And played at the Saville Theatre in London on the same bill as the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band. Now someone else was on the bill – can you remember who it was?

Fats Domino wasn’t it. Fats Domino and .. I can’t remember who else.

Ooh I’ll tell you ..

Jeff Beck

No, I’ll give you a clue. Flobalob, you weed.
Oh, not Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men.

Not Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men, but the San Francisco Flowerpot Men. Don’t you remember them?

Yes it was, I wonder what happened to them.

Now the biggest selling soundtrack album of all time I think is still "Saturday Night Fever". Huge in your career. How many did you sell or have you sold to date?

I don’t know, I know it’s a huge amount but I haven’t followed it. I know it’s still the biggest selling soundtrack.

Shall I tell you?

You can if you want, yeah.

30 million copies and counting.


Amazing isn’t it. Now I’ve got a lyric quiz for you now. Can you complete the following lyric from a Bee Gees song Robin … "oh my child you’ll never know just what you mean to me".

I can’t. I know the song but I can’t remember the next line.

Oh, what’s the song, tell us what the song is.

Jive Talking.

Yes. "oh my child you got so much you’re gonna take away my energy". One more question to come Robin if you don’t mind. What did you appear on Christmas Day 1991?

Christmas Day 1991... English TV programme...

Yeah …

Oh yes yes of course, the Christmas edition of Only Fools And Horses where they were in Miami Beach.

You were waving from your mansion in Florida
. (It wasn't Robin, but Barry Gibb.)
Yes, that’s the one, yeah.

Do you still have that place in Florida?
Yes, it’s still the same place.

Well I don’t know how many you scored there but it was fun playing and it was fun talking to you too. Robin, thank you very much.

Thank you. Thanks a lot.

Our deepest sympathies go out to Robin and his family for their sad loss. Maurice’s contribution to Popular Music - together with yourself and Barry’s - has simply been immense. He will be greatly missed. Ed.

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