(Bob Farmer, Disc & Music Echo, June 28, 1969)

Transcript by Anne Marie

They unlocked the door and let Robin Gibb back into the world this week. He is free to follow a solo career; he is free of the Bee Gees although still under contract to the Robert Stigwood Organisation and could, by mutual agreement, work so many months of each year with his brothers (a situation which seems highly improbable, but that’s the way the legal eagles wanted it worded).

For someone who’s been in solitary for the past three months, playing the part of the rope in a tug of war to manage him, Robin was looking remarkably fit when I met him at his new manager Chris Hutchins’ West End offices.

For someone alleged to be under the thumb, Robin, with new shorter hairstyle (“I cut my hair to get some air”) and splendid hand made suit, seems much more assured and adult.

For someone who supposedly said some unprintable things about his brothers and former boss (Hutchins has replaced Stigwood as his personal manager), Robin was bewilderingly benevolent towards the Bee Gees.

The split started on March 15 and becomes finalised tomorrow (Friday) with the release of his first solo record, “Saved By The Bell”, which has a very Bee Gee feel about it, had, in fact, been “brewing for a long time”.

Robin said the seeds were planted in his mind last year when Barry Gibb bluntly, and unbeknown to his brothers, announced he intended to go solo himself in two years time. “At the time” added Robin “I was very Bee Gee-minded and Barry wasn’t. It set me thinking. If he could calmly go ahead and leave without regard for the rest of us, then so could I.

“Going solo was something I’d always wanted to do eventually. You can’t stick with the same thing forever. It was a case of either staying with the Bee Gees until the end or getting out and achieving more on my own.”

In the three months that have followed, enough mud has been flung from one side to the other to start Eton Wall Game and writs passed hands like pieces of confetti. Through it all, Robin stayed silent – officially. And didn’t speak to any of his family and former friends. “You can’t speak to and be sociable with people who are slapping writs on you. Anyway, my legal advice was to say nothing.”

Other people said plenty – the main allegation being that Robin was just a puppet in other people’s hands. “Apart from the various offensive remarks that were made publicly, it annoyed me that people thought I couldn’t make decisions on my own. Well I can” claims Robin. His wife, Molly, he says, has not been leading him, simply supporting his own decisions.

“Its been very tough” he admits “because they (his brothers) have been saying what they like and I‘ve had to keep quiet. I feel very much relieved that we have reached a settlement at long last.”

He doesn’t agree that his departure has damaged a great group. “The Bee Gees have a fantastic future and I wish them all the best. I think, for a start, their current single is great.”

He says his stock answer to the fans who say he should not have left is: “Well I haven’t given up and stopped singing altogether.”

Indeed he hasn’t. Ahead of him is a world tour, taking in America, the Far East, Germany, and possibly Australia and all their top Tv shows. He returns to finish off an album of his own songs (“It’s absurd for Barry to say I have done far less writing than him – I’ve been writing since the group started”) and this autumn he undertakes a series of concerts around the country, backed by an orchestra a la Bee Gees.

Says new manager Hutchins: “There hasn’t been a major solo teenage attraction since Cliff Richard, and he passed his crest before the Beatles came on the scene.”

We’ll have to wait and see, but it did seem ironical if not indicative that on the day Robin revealed himself to public scrutiny again, big brother Barry still stole the headlines of every newspaper over that court case …

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