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Tidbits: Bee Gees Stories

Collaborators: Stephan Koenig, Juan Cristobal Guzman, Susan Caputto, Austin Stewart, Dan Smith

BARRY, JESUS....?

 Shaun Garrod was having breakfast after a night out. He was bleary-eyed when he popped a crumpet into the toaster at his North Street, Ashby, home on Saturday morning.

 At first, staring through the haze, Mr Garrod thought that the crumpet was emblazoned with the image of Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb.

However, the 31-year-old was amazed when his younger brother, Elliott, pointed out that in fact, the face of Christ had been burned into the 37p crumpet.

He said: "When it popped up, my brother said 'that one looks like Jesus'. I thought it looked like Barry Gibb at first, but later it started to look Jesus.

 "My dad asked me if it was a Sunblest product and said he had had the Pope on the phone."

(Posted by Dan Smith / Sarah Hutchinson and Aisha McFee. Source: Burtonmail)

THE BEE GEES AND JAPAN

The Japanese market is a difficult one for foreign singers. In fact only twelve non-Japanese acts have had No 1 singles in the Japanese charts. Guess who were the first ones to achieve it?... The Bee Gees with 'Massachusetts' on April 1, 1968 (517,000 copies sold). Two soundtracks with Bee Gees songs have also reached the No 1 spot in the Japanese album charts: Melody (169,000) and  Saturday Night Fever (499,999)

EAT AT BEE GEES

There are quite a few places called Bee Gees in the USA:

ELTON JOHN AND ROBIN GIBB

When Elton John was interviewed on Steve Wright's BBC2 radio show (Nov 2004) he said he found it tricky recording Robin Gibb's "Saved By The Bell" because of Robin's vocal style. (Posted by Austin Stewart)
THE BATLEY VARIETY CLUB

The Yorkshire mill town of Batley became the most unlikely place to stage stars of worldwide fame, in a venue called Batley Variety Club, which opened in 1967 and became the biggest entertainment venue in the north of England. The A653 Bradford Road soon took on the glamour of Broadway, as its owner Jimmy Corrigan drove stars like Shirley Bassey, Louis Armstrong, Jayne Mansfield, Roy Orbison, and... the Bee Gees. And it was at the Batley where Maurice Gibb met his wife Yvonne when the Bee Gees played there in 1974.   (Posted by Susan Caputto)
BEE GEES and HOWARD STERN

November 2, 1993. Howard Stern interviews The Bee Gees and asks them about their breakup in 1981. Mo says they produced other people like Barbara Streisand and Dionne Warwick. Stern asks Barry if 'you got her?' in reference to Barbara. Barry says 'What do you mean, I got her?'. Stern says 'You know what I mean!!', 'I thought you were getting it on with her'. Lots of laughing go on and all the brothers talking at the same time. Barry keeps saying she's a 'classy' lady. Stern jokes about her nose and says Barry is an attractive guy and can do better than Barbara.

Subject rolls around to when they reached their utmost fame period and Stern asks if they've cheated on their wives. He directs the question at Barry first and he answers that he's been married 25 years and has not been unfaithful. He goes on to say that his entire family goes with him everywhere they go. He then asks Robin if he's cheated on his wife. He says he did on his first wife all the time but not on the current one. This is when he goes on about their triangle relationship ~Robin, his wife and his wife's girlfriend; he says that he's happy, it works, she's fine, and so is she and they all get along and live together, at times Robin must leave the room to leave them alone so he can 'rest'. Stern says he's envious and wants that kind of life but his wife wouldn't go for it. Stern then asks how their mother accepts this. Barry comments it's the 90's and she's 'with it'. Stern asks if Dwina and the friend come to family functions, etc. Robin says 'of course'.

The subject matter shifts and they discuss the 'Size Isn't Everything' CD. Stern says they've appropriately given the CD this name since they are one track minded. Barry explains there's other reasons for the title. Stern gets an open to door and boldly asks 'Who is the biggest Bee Gee?' Stern then comments 'I think Robin is!' (still joking about the triangle situation). Robin says something about large feet and that Mo is the biggest. Barry giggling as usual. Stern says 'So Mo is the biggest Bee Gee!'. Robin says 'He likes to think so'. They all laugh.
KEPPEL ROAD

Keppel Road is the name of the road  in Chorlton-cum-Hardy (Manchester) where the Gibb family  lived in 1956-8. It was in their house at 51 Keppel Road where the brothers started harmonising.

In 1996 the brothers and their mother Barbara  visited Keppel Road  to film a South Bank Show special on their lives and met up with the then owner John Nono. Barry Gibb asked him if he was interested in selling it, but John Nono had no desire to do so then.

However, a few years later John Nono decided to put the house in the market and emailed Barry to see if he was interested. And this is how Barry ended up buying the house in 2002.  The house in now rented to students.

(Source: Manchester Online)
THE BEE GEES and THE SIMPSONS

The Bee Gees song 'Stayin' alive' has been played in two episodes of The Simpsons : 'Bart's Girlfriend' and 'The Two Mrs Nahasapeem-apelitons'. In another episode, 'Two Bad Neighbors,' Homer sings 'Stayin alive' with different words: "Ah ah ah ah Table Five, Table Five / Ah ah ah ah Table Fiiiive". And in 'Lisa's Sax' Homer and Marge mention the Bee Gees when they sing a version of 'All in the family': "Oy, the way the Bee Gees played."

BIRTHDAY PRESENTS FOR MAURICE

Maurice Gibb: "Years ago, what I got for my 21st birthday was a movie camera from Ringo Starr, a Rickenbacker guitar from George Harrison and a Gibson Monarch from John Lennon." (Inquirer News Service)

ROBIN GIBB'S DREAM BAND

"Paul McCartney on bass, Elton John on piano, Eric Clapton on guitar and Ginger Baker on drums"
MAURICE GIBB'S BASS

Maurice's favourite bass was the Viola Epiphone (see photo). He also used to play Rickenbackers, as the white one he's playing on the cover of To whom it may concern.

A SPECIAL SUPPORT ACT

Nearly all Bee Gees' children are into music. In 1992 Maurice's daughter, Sammy, joined an all-girls singing quartet named 'China Doll'. The group specialized in Latin-styled pop and opened for the Bee Gees at a benefit concert at the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami Beach.
BESTMAN

In 1968 Barry Gibb was best man when P.P. Arnold married her manager James Morris. PP Arnold made versions of some Bee Gees songs in the 60's (Bury me down by the river,  Give a hand take a hand, To love somebody)
WINE AND WOMEN

The Bee Gees borrowed $400 and bought up all the 'Wine and Women' singles they could find in Australia. That is how they got the record to be played on radio. It opened at number 30 after the buying spree.

HEARTBREAKER

"Bee Gees frontman Barry Gibb got into girls. His standard pick-up line was that he had fallen in love and wanted to marry. He walked around with a pocket full of engagement rings to prove his passion. The technique got him into trouble. Especially when five or six of his fiancees gathered at the stage door..." (anecdotage.com)

PIMP FASHION

In 1967, Barry Gibb and his Bee Gees bandmates made an appearance on "The Simon Dee Show" in England wearing fur coats and cowboy hats.

They had hoped to start a fashion trend. Instead, the brothers later recalled, "We were knocked for looking like baboons." (anecdotage.com)

ROBIN GIBB and ROBBIE WILLIAMS

ROBIN Gibb called it 'a joke,' but his gentlemanly restraint didn't disguise the disgust and anger he still feels for the Robbie Williams version of 'I Started a Joke.' In a previous interview with Billboard, Gibb called the rendition 'the kind of thing you'd hear in a lunatic asylum.' Explaining his anger, Gibb said, ''I Started a Joke' is one of our really great songs and he f - - - ed it. That song deserved a lot better treatment. We've never talked about it, and I even saw [Williams] the other day. He's a nice guy, he's a good artist and he's a big fan of the Bee Gees, but he didn't have to do the song that way. It only reflects badly on him.'
More successful in their interpretation of Bee Gees songs, says Gibb, were Elvis, who covered 'Words'; Al Green, who did 'How Can You Mend a Broken Heart'; and Janis Joplin, who tackled 'To Love Somebody.' More recently, Wu Tang's ODB with Mya and Michel Pras tried on 'That Is What You Are,' renaming it 'Ghetto Supastar'; *NSYNC worked up a 'Saturday Night Fever' medley and Destiny's Child has just recorded a version of 'Emotion'. (rw-hk.com)

PLATINUM FOR STILL WATERS

Platinum for Still Waters in Canada, USA, UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, France and Switzerland.

SPICKS AND SPECKS FILMCLIP

It was filmed at Essendon airport in Melbourne. Apart from the Bee Gees it also featured an Aussie well known TV personality and go-go dancer, Denise Drysdale, who apparently was one of Barry's girlfriends at the time.
BEE GEES and PAUL McCARTNEY

Barry Gibb: "Paul's always under the wrong impression that we'd criticised one of his albums. The fact is, we'd never heard the album he was pissed off about. I'd heard one song, Hope Of Deliverance, which I thought was going to be a Number 1. Maurice and Robin had heard in and didn't think it was going to be. Anyway, some reporter was interviewing us that week and we'd only talked about this one song; Maurice or Robin said something like, 'It would be great for McCartney to work with somebody who would really push him harder than he pushes himself.' I thought that was a fair comment-not a criticism as such. I think Lennon was always more muscular than McCartney. He challenged Paul. I think that now Paul is so ingrained in our lives and in our souls that he's of the belief that no-one else can push him. I just disagree with that belief. But I think the reporter told him we'd criticized his album, and he said something like, 'Oh well, they can f**ck off then.'
"We sent a little note saying that we were in fact probably the three biggest fans he's ever had, that we would never have criticized his work and still wouldn't, and he sent another note saying, 'Well, you can still f**ck off,' ha ha. So I just thought, Never mind, these things happen. But I dearly wish that he knew the truth. I've always loved Paul. If I ever bump into him again, I'll try to tell him, but I doubt that he'll listen." (The Performing Songwriter)

BARRY GIBB'S MEMORABILIA

"I'm a bit of an archivist, but I collect things from people that we work with, not so much Bee Gee memorabilia, but people we're fans of. I have Barbra Streisand's straw boater which she wore in Funny Girl and I have Arif Mardin's baton, just things like that. Well, I have the first demos we made when we were kids in Brisbane, the ones we made with Bill Gates. I have that acetate at home, of course we don't have acetates at all these days... I have a Bee Gees lunch box. Not too many people want them either..." (New Zealand Herald)

BARRY GIBB and SEPTEMBER 11TH

On September 22, 2001 Barry and his wife Linda helped the American Red Cross raise funds for victims of September 11th, assisting to a benefit dinner at the Hotel Astor in Miami Beach which raised more than $10,000 for the American Red Cross.  The dinner which attracted more than 100 guests, let South Floridians of all races and religions ban together to show their support for those lost in the horrific events of September 11th. (TMG)

SMART

In 1969 Barry got the Best Dressed Pop Star award. In the photo he presents the award to the 1970 winner.

BARRY'S GIRL

Barry Gibb: "After four boys my wife and I were wondering if medical science had progressed to the point where we could guarantee a girl. Our doctor advised it was still hit-or-miss -- much like the record business -- but we could improve our chances with scientific procedures and injections when we returned from an upcoming road trip... if we could abstain for three months on tour. Easier said than done! The doctor never saw Linda looking the way she did one crazy night in Spain. The deed was done and six months later we had our daughter. It turns out she couldn't wait either, and Alexandra was born a three pound preemie. That's when we were most grateful for medical science and the fantastic job they do for the well-being of our little ones"  (Alan Thicke, How Men Have Babies, Jodere Group, 2003) [Posted by Susan Caputto]

BARBRA STREISAND, BARRY GIBB and GUILTY

Barbra Streisand remembers in Just For The Record: "Barry did most of the instrumental tracks in Miami before we got together to record my vocals... Barry's lyrics were much more abstract than those that I usually gravitated toward, but the melodies were so compelling that I decided to go along with them, and with him... I had the best time ever making this record, as well as the easiest." Barry Gibb, who developed the songs especially for Barbra, recalled, "I called Neil Diamond to ask what it was like to work with her... My wife told me to do it, or she'd divorce me." In 1980 Gibb told US magazine, "We set out to make the great Streisand LP that she never made...." The album Guilty has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.  (BJS Music)

FIRST AWARD FOR A BEE GEE

It came in 1965 when Barry Gibb got the 'Composer of the year' award from Adelaide's radio 5KA  (NME)

.

BARRY GIBB AND THE WHO

Guess... Who sings backing vocals on the song 'Fine Line' from the Now Voyager album?

The answer here.
CAPITO?

The Gibb brothers have sung in languages other than English. You can hear Barry sing a couple of lines in Spanish in 'One Night For Lovers' (Now Voyager album). But it is Robin the Bee Gee that has tried more languages: German in 'Glass House,' French in 'Lamplight,' and he even made versions in Italian of some songs from his solo album Robin's Reign
MIDDLE EAR

Middle Ear is the name of the Bee Gees' recording studio in Miami Beach. The building was originally a warehouse that they rented in 1979 to store their equipment. Soon later they bought it and turned it into a recording studio. The first album to be recorded in Middle Ear was Barbra Streisand's Guilty in 1980.

The Bee Gees account for the vast majority of Middle Ear's bookings, but other artists have also recorded there. Recording engineer Scott Glasel recalls that some of Michael Jackson's Thriller album was recorded at Middle Ear.

The studio underwent a major upgrade in 1999, adding a Neve Capricorn console and new acoustics.
BARRY GIBB'S GUITAR

Barry Gibb usually plays a Guild Songbird. He plays it in D-A-D-F#-A-D tuning. Guild has even developed a Songbird in collaboration with Barry: the S4CE BG (BG stands for Barry Gibb)

ELLAN VANNIN

The Song 'Ellan Vannin' is the unofficial anthem of the Isle of Man. It means "Isle of Man" in Manx -the Celtic language that was once spoken on the island- and was originally written as a poem in 1854; the tune was added to it the same year. The Bee Gees in 1998 wrote a new final verse and slightly altered the words in their adaptation of Ellan Vannin.

TOP 40 BEE GEES SONGS AMONG BEE GEES WORLD VISITORS

These are the Bee Gees' most popular songs based on the number of times the lyrics page for each of the songs has been visited:

1. How deep is your love (8,997)
2. Stayin alive (7,788)
3. Words (6,630)
4. Alone (4,749)
5. Massachusetts (4,686)
6. I started a joke (4,641)
7. Night fever (4,371)
8. To love somebody (4,218)
9. Too much heaven (4,044)
10. How can you mend... (3,948)

11. Tragedy (3,900)
12. One (3,855)
13. More than a woman (3,732)
14. Emotion (3,546)
15. First of May (3,351)
16. You should be dancing (3,234)
17. Islands in the stream (3,192)
18. You win again (3,120)
19. Gotta get a message... (3,051)
20. Heartbreaker (2,907)

21. New York mining... (2,883)
22. Jive talkin (2,880)
23. Run to me (2,874)
24. Grease (2,811)
25. Nights on Broadway (2,787)
26. Immortality (2,778)
27. For whom the bell... (2,610)
28. Guilty (2,604)
29. Don' forget to... (2,487)
30. World (2,385)

31. Fanny (2,367)
32. Above and beyond (2,238)
33. Holiday (2,226)
34. This is where I... (2,205)
35. Lonely days (2,043)
36. (Our love) Don't throw... (1,890)
37. Love you inside out (1,812)
38. Love so right (1,737)
39. And the sun will... (1,659)
39. If I can't have you (1,659)

THE BEE GEES and CLIVE ANDERSON

On October 22, 1997 The Bee Gees appeared on Clive Anderson's chat show. The interview ended when Barry Gibb stalked out followed by Maurice and Robin.

Anderson had introduced The Bee Gees on his All Talk show and revealed they were once curiously called Les Tosseurs. He joked: 'I think you will always be tossers to me.' The brothers sat stoney-faced and things went from bad to worse when Anderson cracked his next gag about a song they released called Dont forget to remember. He said 'I've forgotten it already.'

Barry stood up and fired back, 'This is a set-up. If anyone is a tosser round here, it's you, pal.' The trio then stormed out after just five minutes on camera.

EMOTION

Emotion as by Samantha Sang hit the US chart at # 3 on March 18, 1978. Such was the Bee Gees current success that many were convinced that Samantha Sang did not exist and that the record was The Bee Gees slowed down. (By Stephan Koenig)
HAUNTED HOUSE

Robin Gibb lives in a centuries-old Oxfordshire house where once priests of the church trained to become bishops. His son Robin-John is said by his mother Dwina to see the phantoms of their house's ex-inhabitants. When Robin-John was 4 years old he described a 'John and Mary who lived there and their friend Elizabeth. He had no framework for historical costume, but he told me Mary wore a dress down to her ankles. He also said one of the children had never grown up. I discovered a very detailed account of a John and Mary Rose who once lived on the site. They had two children, one of whom died in infancy.'

AIRPLAY

According to BMI, the songs written by the brothers Gibb that have got more airplay in the United States are:

• Over 5 million airplays:
-How deep is your love

• Over 4 million airplays:
-To love somebody
-How can you mend a broken heart

• Over 3 million airplays:
-Emotion
-Islands in the stream

• Over 2 million airplays:
-Too much heaven
-I just want to be your everything
-Woman in love

• Over 1 million airplays:
-Massachusetts
-Words
-I've gotta get a message to you
-I started a joke
-Lonely days
-Jive talkin
-Nights on Broadway
-Fanny be tender
-Love so right
-Stayin alive
-Night fever
-More than a woman
-Love is thicker than water
-Shadow dancing
-(Our love) Don't throw it all away
-If I can't have you
-Come on over
-Grease
-Guilty
-What kind of fool
-Heartbreaker
(BMI & Juan Cristobal Guzman)

BARRY GIBB and THE JEWELLER

Retired Tamworth and Narrabri jeweller Alan King has an anecdote of an event which occurred back in the early 1960s.

Mr King had bought a high standard (well, for its day) stereo-recorder with more valves, buttons and dials than he could comprehend. Within a year the machine was used for playing background music in his Narrabri shop.

A musician who had a gig in town had happened to be in the store to buy some photographic equipment and spotted the recorder. The musician was Lucky Starr, who made his name with a song called I've Been Everywhere.

A short while later, Mr King related, Lucky returned with another young man and asked if they could record a demo track on the machine. The young man wanted to send the track off to EMI.

"I couldn't do the recording in the shop, so we packed the recorder in the car and took it home," Mr King said.

"We spent half an hour recording and singing with guitars and I think he paid me about 10 pounds for the seven inch reel of tape.

"I found out later that his name was Barry Gibb, which meant very little to me at the time. But apparently the recording must have been pretty good." (The Northern Daily Leader)

COLIN PETERSEN and THE BEE GEES

After leaving the band, Colin Petersen sued the Bee Gees for the rights to the name Bee Gees. Judge ruled in Bee Gees favour.

ROBIN GIBB'S 10 FAVOURITE TRACKS

I Don't Like Mondays - Boomtown Rats
Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles
Fairytale Of New York - Pogues & Kirsty MacColl
True Love Ways - Buddy Holly
Sacrifice - Elton John
Follow You, Follow Me - Genesis
She's Out Of My Life - Michael Jackson
Roxanne - The Police
Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
Tears In Heaven - Eric Clapton
(BBC Radio 2)
MONEY MONEY

According to Heat magazine, the Bee Gees were the tenth biggest earners in the 2001 British Pop Rich List, with £ 4.7 million.

THE BEE GEE LESLEY GIBB

When Robin left the band in 1969, his sister Lesley replaced him on stage one night: She appeared with Barry, Maurice and Colin Petersen on the TV show Talk of the Town. It was May 1969. Lesley was 24, married to Keith Evans and already had 4 kids.

WICKED WHISPERS

When Robin Gibb's vicar in Thame, Oxfordshire, complained about his overflowing graveyard, the toothy Bee Gee suggested timesharing - which went down like a lead balloon. It was not the first disagreement between the two. Said Gibb: 'The church bells are driving me bloody crazy. There's bell practise at 8 o'clock every Monday night, come what may, and it lasts for an hour. I feel like going round and strangling the vicar - although he's probably sitting at home watching East Enders.'  (The Daily Mail, Dec 2002)
'CREATURES STAYIN' ALIVE THANKS TO ROBIN'

Robin Gibb picks up wounded animals near his manor and ferries them to a local wildlife hospital.

Poorly hedgehogs, limping rabbits and fragile foxes have all received the benefit of Mr Gibb's assistance, and last week he and his artistic Irish wife Dwina delivered two lame crows in the back of their black Range Rover.

'Robin and Dwina are big animal lovers and they're always popping in,' reports Les Stocker, director of the St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Haddenham. 'They even brought an injured deer in their Rolls-Royce.'   - (Source: The Mail On Sunday, Jan 2004)
FAVOURITE EATS & DRINKS...

      ... at least back in 1966:

Barry: Spaghetti bolognaise, steak and mashed bananas, fish and chips, tea, pineapple juice

Robin: Baked potatoes, crushed grapes, tea, apple juice

Maurice: Fish and chips, cheeseburger, cheese on toast, tea, milkshakes
IMAGES AND VOICES OF HOPE

Images and Voices of Hope is an international conversation about the impact of images and stories on people, families, communities, cultures and the world.
People from all over the world gather together to discuss the potential of the media forging positive change in society and the world.
Robin and Dwina Gibb gave their home in Oxford for an IV of Hope dialogue in 2002. Journalists, artists and media professionals participated in a day of talks, interactive discussions, silent reflections and inspirations, and Robin spoke passionately about the importance of music for world transformation.
- Source: I&V of Hope

AN OBSESSIVE FAN

On August 19, 1995 Marilyn Holmes appeared in court in the UK charged with breaking into Robin Gibb's Oxfordshire home, where she was found hiding in a cupboard with a tape recorder and video camera.

TWO WEDDINGS AND A SHOWER (Miami Herald)

"Miami's own celebrities and philanthropists, Linda and Barry Gibb, joined with friends and family from around the world to celebrate the marriages of two of their sons, Stephen and Ashley.

"[On November 7, 2002] Stephen and his wife, Gloria, had their nuptials at Sandy and Sid Levy's magnificent beach house with Sandy officiating at the ceremony. Two days later, Ashley and Therese exchanged vows at their own home.

"To top this, the following Monday, Linda Gibb gave a baby shower in honor of their upcoming grandchild. How wonderful -- all in 5 days! That is the way to do it!"

"BURIED ALIVE"

When Bee Gee Robin Gibb first conceived the song "Stayin' Alive," he jotted down the words to the song on a British Airways boarding pass. Makes you wonder: Could the famed disco anthem actually be about the fear of flying? "Stayin' Alive" was originally entitled "Saturday Night," explains Gibb in an interview. Those words, combined with "Night Fever," inspired the producers to change the name of the seminal disco flick from Tribal Rites of a Saturday Night to Saturday Night Fever. Robin Gibb says he and the Brothers Gibb were looking for two words that meant "survive." In the end, it was a toss up between "buried alive" or "stayin' alive."

"We chose the right title," figures Gibb. The timeless prose, "Whether you're a brother/ or whether you're a mother," is etched in black on the boarding pass' red canvas. You can see that "Feel the city breakin'" was originally going to be "Feel the city shakin."" But "shakin" is crossed out and replaced by "breakin'." Wow! What a difference a word makes, huh?" (citypaper.net)
BEE GEES and ROBERT STIGWOOD

In 1980, the Bee Gees filed the largest lawsuit in showbiz history against their manager and the head of their record label, Robert Stigwood. They accused him of fraud, conflict of interest and unfair enrichment at their expense. The suit, for $125 million from Stigwood and his companies and $75 million from Polygram (the mulitinational conglomerate which owns Stigwood's label, RSO), cited 'grossly inadequate' contracts that Stigwood had made, apparently featuring royalty rates significantly below the industry norm, alleged that he registered their song copyrights in his name and pocketed money that was rightfully theirs. Stigwood's public resopnse to the Bee Gees' suit was to call it a 'cheap stunt'. But within weeks of this comment the group and their manager had achieved a reconciliation apparently as sweet as the split had been bitter.'

BEE GEES and KING LEAR

In July 2001 undergraduate students at Cambridge University were asked to write about Bee Gee lyrics in their final exam.

The question, one of 27 on a three-hour English finals exam, asked students to discuss: "Tragedy, when you lose control and you got no soul, it's tragedy,"   with reference to characters and plots from Biblical and Greek stories. They were also told to make use of the writings of Nietzche, Dostoevsky and Racine.

John Kerrigan, the chairman of the English finals examination board, said that the question was intended to examine the forms tragedy takes in the modern world.

He said: "We wanted to see how far tragedy survives into modernity; whether it has died in the face of science and rationalism. Tragedy is essentially an archaic form. We wanted to see if it had metamorphosed into different forms.

"There are elements to the Bee Gees songs that could have directed you to the great central canonical texts. The line in the Bee Gees song where he sings 'the feeling's gone and you can't go on' is a fair summary of the end of King Lear," he added.

A spokesman for the Bee Gees said the brothers would be proud at being compared to great literary figures. "They have been compared with songwriters such as Bob Dylan and Burt Bacharach, but never Ibsen and Shakespeare."
(The Telegraph)

KILLED?

In 1966 the Bee Gees and their father had a car accident in Australia when driving back from a concert. Robin recalls it: "Somehow, and to this day I don't know how, the word got back to Sydney that The Bee Gees had been killed. The radio stations started playing all our records and reading out messages of sympathy. When we got home safe and sound, it was almost as if they were annoyed to see us after crying their eyes out for nothing." (Fab 208)

ONE NIGHT ONLY TOUR: CONCERT ATTENDANCE

Wembley One Night Only concert was originally planned to be 50,000. Finally 52,000 attended the show.

Dublin One Night Only concert was originally planned to be 27,000, but demand far exceeded their expectations and the final attendance was 40,000.

THE BEE GEES and ABBA

Maurice Gibb: The first song we wrote for Saturday Night Fever was 'If I can't have you', and we imagined ABBA doing it.' (Sydney Morning Herald)

THE PREBENDAL

Robin Gibb loves history so much, he's bought his own slice of it in Oxfordshire to calm his mind. One third of the enduring pop group the Bee Gees -- with his twin, Maurice, and their brother, Barry -- Gibb is resident in America for tax purposes. However, he is a British subject and loves to spend as much time as possible in his mansion in Thame.

The Prebendary was built in the 12th century and was used as a place to train monks. Roughly 400 years later, Henry VIII is said to have visited it with Anne Boleyn. It is one of the few properties in Britain of this age that is still intact -- with a resident ghost.

"I have this desire to go into the past, like a time machine -- it calms my mind," says Gibb, 53. He has preserved all the historic features of his home and added a few as well.

Walking through the gates of the front lodge, one can easily believe it is haunted -- with its 4ft-thick walls made of Cotswold stone, the place oozes a sense of the ancient. The first thing you see on entering is a 100- year-old gyspy caravan on the front lawn next to a wooden throne. The house also has its own chapel (now a dining room), built in 1174 and connected to the house by a ruined wall still carrying the stains of an ancient fire.

The downstairs part of the chapel has been converted into living quarters for the chef, but upstairs Gibb has preserved an altar, complete with an old Bible, wooden rail and font. From time to time, he says, the font fills itself with water.

"There's no set timing to it -- it just does it willy-nilly," he tells me. "It could go two years without filling up and then suddenly there's water there. Then it will empty and maybe six months later be back again. I don't feel spooked by it, though, because this was a place of prayer going back 500 years before the Reformation."

The back garden runs for 16 acres down to a river and fields. Gibb removed a tennis court installed by the previous owner and laid a new lawn five years ago, which he filled with stones imported from the West Country to create a scaled-down model of Stonehenge. His wife, Dwina, is a patron of the druids and loves to meditate there.

Gibb bought the property in 1985 from Charles Harding Rolls (as in Rolls-Royce). "I got it for a song -- £800,000," he says. "I probably would have had to pay a lot more if he didn't need the cash so badly at the time. Mick Jagger had been looking at it five years earlier and also Prince Charles, but maybe they weren't cash buyers," he laughs.

The house was in need of renovation so he hired an interior decorator who had done a lot of work at Windsor Castle to bring out the medieval and Tudor features. Completed in phases, the work cost nearly £100,000.

The living room is now sited in what used to be the main hall, resulting in an interesting contrast between old furniture, wooden candelabras and a large state-of-the- art flat-screen television. To the left is the Coronation Room, in which four bishops apparently sat to pass sentence on Joan of Arc while she was still in France. Here, Gibb has installed a set of old church pews in a square arrangement (cosier than it sounds) to mask the size of the space. Upstairs there is a library and four four-postered bedrooms.

"I love living here," he says. "It's a very different thing altogether from living at my property in Miami, which is much more of a sun-drenched experience." (Times Online)

BARRY GIBB'S RECOMMENDED SINGLES

Roy Orbison: Cryin'
Beach Boys: God only know
Beach Boys: Good vibrations
Carole King: It might be as well rain until September
Bobby Vee: Take good care of my baby
The Shirelles: Will you still love me tomorrow
(Performing Songwriter)

WOGGIE, BODDING and FIRES

As kids Robin used to call Maurice Woggie and Maurice used to call Robin Bodding.

Their moher Barbara recalls: "In a quiet way, Robin was the mischievous one. He used to lit fires under his bed. He used to sit there quietly and say, 'It was not me. It was Woggie.'"

BARRY and HIS 'STUPID THINGS'

His sister Lesley recalls, "I've never known a kid like him, always doing stupid things. We used to play in this park which had a building in the middle. We were always being told to stay away from there, but of course Barry wouldn't. It had a corrugated roof and he just went straight through. We thought he'd broken his back, but he'd only bruised himself." Though Barry thinks, "It was quite a bad fall and probably the core reason my back is still bad to this day."

BEE GEES and ASTROLOGY

According to The Astrologers Newsletter Transit , Barry's birth sign is Virgo - ascendant Libra, and Robin and Maurice are Sagittarius - ascendant Scorpio. However, according to Robin, he's a Capricorn. (www.astrologer.com)

SMOKING BEE GEES

Maurice was the only Bee Gee who still smoked. All three Bee Gees wives -Linda, Dwina and Yvonne- smoke. And, well, Robin Gibb has recently admitted he smokes a few cigarettes a day.

FEES

The Bee Gees made their debut concert in the USA on January 27, 1968 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. They got  $50,000 for two performances. That's the same amount the Beatles got for their first American concerts at the Hollywood Ball.
ONE MORE BEE GEES STORY

Maurice Gibb once told that a very hot day when shooting the film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band he asked if anyone had Coke and what happened was that he got packets of cocaine tossed toward him.

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