The story about The Bee Gees / Part 10 2000 / 2003
This Is Where I Came In
The writing process of yet another new studio album for the brothers had already started in 1998. They worked on it separately and in the second half of 1999 they continued working on it together and wrote and recorded the rest of the album and finished it around May 2000. It first would be released around October but was re-scheduled to early 2001. The title of the forthcoming album was given as Technicolor in 1999, but early this year they had backed off that title because of the trademark in Technicolor. Around June the title became: This Is Where I Came In. The last Bee Gees recordings were made sometime between January and May 2000. Ben Stivers and Matt Bonelli left after the New Year’s Eve show, so these recordings were made by the three brothers with Alan Kendall, Chocolate Perry, and Steve Rucker. With this small group of familiar musicians, with Maurice contributing substantially to the finished tracks on guitar and keyboard, the Bee Gees felt like they were going back to basics.
This same year The Brothers worked on a new biography for TV and provided interview, film and music. The Bio first came on US television by the end of the year. BMI honoured the group for 4,000.000 airplays of their classic hit: To Love Somebody and Robin represented the group for the ceremony in London. After new negotiations the brothers now owned all of their own work and on November 30th. their music publishing company Gibb Brothers Music, renewed its contract with BMG Music Publishing International. Robin had been busy in Britain to record several Christmas carols for a UK television special. Maurice had been busy amongst others with producing work for the band of his daughter Sam. Samantha Gibb’s band Luna Park had never done many shows. In 2000 Adam decided to drop performing, and Samantha and Laz now became the leaders. They added two musicians Laz knew from their days in the Miami Beach High School Rock Ensemble, Nick Sallons and Chris Morro. The new group was named Skylla.
On New Year’s Eve finally the Bee Gees single This Is Where I Came In got the premiere in Germany.
pril 2nd. the album: This Is Where I Came In was finally released in the UK. (USA: April 24.) and the brothers made numerous television and radio appearances worldwide to promote it. Media reviews were divided but the album brought the group back in publicity and gave them more recognition. April 11th. Robin and Maurice attended the Capitol Radio Awards in London and received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Then they joined Barry in Miami for promotional TV work followed by a Diamond Award presented by the Recording Industry Ass. Of America for sales of 10 million copies of Saturday Night Fever. The group did promotion on the East Coast of the US in TV shows like: The Late Show, Good Morning America and Rosie O’Donnell.
April 26th. they played a full-length concert in New York for the A&E cable channel program Live By Request,, later issued on DVD. The same month A&E issued a DVD of the Bee Gees episode of their Biography. They went to Hong Kong and did also more promotion on the US West Coast.
June 17th. they played for almost an hour as the closing act to KIIS-FM’s Wango Tango two-day multi-artist event at Dodger Stadium, LA. These turned out to be the last Bee Gees concerts. More TV shows followed and meanwhile their latest album reached the Top 10 in many countries. The group earned the distinction of becoming the first act to have posted hit studio albums in 5 consecutive decades.
The Brothers preferred more and more to do projects next to their studio recordings as Bee Gees and for instance Maurice enjoyed working with his son and daughter on a song called: The Bridge, where Adam and Sam each contributed a verse. By that time also Barry’s son Steve and Robin’s son Spencer were already active in music.
Between special projects and promotional work there were first plans of doing a tour in the summer of 2002. It all looked bright and happy for The Bee Gees in the new Millennium with the success of This Is Where I Came In. The standard edition of This Is Where I Came In was a 12-song album. The ‘Special Edition’ in Britain included two extra songs, ‘Just In Case’ (also on the single) and ‘Promise the Earth’ (nowhere else). Some other countries also issued this 14-song version. In the US Target stores had a two-CD version with the usual 12-song CD plus a second CD containing three songs from the VH1 Storytellers show.
New Years Eve, CBE celebration, © Frederic RenucciThis last Bee Gees album of original material, did quite well in the charts. It reached number 6 in Britain, number 3 in Germany, and even number 16 in the US. The promotions of the last few years and One Night Only shows had kept them in the public eye, and in the US the long-lasting effects of overexposure seemed to be finally fading away. Sales were high enough to justify a second single, but none was issued.
Lots of young, popular artists covered their songs and by November their greatest hits album The Record was released. A new greatest hits package that tried to cover their entire career from 1966 to 2001 on only two CDs. It was the first to include Bee Gees hits after 1989, but only a few could be fit in. Also this was the first Bee Gees hits collection to recognize some of the hits they wrote for other artists. The Bee Gees and Polydor reached an agreement to bring their contractual obligations to an early conclusion with this album. New touring plans stopped due to the terrorist attacks in the USA, September 11th.
AThe Bee Gees took sort of a break in this year: ‘to find ourselves as individuals’ Barry said. The year started happy for the Gibb Family when the announcement came of the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List that Barry, Robin and Maurice were to be awarded CBE’s (Commander Of The British Empire) in recognition of their service to music. They were overwhelmed. It was just unbelievable. As a result of receiving these awards, the paintball team Maurice had joined was now called Commander Mo. The enthusiasm of Maurice for this sport grew a lot these days and he made plans for his own tournament and even his own paintball shop.
Steve and Gloria with baby Nina, © Gibb Family
February 23rd. Maurice joined Barry on stage for the Love and Hope Ball and a surprise appearance of Robin followed as well. So the group together did a 20 minutes set of their greatest hits.
Steve and Gloria with baby Nina, © Gibb FamilyIn May, An Audience With Lulu was aired on British TV in which Lulu invited her former husband to sing together with her the Bee Gees hit: First Of May, a very moving performance.
In private life lot of things were happening this year too. Specially for Barry and Linda, when their eldest son Steve married Gloria Levas on November 7th. followed by another marriage two days later when Steve’s brother Ashley married Therese Hallman. The next month on December 27th. more celebration when Steve and Gloria became the parents of Barry’s first grandchild: Nina Lyn Levas Gibb.
At this time musically Barry was staying a bit low profile, Maurice was busy helping his kids in music and Robin doing solo work: the album Magnet, on a new German record label SPV. Barry late in the year signed a new contract with Warner / Chappell for exclusive rights to license his compositions for film, TV, advertising etc. and he started working with his friend Michael Jackson.
The first single of Robin’s solo album Magnet: Please was released in Germany in December just saving 2002 from being the first year since 1962 without a new Gibb release. The buying public were not all that excited. Robin started his promotion tour in Europe and the U.K.
A picture of Maurice with his Mom, and wife Yvonne. Frederic took it on New Years Eve 2002 which is maybe the last one taken of them together. Frederic: ‘I framed it and gave it to his Mom when she came by the paintball shop after his death’.
Early this year the lives of the Gibb Family and all their fans would dramatically change. In January 2003 Maurice went to an emergency room for abdominal pain, and just a few days later he died on the night of 11/12 January.
Just 4 days before Maurice had complains of stomach pains. The pains soon became severe and he collapsed at home. He was rushed to hospital and examined. Doctors diagnosed an intestinal blockage. Soon after that a surgery was required. Maurice suffered cardiac arrest and died with Yvonne and his children Adam and Samantha at his bedside. Robin was still in Britain and rushed over to Miami when it seemed very serious with Maurice’s health. He arrived in time but shortly after midnight Maurice passed away without regaining consciousness.
Statement of the family.
“As of Sunday, January 12, at 1:00 AM, to our extended family, friends, and fans, with great sadness and sorrow we regretfully announce the passing of Maurice Gibb this morning. His love, enthusiasm, and energy for life remain an inspiration to all of us. We will all deeply miss him. In addition, we would like to thank the media and the Miami Beach Police Department for their kindness and understanding during this difficult time.
Hours after Mo’s passing Barry and Robin spoke emotionally on TV. The whole family had arrived in a nightmare. The news quickly crossed the world. Barry described how difficult this loss was but admitted it is the hardest for Yvonne, Sam and Adam. ‘He was everything to them’!. Maurice had played an essential role in the Bee Gees’ song writing and recording and his passing left a great gap to be filled. Writer of music, harmony singer, musician and arranger, technologist, mediator between two ambitious brothers, talkative friend to fans worldwide, he will be long remembered. At the time Maurice entered hospital Robin was just beginning the publicity push for Magnet in Europe. He flew to Florida barely in time to see Maurice before he died. Robin shortly afterwards then returned to Europe and continued publicity for Magnet, saying that Maurice would have wanted them to carry on. Barry shut himself away from the world in the weeks that followed Maurice’s death trying to cope with the situation.
On Wednesday, January 15th. about 200 mourners, including singer Michael Jackson and other celebrities, joined family members at the private funeral ceremony for Maurice in Miami Beach.
February 23rd. The Gibb brothers were the recipients of The Legend Awards at the 45th. “Annual Grammy Awards” at Madison Square Garden, New York. A very emotional occasion for Barry and Robin but specially for Yvonne and her children. Barry presented them to the audience saying: “The measure of a man is his family”. The Brothers then invited Adam on stage to accept the award on behalf of his father Maurice Gibb.
For fans the coming period lots of questions remained, like: will The Bee Gees continue, but it looked as if Barry and Robin felt that with Mo’s death The Bee Gees period had stopped. What would the future bring? So much unfinished business, like the CBE’s not even yet presented. There’s hope the Gibb Family will sooner or later find peace and acceptance for their loss.
Early in the year The Brothers went into the studio for recording their new album E.S.P. In April the live recording of ‘Guilty’ / ‘What Kind Of Fool’ was released from the concert Barbra Streisand gave at her garden and where Barry did some duets with her. The first song of the new Bee Gees album also was the first single: ‘You Win Again’, in August. This became a hit record which went to number 1 in countries like Britain and Germany and it did well in most of the world outside North America. The Bee Gees were back. They did a promotion tour through Europe in September. The album E.S.P was released in September followed by the second single: ‘E.S.P’ in November. In the second half of 1987 The Brothers worked on a few songs with Andy as well as some more own material and some compositions for their niece Beri: ‘Naked Feelings’ and ‘I’m Not Wearing Make-Up’. (Beri Gibb is the eldest daughter of Lesley Gibb). Finally more material (with Elton John) was recorded for the Bunbury project. The group received some more awards again this year and Maurice started a co-operation with Sidney Rose: The Gibb/Rose Organisation for film and TV productions. Brother Andy had started another drug rehabilitation program earlier in the year and hoped for a new recording contract and a new album to release in 1988.
Dear Maurice, © Frederic Renucci
For all details, information, news, reports, photos etc. after February 2003: visit our different GSI pages on GSI Website.
Note: The GSI History is not an official biography Hopefully in the near future a new official biography will be published again in cooperation with The Gibb Family.