The story about The Bee Gees / Part 8 1980 / 1979
Barry working together with Barbra Streisand
Barry with Timothy Dalton and Anthony Edwards on the set of the Hawks film
After the hectic Spirits Tour a period of writing and recording started for The Bee Gees. They composed mainly for other artists. The Brothers had written quite some new songs for Barbra Streisand already and it was time for Barry to record material with Barbra and to release an album with her. With the help of excellent session players Barry was able to work and produce the album the way he liked it. The ‘Guilty’ album became a very successful project and Barry and Barbra: a magic team. Robin started working with for instance Blue Weaver for Jimmy Ruffins’ album ‘Sunrise’ as well as for Marcy Levy with whom they recorded a single for the RSO film ‘Times Square’. Also Robin worked together with Maurice on some material. Andy had his ups and downs in the eighties but also signed to do the US TV Show ‘Solid Gold’. He finished his Greatest Hits album this year with Barry. Maurice didn’t feel well anymore and was admitted to a clinic for his alcohol problem and on top of that his back problems became more serious and he had to go to hospital for surgery. Next to that the group were accused of stealing the ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ tune from one Ronald Selle. A painful situation as song writing is the most important thing for The Brothers. They had to fight quite some years for their innocence. This year Molly Gibb decided to divorce from Robin and the group had a conflict with Robert Stigwood / RSO. In July there was happiness for Maurice and Yvonne when their second child: daughter Samantha Amanda was born on July 2nd. In the Fall of 1980 the sound studio of the group was ready: Middle Ear Studio in Miami Beach, and it was time again to start thinking about a new album. The Bee Gees planned to start recording their new album ‘Sanctuary’ around October but the sessions and the project fell apart.
On January 10th Barry and Linda’s third child was born: Travis Ryan. The baby was born 2 months prematurely and had to spend his first weeks in an incubator. When finally home Travis had to go back to hospital as he was suffering from pneumonia. After his recovery The Bee Gees visited the hospital with their photographer Bob Sherman as a surprise and spend a few hours talking with the sick children and signing autographs. February 25th. Barry and Barbra Streisand did collect the award of Best Pop Performance by duo / group for ‘Guilty’ during the Grammy Awards. And in May ‘Woman In Love’ was winner:
Best Song Musically or Lyrically category at the 26th Ivor Novello Awards in the UK. Business problems between The Bee Gees and Robert Stigwood were settled and the Brothers planned to concentrate on writing new material again as well as more writing for others. In September ‘He’s A Liar’ was released, the first single of their new album: ‘Living Eyes’. The album itself followed in October and Philips had chosen this album to be the first manufactured in CD format.
Robin and Dwina
The second single released in November became the title track:
‘Living Eyes’. After the release of the ‘Living Eyes’ album The Brothers sort of took a year off and got busy again with other projects. Like the solo work by Robin, Maurice doing some TV work and Barry with Albhy and Karl started to work on a Dionne Warwick album.
Maurice worked amongst others on a number of instrumental compositions this year for an album to be called ‘Strings And Things’. The album never appeared. Barry and his friend David English wrote a story for a movie to be called: ‘A Dutch Treat’, which appeared to be the basis for the 1988 film ‘Hawks’ which takes place in the Netherlands. Andy this year recorded the single ‘Me, Without You’ and the Everly Brothers single ‘All I Have to Do Is Dream’ with his new love, actress Victoria Principal. This would be his last single. Also Andy played for a while a role in the theatre production of Pirates Of Penzance but also suffered from health problems. The Gibb Family united for the christening of Samantha, Ashley and Travis Gibb. Robin found a new private assistant Ken Graydon who turned out to have a cousin named Dwina and Robin soon got interested in her drawings. Their mutual interest in art etc. brought them together. Coincidence was that also Dwina was born December 22 (1952 in Ireland).
More separate projects for the Brothers and of course the album for Dionne Warwick. The title track of Dionne’s album: ‘Heartbreaker’ was a composition of the three brothers together. It became an amazing hit for Dionne. The album ‘Heartbreaker’ was released in October. In the same period British artist Leo Sayer reached the charts with a Gibb song too: ‘Heart, Stop Beating In Time’. Robin started working on a solo album, his first since 1970, with Maurice providing full support. Robert Stigwood asked the Bee Gees as a group to supply new songs for a sequel to ‘Saturday Night Fever’. The soundtrack would full fill their last contractual obligation to RSO. ‘All the Love in the World’ became the second single for Dionne. Meanwhile Barry took on another album project, this time for country singer Kenny Rogers. The Robin album ‘How Old Are You’ was completed by December. The divorce of Robin and Molly became final. Andy started another theatre show on December 1st : Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at the Royale Theatre in New York but soon afterwards again started having health problems
January 21st. of this year Robin and Dwina’s son Robin John was born, however for a while the birth was only known by their family and close friends. In February another single of Dionne’s album was released. The plagiarism case of ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ came to trial this year and the boys had to fight for their innocence quite some time. This whole court case made it hard for The Brothers ever to judge any material, sent to them by other song writers. Their lawyers advised them not to do this anymore.
Barry with Kenny Rogers
of Robin’s album ‘How Old Are You’, the soundtrack of ‘Staying Alive’ and the album for Kenny Rogers: ‘Eyes That See In The Dark’. The first single of Robin’s new album was called ‘Juliet’. Album and first single were released in May. Also the first single of ‘Staying Alive’: ‘The Woman In You’, was released in May and the album came in June/July as well as the second single: ‘Someone Belonging To Someone’. The second Robin single was ready for release in August: ‘Another Lonely Night In New York’. The first singles of Kenny’s album were released in August and September: ‘Islands In The Stream’ (Kenny together with Dolly Parton) and ‘Eyes That See In The Dark’. The album itself was ready in August / October. After the summer The Brothers worked on more solo work for Barry and Robin, and Maurice also got involved in the film soundtrack business and composed music for the film ‘Misunderstood’ however in the end this material was not used for the film project. Andy had started a tour through South America in June and later on did more performances and TV shows in North America. Robin was quite busy with all kinds of promotional activities after the release of his new solo album and Barry liked to participate in many tennis games and charity tennis tournaments next to his recording work. The Bee Gees would receive the National Music Publisher’s Association Award for the Country Song Of Year in LA and more awards followed this and next year again. Barry signed a recording and film contract with MCA in New York and again more promotion and TV appearances followed later in the year. In August the group had announced a new Best Of Bee Gees Album for 1984 to be released. Christmas time like mostly was a time for the family and this year Barry, Maurice and Robin appeared via satellite link to Miami in the U.K. Cilla Black Christmas Show with their wives and kids singing ‘Silent Night’.
For Robin and Dwina it was time to settle down more permanent with their son Robin John and they found their paradise in a medieval mansion: The Prebendal, built in the 12th century complete with chapel and refectory. Several celebrities did inhabit the mansion before like members of the Royal Family. Robin and Dwina decided to restore the property. During this year The Brothers were mainly busy with solo projects. Robin worked at his new album ‘Secret Agent’, which with Maurice’s help was recorded at Criteria. Also Barry was busy with his solo album: ‘Now Voyager’. It was recorded at Middle Ear and Ocean Way (LA). Filming of ‘Now Voyager’ was in progress in August.
Robin Gibb's kids from his first marriage: Spencer and Melissa, in 1984
The filming could be described as music videos strung together with a storyline, directed by Storm Thorgerson. Barry played the protagonist, with British actor Michael Hordern as his elderly guide through a confusing world between life and death, set in the Victoria Baths, Manchester. It is said that Barry hated to shave of his beard for this film! Maurice wrote material for a film sound track of: ‘A Breed Apart’ in collaboration with Jimmie Haskell. Robin travelled to The Netherlands in May as part of some promotion visits and Marion (of GSI) visited him in his Amsterdam hotel for an interview and the day afterwards spend some time with him in the Dutch TV studios. In April and June two more singles of Kenny Rogers’ album were released: ‘Eyes That See in the Dark’ (USA) and ‘Evening Star’. The Robin singles: ‘Boys Do Fall In Love’, and ‘Secret Agent’ as well as Robins’ new solo album: ‘Secret Agent’ were released in the Summer of 1984 while Barry’s single: ‘Shine, Shine’ was released in the same period and his solo album: ‘Now Voyager’ came in September. The single, ‘Hold Her In Your Hand’, of the film ‘A Breed Apart’ was finally released in Britain, Australia, and South Africa. The prepared soundtrack album was not released. Barry’s second single of his solo album came out in October: ‘Fine Line’. The premiere of the film ‘A Breed Apart’ was in December. This month there was also a double celebration for Barry and Linda. On the eleventh birthday of their eldest son Stevie, Linda gave birth to Michael David in Miami. A short week later the first of a series of Love And Hope Tennis Festivals started for the DRI where also Andy would join Barry on the tennis court. This year the boys also started working on songs for a Diana Ross album.
For the last time Barry worked with Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson to produce an album. This next project was the new album for Diana Ross. The first single as well as the album with the same name: ‘Eaten Alive’, were released in September. ‘Eaten Alive’ was a song where Michael Jackson, friend of Diana, had worked on as well. Maurice signed a contract in July to start working on an album with Swedish singer Carola. She came to Miami to record some demos. July 31st Robin and Dwina married in Wheatley, (Hampshire, England) about 5 years after they’d met. Barry between all the other work also teamed up this year with Larry Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers to work on the song: ‘Indian Summer’ (album ‘Smile’, released in October).) Robin and Maurice were mainly busy this year with working on Robin’s third solo album. Barry co-wrote on many of the songs as well. A single: ‘Like A Fool’ came in November as well as Robin’s album: ‘Walls Have Eyes’. In December Diana Ross’s next single was released: ‘Chain Reaction’ which would become a big hit in Europe. Their brother Andy earlier in the year had checked into the Betty Ford Clinic as he was still struggling with his addiction.
There were still health problems. By the end of the year Andy again left for an Asian Tour and performed for exciting fans. December 13 and 14 Barry organized his second “Love And Hope” Tennis Tournament where Andy was present too.
Early in the year the Brothers started talking with Warner Bros. for a new contract and new albums. Robin’s single ‘Toys’ was released in February and in April came the single ‘Experience’ from Diana’s ‘Eaten Alive’ album. Barry worked on his second solo album ‘Moonlight Madness’ which wasn’t released and Robin and Maurice were busy recording with Swedish singer Carola and they completed her album ‘ The Runaway’ in May. Instead of recording the next Bee Gees album in the summer The Brothers were in Britain working on a project called The Bunburys. The first single came in the summer: ‘We’re The Bunburys’. Part of this project also was a series of animated cartoons written by David English and drawn by Jan Brychta. There were several charity projects for The Brothers also this year and Barry performed in duet with Barbra Streisand at a garden party at Barbra’s California home. It was filmed for TV and video: ‘One Voice’. Robin was one of many stars who contributed to a charity song: ‘Live-in World’ an anti heroin project in Britain. Brother Andy had recorded again some demos in Spring and was planning a new album. The Bee Gees began writing and recording demos for E.S.P. around September. They also spent some time in New York working with Arif Mardin on material for their new album and worked at Maurice’s home studio, informally known as Panther House. In October The Bee Gees signed a contract with Warner Brothers. In November there was another Love And Hope Event where Barry was joined on stage by Andy, Larry Gatlin and family friend from Australia Noeleen Batley Stewart.
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.
Andy Gibb shortly before his death.
The year looked promising for the Bee Gees. Their latest album: ‘E.S.P.’ had done well and The Brothers were already thinking to start on a follow-up. However first Barry had to finish up a film score for a project he and David English had conceived, the movie ‘Hawks’, and also the Bee Gees had to record a song for the 1988 Olympics that would be featured during the American broadcasts of NBC and included in a special album. Barry had arranged for Andy to sign a record deal with Island Records in Britain so at the start of the year Andy flew to England. Then in March all went terribly wrong.
Andy Gibb memorial in Britain near Robin's home.
Andy felt so insecure, started panicking, missed appointments with the record company, started drinking again etc. He checked into the hospital in February but left again. On his 30th birthday March 5 he was hospitalized again for chest pains, and on March 10 he died. The cause of death was viral myocarditis, not a drug overdose, like some magazines wrote but probably his years of drug and alcohol abuse contributed to his weakened condition. He was buried at Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills on March 21st. Shortly after his death the Andy Gibb Memorial Foundation was started in his honour. (More about Andy on the special Andy Gibb section of this web site!). The Bee Gees did a few huge concerts on May 15 in New York: The Atlantic Concert and in Britain the Princess Trust Concert June 6 and the Nelson Mandela Concert on June 11. The ‘Hawks’ film premiere was at the Odeon Theatre in London on August 4th and also in August the Bunbury TV series and LP of the project were ready.
Barry, Robin, and Maurice were hit hard by the loss of their brother. There was a ceremony held for Andy near Robin’s house. The Brothers tried to find some outlet in doing more recording work. They completed the commissioned song for the Olympics: ‘Shape of Things to Come’, released in August as well as the UK single from ‘ESP’: ‘Crazy For Your Love’ and another single from the Bunbury project: ‘Fight’ with Eric Clapton. Also in August there was the release of Barry’s single from the ‘Hawks’ album: ‘Childhood Days’ followed by the album ‘Hawks’ itself in September. They also wrote the song, ‘Wish You Were Here’ which was explicitly for Andy. But they soon afterwards stopped working and took six months off. Recording for the next Bee Gees album did not resume until November. Then Barry also hosted another Love And Hope Tennis Festival where everyone missed brother Andy very much.
In the first few months of the year The Brothers finished the recordings for the album ‘One’. There was a Love And Hope Ball in February and March 10 a street in Miami Beach was named: Andy Gibb Drive in memory of Andy. The first single released of their new album was: ‘Ordinary Lives’ in March and then in April the album: ‘One’ was ready to be released in the U.K. and in the U. S. in July. It was dedicated to Andy. A second single ‘One’ came out in June (U.K.) and July (U.S.). Meanwhile it was time to start the ‘One For All’ tour which lasted from May until December with a break in October. Their intention had been to tour with Andy finally this year but now instead they had to try and cope with his death. The group toured Europe, America, Australia and East Asia. Their band members on this tour were: Tim Cansfield (guitar), Vic Martin (keyboard, synthesizer), Gary Moberly (keyboard, synthesizer), George Perry (bass), Chester Thompson (drums), and backup singers: Tampa Lann, Linda Harmon, and Phyllis St James. The Brothers felt the need to go on tour again to thank all their fans and after rehearsals, photo sessions and the making of some video clips they finally started their tour on May 3 in Dortmund, Germany.
The Bee Gees during the One Tour in the U.S.A. 1989
I was more then happy there finally was a Bee Gees tour through Europe and also during this tour I again had the opportunity to visit the Bee Gees and their family together with my friends. We visited quite some concerts in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and enjoyed the shows very much. Good to see them live on stage again after a long time. We had great fun before and after all the shows we met the family backstage and spend long afternoons chatting together and after the shows when we spend the evenings with the Gibb family in the hotel. Marion / GSI.
The American part of the tour started in July with a first performance at the David Letterman Show and a first concert in St Paul, Minnesota. They went across the country to the end of September in San Francisco. In November The Bee Gees appeared in the Arsenio Hall Show and then set off for Australia for more concerts. The first show Down Under was November 7 in Canberra and the Nov 18 show in Melbourne was filmed for a TV special (released on DVD in 1990: One For All). In Sydney the boys had a reunion with Vince Melouney and Colin Peterson of the early Bee Gees band. From Australia they travelled to Japan for about 6 shows from November 28 until December 7. A very successful tour had ended.
They became best group of 1966 and Barry won the prize for best songwriter.
Being 17 years old he had already a very impressive past as a songwriter.
People wondered how a boy at 17 was able to write such emotional love songs.
Many Australian artists recorded Barry’s songs.
Amongst others there was the group Steve & The Board of Steve Kipner, son of Nat Kipner.
And drummer of the band had been Colin Peterson for some time who would later become one of The Bee Gees!!
So just before leaving Australia the group sent some material for their first album and tapes like “Mrs. Gillespie’s Refrigerator”, “Deeply Deeply Me” and “Gilbert Green” to some record people in England.
Stigwood remembers that on those tapes were songs which would become big hits some later.