Poem's stories and comments

January 12. – 2003 

BBC: This, this cannot be easy for you. How are you both coping right now?

Robin: Umm, I think the, the answer to that is we’re both devastated. We’ve actually been in shock for the last few days since Maurice has been ill. And so this is all going too fast for us. So we actually{crosstalk}

Barry: Yeah, in a very strange space, but I think it’s really good that we have each other, you know. And we’re taking a lot of, umm, strength from each other right now. You know.

Robin: mmhmm, mmhmm. {agrees}

BBC: Could you just talk me thru the past 24, 36, 48 hours. How did you find out he was ill and then talk me through the course of events.

Barry: You see, whatever I tell you is still subject to question because I wasn’t there, you know, and I think that umm, and Robin was in London at the time. And I got the, I got information from Dick Ashby that Maurice didn’t feel very well. and umm. And wanted to go down to the hospital to be checked out. And they did that. And they kept him overnight, but about 4 o’clock in the morning umm he suffered, suddenly, cardiac arrest. And uh, between 4 and 8 o’ clock that morning the physician arrived, the doctors arrived, the surgeons arrived and decided that whatever caused the cardiac arrest was, was the reason that they should act immediately even though Maurice was in shock. And so they, they did that. They made that decision to go and examine what was going on inside Maurice’s stomach and uh. This is only my version once again. That his intestines were twisted and this may indeed be a birth defect, and uh it may not be, but as far as we know it’s a birth defect of some form. And, so consequently they removed 80 percent of his stomach. And, that’s the percentage they put on it. And so there’s very little left and umm he suffered the cardiac arrest and the fact that they have to operate on Maurice during the shock of cardiac arrest (

Robin: is questionable) is very questionable and we will pursue it, every factor, every element, every second of the timeline of the final hours of Maurice’s life. We will pursue that relentlessly. That will be our quest from now on.

Robin: Yeah

BBC: Do you believe he may, should have never been operated on and

Barry: No, we believe that mistakes were made. Period.

Robin: We believe mistakes were made and time was wasted.

Barry: And negligence occurred. And, and whatever happened, and we allege, we don’t, we don’t, umm we don’t condemn. We allege that things went wrong. Protocol was not followed. Someone is responsible for the death of one of the world’s, to our mind, one of the world’s greatest recording artists, (

Robin: that’s right. and totally unnecessary) and our brother. And it wasn’t necessary. We will question it to the end of our days. We will question it, we will examine it, and we will bring the truth out no matter what it takes.

Robin: and someone will be held to account.

Barry: and somebody will be, will have to account for this.

BBC: When you say it is unnecessary, what part are you, do you believe, that the wrong decision

Barry: The immediate action, I think. It had been

Robin: Maurice was, Maurice went in at 5 o’clock Wednesday afternoon. He was still not being treated, foolishly.

Barry: Which we shouldn’t go {quick crosstalk} We really shouldn’t.

Barry: But the point is, the point is that Maurice was, Maurice is not the kind of person, Maurice is like every other guy. He won’t go near a hospital. He won’t go near a doctor. Not because he didn’t love them, but because (laugh) none of us want to go to a doctor or none of us want to go to a hospital. So, for Maurice, you know Maurice. It would take an awful lot for Maurice to go to a hospital. So, he felt in distress. And we feel that he should have been attended to immediately. And someone should have had a diagnosis within the first hour as to what was going on with Maurice. And somehow, none of the timelines, none of the minutes, none of the sequence of events have yet made sense to us. We will make sense of that.

BBC: And Robin, it must have been incredibly difficult for you being so far away from him at the time.

Robin: Yeah

BBC: How did you find out.

Robin: I found out, I was being kept abreast of everything by phone. So, almost by the hour so I knew everything that was going on. But obviously yes, very difficult. And I still can’t come to terms with it now. It’s just almost like a dream. It’s like a nightmare that you wake up to every day. That’s all you can say. It’s just devastating. It’s going to take a long time even just for it to sink in.

BBC: And even more difficult for you because he was your twin.

Robin: Yeah, of course. You know we just had a birthday, he was, you know he had the whole future ahead of him and all I can say is he was just one of the most beautiful people in the world. And a very gifted man. And it’s a loss for the world. And that’s {note: faded away}

BBC: People know Maurice as a member of the Bee Gees. They know him as one of the world’s greatest recording artists, as you say. But describe to me Maurice, the man. The man that you knew.

Robin: He was the most sweetest, generous people you could ever meet.

Barry: Maurice, Maurice was a silly man. Maurice liked being silly. His whole, I think his whole grasp of life was silly. And I think we all are, but Maurice really excelled. He was an extrovert. He would always be the person. He would never walk into a room Maurice. Maurice would prance into a room. You know. And his presence was immediate, full out, ‘are you waiting for me?’ That’s Mo. {lots of ‘yeah’ agreements from Robin}

BBC: And millions of people around the world have taken his death very badly. They’re very shocked

Barry: Yes

BBC: by it. What do you think it was about him that people loved and People

Barry: Cause he was the average guy. Mo was. I think?

Robin: Yeah, I agree.

Barry: He reflected everyman. He didn’t reflect the glamour side of the pop business.

Robin: Very down to earth.

Barry: He was very down to earth person. And you would see that sometimes in his performance. And in his normal attitude to life. He never really lost his Lancashire accent. He never lost his roots. You know? Maurice was the one who, as bad as Robin and I were, Maurice was the one who would never steal. And when we were kids, we were always stealing. But Maurice was the one who never would. And I think that says something about the spirit of his person. {lots of ‘yeah’ agreements from Robin}

BBC: It must have been very important for you to have your family around at the time in the hospital when he was laying there{some crosstalk – yes’s}

Robin: There’s no question.

Barry: There’s no question that Robin and me are completely pole-axed by this whole episode. But that can’t be anything compared to his wife, Yvonne, his son, Adam, and his daughter Sammie who are, you know, this has really just decimated their lives. It’s just destroyed them. It’s going to take them years to come to terms with the loss of Mo. You know. He was everything to them. He was their world. You know? And as we’ve all got different families, that’s what happens.

BBC: He did have a number of health problems earlier in life. He had a well-documented problem with alcohol. But in recent years he was very fit. He was very healthy. Lot of people say they saw him. He was tanned and he was full of life.

Robin: Maurice had a very routine life. You know, he was a creature of habit. And he was into paintballing. He’d go paintballing every weekend. And he’d do things in such a routine way. His lifestyle, he had a good, clean, kind of wholesome lifestyle compared to other people in the music business. He didn’t push the boat out. Nothing, nothing in at least the last ten years. So this comes, I guess, absolute shock.

Barry: The last person you would expect. Robin or me, yeah, you expect that (laughter) Just because we’re both rebels. But Mo, he’s always toed the line. He’s always tried to look after himself.

Robin: He’s always tried to keep people happy. {garbled} even beyond the point where you even have to. He was always {garbled}

Barry: And we’re not just saying that. This was an extremely sweet person. An extremely sweet person.

BBC: And he was still working, he was still working.

Barry: Always still working, always still working.

bbc: Are you working quite recently on a new venture.

Barry: Well, we’re not really doing anything at the moment except writing songs. We think at this point in our lives the sooner we get back to what we think our gift is, is writing songs. And uh, it will be, Maurice will be a void always in our lives. And we will always, he will always be featured as the third member of the Bee Gees no matter what we do. But, one thing I will tell you is that the Bee Gees will go on.

Robin: That’s right, we will.

Barry: The Bee Gees will not stop here. The Bee Gees will not disintegrate, because we’ve lost Mo.

BBC: What does that mean for the group

Barry: It means that we will go on and make another album.

Robin: You’re looking at the Bee Gees right now.

Barry: You’re looking at the Bee Gees. And we will do it in Maurice’s name.

Robin: Yeah

BBC: So it isn’t the end?

Robin: No, not at all.

Barry: No. It’s the end of the beginning.

Robin: Right.

BBC: So you’re determined to carry on.Robin or

Barry: yeah

BBC: with the group you’ll

Barry: It’ll, it’ll emerge as an abstract form of the Bee Gees. It’ll emerge as Robin and me being the best we can.

Robin: And Maurice would have wanted it

Barry: And I think Maurice would have wanted us to.