Poem's stories and comments

David English
friend, Bee Gees author and RSO record company President in the 70s

“Maurice Gibb was not only one of my closest friends, over 30 years he became like a brother to me. I last saw him at the wedding of Barry Gibb’s two sons on Miami Beach before Christmas. He was in great spirits, larking around, having fun and enjoying life. He was slim and tanned and looked great which makes the details of his death even harder to take in. I’ve been in constant touch with his family since he was taken into hospital and I’ve been shocked to learn just how ill Maurice was. The family are drained at the finality and suddenness of it all. Barry and Robin’s mother, Barbara, is with them. The hospital is down the road from their homes and is where their children were born. Now they’re at Barry’s house trying to come to terms with it all. Barry was asleep when I called yesterday. His wife Linda said he was devastated. He can’t believe it has happened. I will always remember Maurice, or Mo as I called him, for his sense of humour and his ability to mimic other people’s voices. He was zany, like Ringo was with the Beatles, witty and a bit of a court jester. One of my favourite memories is driving over Sunny Isles Bridge in Miami in 1975 with the Bee Gees after spending a day in the recording studio. They heard the rhythm of the wheels on the road, looked at each other and realised it was a great groove. We drove back to the studio and came up with Jive Talking, just like that. When they were in the studio, they were like three pieces of a jigsaw because they fitted together so well. You would have Barry and Robin coming up with the words and Maurice with his keyboard or guitar developing a melody as the man in the middle. After Saturday Night Fever came out, I remember walking around Times Square in New York with Maurice. We saw a neon board which showed five of their singles in the Top 10. He smiled and said: “Not bad, eh?” Talk about understatement. One of the funniest times we had was in the 70s at the Intercontinental Hotel in Paris. I was looking over the balcony of our room and for some reason decided to circle along a ledge. One by one, Barry, Maurice and Robin followed. When we came to the next suite, we looked in and saw a couple making love. The woman looked up and, with an expression of total disbelief, saw a madman followed by three Bee Gees inch past, 100ft above Paris. We saw her the next day on the plane back to London. Maurice told her how nice it was to see her with her clothes on. I last spoke to him on the phone two weeks ago. He was fine and talking about how he had just been paintballing. The fact that he was so active makes his death all the harder to come to terms with. My thoughts are with his family. His wife, Yvonne, is devastated. It must also be very hard on his children, Samantha and Adam, who were working on an album with him just before he died. The Bee Gees drew their strength from being a family. I’m sure they will use that strength to get them through the days ahead. But things will never be the same again.”