Royal honors for Bee Gees

Thursday, May 27, 2004 Posted: 1522 GMT (2322 HKT)

LONDON, England — The two surviving members of the Bee Gees pop group have accepted honors at Buckingham Palace in what they described as a “bittersweet” ceremony.

Barry and Robin Gibb, 58, collected their CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) awards from the Prince of Wales Thursday.

The Bee Gees are famous for writing catchy pop songs such as “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever,” as well as their distinctive falsetto voices.

Adam Gibb, 28, collected the honor on behalf of his late father, Maurice.

Clearly touched, Barry said: “It’s bittersweet. It would’ve have been wonderful for all three of us to be here. Knowing Mo, this would have been right up his alley. He would have still had his hat on.”

Maurice was known for sporting a black trilby hat at all times. “Nothing would remove that hat,” added brother Robin.

Maurice died in a Miami hospital at age 53 in January 2003. He suffered a heart attack during emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage.

Adam said Prince Charles spoke to him about the loss of his father. “He said he hoped this was a little something to remember him by.”

Adam also noted that his mother was supposed to accept the award, but “she couldn’t do it.” Yvonne Gibb was in the audience instead.

After the ceremony, Barry said: “We are not the Bee Gees right now, in respect for Mo.”

“Maybe the time’s just right for a bit of free flight. Maybe at some point we will do something together.”