Bee Gees Honored In London

Edited By Jonathan Cohen. May 27, 2004, 4:10 PM ET

During an emotional ceremony today (May 27) at Buckingham Palace in London, Prince Charles made the surviving members of the Bee Gees — Barry and Robin Gibb — Commanders of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE. Late member Maurice’s son, Adam, received the award on his father’s behalf.

“It’s bittersweet. It would have been wonderful for all three of us to be here,” Barry Gibb, 57, said afterward. “We have mixed feelings. Knowing Mo, this would have been right up his alley. He would have still had his hat on,” a reference to the artist’s beloved black trilby.

Gibb said the Bee Gees are now a thing of the past. “We are not the Bee Gees now, in respect for Mo,” he said. “Maybe the time’s just right for a bit of free flight. Maybe at some point we will do something together.”

Adam Gibb, a 28-year-old film student, looked close to tears after collecting his father’s award. “My mother was supposed to do it, but she wouldn’t have been able to” because of the emotion, he said. Maurice’s widow, Yvonne, watched from the audience.

Born on the Isle of Man, the Gibb brothers moved to Manchester, England, in the 1950s. As the Bee Gees, the trio scored disco-era hits such as “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever.”

Maurice Gibb died in 2003 at age 53. He suffered a heart attack before undergoing emergency surgery in Miami for an intestinal blockage.