Friday 24th. July 2009


The Bee Gees were back in Manchester July 24th, the place where it all began, to commemorate their 50th anniversary and accept the most prestigious award that the Variety Club can bestow: The Silver Heart Tribute. For 60 years, the Variety Club Children’s Charity has been helping sick, disabled and disadvantaged children and young people. The event took place in The Grand Ballroom of the Palace Hotel in Manchester U.K.

Together again Barry and Robin on stage

2009 is a golden year for The Bee Gees, Barry, Robin and the late Maurice Gibb. Their career spans five decades in contemporary music. Over this period, most bands have made their mark and then faded from view, together with trends that catapulted them to fame. Only a handful of immortals have survived the peaks and troughs of public interest. One of these preciously rare groups are The Bee Gees, a group that started their life in show business 50 years ago in 1959.

On the Friday morning there was a radio interview of BBC radio (Mat Trewern) with some Bee Gees fans (Rosalien, Keiko, Italian Bee Gees). Matt sent me (Marion / GSI) an e-mail the day before the event in Manchester, to ask for a possibility to interview fans. I tried to contact amongst others Rosalien who already was in Manchester and she got in touch with Matt to arrange the interview on Friday morning, July 24th. Only it had to take place very early in the morning so around 7 everyone was rise and shine down in the lobby waiting for the BBC. At 7.20 a.m. they went live on air from the Palace Hotel lobby. BBC reporter Mat didn’t expect that many people to wait for him in the lobby for the interview but it was great. The Italian Bee Gees were singing in the back ground, Keiko answered some questions and Rosalien could tell a little something as well.

Robin is proud of his Manchester origins

Many fans travelled to Manchester to celebrate this event with The Bee Gees and their family. They wrote down their thoughts and showed photos of the evening. Below some of their comments:

It was wonderful to hear other stars perform the Gibb music and I enjoyed the performance of P.P. Arnold singing To Love Somebody and Give A Hand Take A Hand …..
There was also a fund raising event for the Variety Club, with a raffle and an auction plus competition prizes, but unfortunately no Bee Gees stuff…..

The Silver Hearts presented to Robin, Yvonne and Barry. (copyright Variety Club website)

There was a film crew to film for the Bee Gees documentary and I believe they were with 2 teams which fed some live audience shots to the four large TV screens at either side of the stage…..
Barry and Robin were also travelling around in a cab filming for the documentary during their short stay in Manchester. Barry said he had enjoyed his trip round Chorlton which hadn’t changed much over the years. The main difference was the amount of cars on Keppel Road. There was only a couple when they had lived there. He also mentioned being able to see the dome of the library from the school…..
Great to see Robert Stigwood (pre-recorded) and other pre-recorded speeches were from people like Bill Wyman and Neil Sedaka etc…..
Friend of the family David English did entertain the audience like no one else can with his stories and great jokes…..
Guests named on a dinner table plan also included photographer Harry Goodwin and Ernie Derbyshire, owner of the Russell Street Club in 1957/1958 where the Gibb Brothers received their first ever performance fee…..
. The cherry on the cake of course was the live performance of Barry and Robin who finished off the evening with full versions of:
“To Love Somebody”
“New York Mining Disaster”

“How Can You Mend A Broken Heart”
Barry solo (1st verse of Ray Charles “You Don’t Know Me”)
followed by a finale of “You Should Be Dancing”…..

The Silver Heart Event at the Palace Hotel in Manchester.
(copyright Variety Club website)

Maurice’s expert musical direction was missing. As Barry said, -Mo was the gel-, but the hugging and appreciation of between each brother on stage suggests that there might be more to come…..
Great to see them together on stage: There is something missing, but the essence is still there and it’s still pure magic!…..
Hearing the two of them was wonderful. Every time they perform, could be the last time, so every time is precious. I`m grateful I got -one more time-…..

Many fans finally had a chance to get an autographed photo of the Brothers and then there were these 3 boys from Italy: the Bee Gees cover band from Italy, who finally saw their wish come true: meeting the reel Bee Gees!

For some photos / articles on the internet visit: (Report by Justine Mills).

The Silver Heart Event at the Palace Hotel in Manchester. (copyright Variety Club website)
The souvenir booklet made for the event with lots of great photos, stories and many congratulations to the boys by music organisations and friends from the music business such as Olivia Newton John and Beyonce.

Marion / GSI
With thanks: Peter Stewart (Brand consult) and others.