The Bee Gees was a disco group comprised of three real-life brothers. With the exception of a brief period when the band broke up in the early 1970s, these brothers were inseparable throughout most of their lives. Today, Barry Gibb is the last surviving member of the Bee Gees, and he misses his brothers a great deal. Join Facts Verse as last surviving Bee Gee Barry Gibb speaks out on losing his brothers.
Will Barry Gibb Ever Mend His Broken Heart?
In 2020, the documentary The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart was released. The documentary featured participation from last surviving band member Barry Gibb, and it served as a tribute for fans to the power of the band. For Barry, the filming of the documentary wasn’t easy. The band was comprised of Barry and two of his brothers, with the name of the band being a clever play on “the Brothers Gibb”. As it turns out, Barry has never gotten over the passing of his former bandmates. Filming the recent HBO documentary forced the musician to reopen wounds that had still yet to heal, and this is the reason that Barry claims he’s never going to watch the movie for himself.
Barry Gibb Together With His Brothers In 1950s
Barry and his brothers first started playing together in the 1950s. At the time, the brothers called their band “the Rattlesnakes”. In the 1960s, the brothers changed the name of their group to the Bee Gees. Casual fans may not know that the band hails from Australia, and it was there that it found it’s first success. As compared to the disco sound that the band would help pioneer during the 1970s, the Bee Gees made Beatles-esque pop music during the early years. Around the time the 1970s rolled around, two of the brothers comprising the Bee Gees stopped getting along. These brothers were Barry and Robin: the band’s dual leaders.
The story goes that both Barry and Robin felt that they were deserving of being the sole leader of the Bee Gees. In terms of talent, both musicians were relatively equal during their heyday. The bickering got to be so bad that Robin left the band during the early 1970s. After leaving, he attempted to start a solo career while his two brothers carried on the band. Robin’s bid for a solo career was unsuccessful, and his two brothers weren’t having a whole lot of luck without him. In 1975, the brothers reconciled and the band reformed.
The Bee Gees Broke Up in the Early 1970s
During the period that the Bee Gees broke up, Barry and Robin refused to talk to each other. They passed along messages to one another through third brother and band member Maurice, and he resented being the medium between his two feuding siblings. Barry and Robin also bad-mouthed each other in the media as much as they could. When the brothers got back together, it was a pleasant surprise for those who had been following their rise as a pop group. Little could anyone have predicted that the band’s best days lied ahead of it, along with a change in sound.
Back Together In 1970’s
When the Bee Gees got back together in the mid-1970s, they weren’t the same popular music group that had risen to success in the 1960s. Instead, the brothers decided to jump on the bandwagon of the rising trend that was disco. The band came to define the musical movement when they soundtracked the 1978 film Saturday Night Fever.
The film featured John Travolta in the lead role, and it followed his character as he attempted to become a star disco dancer. At the time of the movie’s release, the lifestyle was foreign to many audience members, but they liked what they saw! From there, the band remained active until the first member’s passing in the new millennium. In addition to the three Gibb brothers comprising the band, there was also a fourth Gibb brother that made a name for himself as a pop musician.
The three brothers comprising the Bee Gees had a younger brother by the name of Andy, and he followed in his older brothers’ footsteps not longer after they struck disco stardom. Andy first came on the scene in the late 1980s, and his time as a popular musician lasted into the following decade. Sadly, both his career and his life would be cut short towards that decade’s end. In 1988, Andy died as a result of a drug overdose. The younger Gibb brother had struggled with substance abuse issues throughout much of his life, particularly after his rise to fame. At the time of his death, he was only 30 years old. The death would affect all three members of the Bee Gees, though they were never quite as close to Andy as they were to each other.
The Bee Gees Stayed Alive for a Long Time
The Bee Gees peaked during the disco days, but the band kept on chugging along into the new millennium. When the first of its members died in 2002, many didn’t even know that they were still around. However, there were plenty of diehard fans who ever stopped buying the group’s new releases. The first member of the Bee Gees to die was Maurice. He died of a heart attack, and he was 53 years old at the time. Thankfully, surviving brothers Barry and Robin no longer needed a medium in order to communicate. The brothers remained in good terms in the final years, and didn’t have any notable feuds after their early-1970s breakup.
After Maurice’s death, Robin was the next member of the Bee Gees to go. Robin passed away in 2012, dying from cancer at the age of 62. With this, Barry was forced to accept that he was the last surviving Gibb brother. Even after a decade, he is still having trouble accomplishing this task. According to Barry, he still has a hard time believing that his brothers aren’t with anymore. He claims that he still wonders what his brother would think about things, and it feels like they’re with him in his heart. The three brothers comprising the Bee Gees had spent most of their lives together, with the exception of the year and a half when Barry and Robin didn’t talk. Barry says that he’s lonely, but that music helps.
There were many that didn’t expect the Bee Gees to make it past the death of disco. Not only did the band continue to function well after disco lost it’s popularity, but the band’s music has also managed to avoid the stigma that has come to be associated with many disco hits of the past. Even at time when it has been cool to hate on disco, it has rarely been cool to hate on the Bee Gees. The three members of the band were passionate about the music that they made, regardless of the genre that they were dabbling in. After their disco days, they continued to experiment with genres.
Barry Gibb Continues to Play Music Into His 70s
The Bee Gees was unquestionably one of the most popular groups of the disco era, with the group amassing a staggering total of nine No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 during it’s heyday. Many of these singles came from the aforementioned soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. The band’s most successful single was “How Deep Is Your Love”, which spent a total of 33 weeks on the charts. However, the tune of the band’s that has inarguably lived on the most in popular culture is “Stayin’ Alive”.
The release of The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart on HBO in 2020 only proved that the Bee Gees is a musical group that is never going to fade away. Even if there’s only one surviving member of the band left, the music that the group made is never going to go away. One might imagine that watching the documentary might be therapeutic for Barry Gibb, but it doesn’t seem that this is the case. On the contrary,
Robin Died In 2012
Barry Gibb is adamant that he is likely never going to watch the documentary that he was so willing to participate in. According to the man himself, it would simply be too painful for him to see his brothers and remember that they are no longer with him. After Robin died in 2012, Barry suffered a nervous breakdown that caused him to hide away from the public for a period of several years. The musician eventually realized that there was no use hiding away.
Today, Barry Gibb is still making music. Music seems to be the only thing that keeps the man happy, even if he’d prefer to be making it with his late brothers. Barry is still performing, and he recently released an album featuring country renditions of many of the most famous Bee Gees songs. Released in January of 2021, the album was titled Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1. In addition to Barry, numerous notable country stars also worked on the album. Some of the many artists featured include Dolly Parton and Miranda Lambert, lending plenty of country credibility to Barry’s musical pet project. Barry is currently 76 years old, and it seems that he’s still got plenty of energy.
Barry Gibb may miss his brothers, but making music helps him take his mind off of the pain. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Barry Gibb refuses to watch the recently released Bee Gees documentary, and that he made a country album in 2021? Comment down below!