Bee Gees Connection
I first became aware of the
Bee Gees connection with the Isle of Man in 1968. Chris
Musk presented a series of 'Star' interviews for Manx Radio
and it was in his conversation with the brothers that they
revealed the Island was their place of birth.
It wasn't until 1997 that I decided to do something about the
misinformation in all the reference books and record
All of them referred to the brothers as being natives of
Manchester, some even said they were Australian. On the
Late Show one night in August 1997, I mentioned that the boys
were born here and that started people calling to say it was a
myth, they had lived here in the early 70s - purely as tax
dodgers and that was the only connection, but I knew that was
untrue as I'd heard them saying it themselves so I decided to
do something about it.
I managed to obtain the phone number of their manager Dick
Ashby in Florida, called him in the hopes of doing a telephone
hook up with the boys. Dick said they would all be in
London the following week to promote their new album and would
try and make time for me to meet and record the
brothers. To do the job properly I needed at least a
couple of hours of their time, it proved to be impossible to
squeeze me in to their very tight schedule. Dick Ashby
then revealed that the whole family would be together in
Florida in the month of December and they would love to record
interviews about their time in the Isle of Man and to set the
record straight. Manx Radio told me there was no way
they could afford to fund my trip, I tried other sources to
sponsor my flight - no one could see the potential so I paid
for the trip myself.
first week of December 1997 was spent in Miami Beach
and one of my first appointments was lunch with
Barbara Gibb who was able to give me a lot of
background about her very famous sons. Dick
Ashby then arranged for me to record the boys
individually. In his words, "put them all
together and all you'll get is a Goon Show"
So to get serious stuff, I spent an afternoon with
each brother at their Middle Ear studio, and on the
fourth afternoon, we brought everyone together,
including their mother - it was uproar - hilarious and
a lot of fun. In all, I returned home with four
hours of recorded conversations.
I certainly burned the
midnight oil, mixing and editing those interviews to produce a
two hour documentary for broadcast on Christmas day.
This included a selection of songs from their very earliest
days, probably never heard on the radio before.
Below, I have included the individual interviews as recorded,
without the music or my biographical narrative for the
programme. The final session with all of them
together is included as it was recorded - warts and all, it
will give you some idea of the mammoth task I faced in lifting
the relevant bits out for the final programme.
Click on the
pictures to hear each of the interviews.
If you'd like a copy of the whole two
hour documentary, I'll be happy
to provide copies on CD if you make a donation to the
children's hospice here on the Island - E-Mail
(More to follow soon)