Line Out Music & the City at Night

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Not Stayin' Alive

Posted by on Sun, May 20, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees died today of cancer at 62.

His fraternal twin brother and fellow Bee Gee Maurice died of a heart attack in 2003. His younger brother, solo pop star Andy, committed suicide died in 1988 at the age of 30. That leaves just Barry Gibb stayin' alive.


Comments (42) RSS

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Pridge Wessea 1
Shouldn't this be on Line Out?

I jest. RIP.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on May 20, 2012 at 4:42 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 2

Til I finally died,
which started the whole world living,
oh, if I'd only seen
that the joke was on me.…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on May 20, 2012 at 4:55 PM · Report this
seatackled 3
Donna Summer and a Bee Gee, both within a week. :(
Posted by seatackled on May 20, 2012 at 4:56 PM · Report this
Hackiest of hacky headlines. Do better.
Posted by Monty on May 20, 2012 at 5:21 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 5


Must be the hepatitis C they injected into baby boomers.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on May 20, 2012 at 5:22 PM · Report this
Bad week for disco.

And the Wikipedia says Andy died of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart. 'Tho I seem to remember rumors of suicide.

Anyway, sad.
Posted by DMC_unregistered on May 20, 2012 at 5:36 PM · Report this
levide 7
Posted by levide on May 20, 2012 at 5:44 PM · Report this
Banna 8
I thought Andy Gibb died of a heart attack, not suicide. Maurice died of GI trouble?
Posted by Banna on May 20, 2012 at 5:55 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 9
That's two and these happen in three's.....who's next?
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on May 20, 2012 at 5:58 PM · Report this
@9 please let it be a Kardashian!
Posted by shaneleopard on May 20, 2012 at 6:16 PM · Report this
Fnarf 11
It would really be a tragedy if the only thing people remembered the Bee Gees for was "Saturday Nigh Fever" and disco. They were as good a group of singers and writers as existed in the sixties, and that very much includes the Beatles. Robin Gibb was SEVENTEEN when he sang this great song "Holiday":…

I remember watching the Bee Gees on episodes of "The Midnight Special" and "Don Kirschner's Rock Concert", with the strange-looking Robin, before his dental work, notable for holding his finger in his ear all the time, trying to hear those harmonies. The loveliest harmonies ever.

Their first three albums after they returned to the UK are as solid a body of work as anyone ever produced. "1st", "Idea", and "Horizontal". Go listen to them, and weep. I will be.
Posted by Fnarf on May 20, 2012 at 6:25 PM · Report this
Fnarf 12
@2, common ground. That's a great song. The Lucksmiths do a terrific version of it.
Posted by Fnarf on May 20, 2012 at 6:32 PM · Report this
Fnarf 13
"New York Mining Disaster 1941", Robin on lead:
Posted by Fnarf on May 20, 2012 at 6:41 PM · Report this
Posted by Fnarf on May 20, 2012 at 6:48 PM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 15
@9 I don't suppose Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau counts...?
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on May 20, 2012 at 6:52 PM · Report this
stinkbug 16
@11: I sometimes like to ask people what year they think the Best of Bee Gees album was originally released. Most are a decade or so off.
Posted by stinkbug on May 20, 2012 at 7:19 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 17
Damnit, I was hoping Travolta croaked.

Yes, I am fully aware I am a bad person. Nevertheless, it is past time for that Scieno-freak to kick the bucket.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on May 20, 2012 at 7:27 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 18
What #8 said. Andy Gibb died of a heart attack, not suicide, unless you consider cocaine abuse a form of suicide. I thought the headline was pretty tasteless too.
Posted by Gern Blanston on May 20, 2012 at 7:58 PM · Report this
Really distasteful headline.
Posted by Amanda on May 20, 2012 at 8:16 PM · Report this
Class up Goldy, Class up.
Posted by j2patter on May 20, 2012 at 8:25 PM · Report this
Posted by Chris Govella on May 20, 2012 at 8:30 PM · Report this
I recall a long ago time anxiously waiting for KJR to replay "Holiday" while listening to the station on my pocket transistor radio. I absolutely loved that song. Still do. That and "I Started a Joke". All things must pass, and it is sad.
Posted by Fairhaven on May 20, 2012 at 8:35 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 23
@9 It'll be a disco personality, going w/ the theme. Unless you want to include Dick Clark, thus Mr. Gibb completes the trine.

Gallows humor aside, I have nothing but respect for the Bee Gees. However, I always kind of wince whenever I hear the "they weren't just disco" meme. I mean, it's true 'n all, but it comes w/ this assumption that all disco was bad. It's really a good form, a mixture of funk, rock & dance. And the Bee Gees were great at it.

There. I said it. And yes, it was done to death. One of the first cultural murders perpetrated by corporate marketing.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on May 20, 2012 at 8:52 PM · Report this
Fnarf 24
@18, @19, it's just ignorance.
Posted by Fnarf on May 20, 2012 at 8:57 PM · Report this
Wow, just had a 30 year old flashback to my youth...
Well you can tell
by the way I use my walk
I'm a woman's man
no time to talk
... Ummm can't tell that from your voice, dude.

Rest in peace Robin.
Posted by Large Hardon Colluder on May 20, 2012 at 9:07 PM · Report this
malcolmxy 26
Where's Don McLean when ya need 'im (bye, bye meth, speed ball and pot high...)
Posted by malcolmxy on May 20, 2012 at 9:10 PM · Report this
Bob Stanley of the Guardian with a fine tribute to Robin's gifts. It's hard to realize how massive they got so young - by the time Arif Mardin showed them what they ought to do next they figured they might be all washed up. He gave them "Main Course" and "Children of the World", without which they might never have got the Stigwood commission to write the Fever songs, which they did over a weekend in France. I loved them as part of my fantasy of having brothers to sing with.…
Posted by gloomy gus on May 20, 2012 at 9:19 PM · Report this
@7 HA, ha, ha! That's good, that's good.

@15 I'm glad I'm not the only one who digs Schubert's lieds. Of the three cycles I've heard, I prefer Die schone Mullerin - more summery and less gloomy than, say, Winterreise. (Though I love Die Taubenpost, from Schwanengesang.). But more than all of Schubert's settings, I prefer the tenderness and idealistic passion of Beethoven's few lieds (An die ferne Geliebte) - some of which Fischer-Dieskau sang. He was really the only male interpreter for this sort of thing, kind of how Paul O'Dette has the lute market cornered. I thought Fischer-Dieskau had died decades ago, so I was surprised to hear of his recent death.

And I, for one, like Goldy's headline! I guess we're both equally callous.
Posted by floater on May 20, 2012 at 10:07 PM · Report this
Vancouverite 29
Agreed - tasteless headline. And, Andy Gibb died of a viral infection in the heart (so says Wikipedia), not suicide.
Posted by Vancouverite on May 20, 2012 at 10:36 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 30
I was very into disco in the late 1970s - early 1980s, so that is the era that informed my memory of the Bee Gees. Fond memories, I might add. We may look back in hindsight and laugh at Saturday Night Fever, but at the time they were super hot, and I will freely confess to dancing my ass of to them many times.

Fnarf, thanks for the selection of their earlier works. I knew they had been around before the late 1970s, of course, but never really paid much attention to their earlier music.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on May 20, 2012 at 10:38 PM · Report this
lark 31
Robin Gibb RIP.

I like the Bee Gees PRIOR to 1975. Listen to "Run to Me"
Their harmonies are awesome.
Posted by lark on May 20, 2012 at 10:54 PM · Report this
NotSean 32
I would hate to outlive all of my siblings, although, I haven't any.
Posted by NotSean on May 20, 2012 at 11:11 PM · Report this
lifesart 33
@27 - thanks for the shout out to Arif Mardin, who deserves so much credit for all that he did. The Bee Gees were more than disco, but they were disco too, and there's nothing wrong with that. (I hope and pray I do not outlive my four siblings, all of us longer in tooth than we ever thought we would be.) RIP, Robin.
Posted by lifesart on May 21, 2012 at 6:04 AM · Report this
terrence 34
@9 unfortunately the only thing i know by the beegees is "staying alive", and every time i hear it it makes my testicles re-ascend out of fear.

did they do that corny falsetto in every song they made?
Posted by terrence on May 21, 2012 at 6:33 AM · Report this
@34, Barry's use of falsetto began with Arif Mardin pushing them in 1973 to adapt the vocal tropes of classic American R&B harmonizers. The boys claimed to have never known Barry could do that until Mardin egged them on.

And I love that you claim mild curiosity but won't click any of the links to their other work provided by helpful regulars. Very stylish of you.
Posted by gloomy gus on May 21, 2012 at 6:59 AM · Report this
Karlheinz Arschbomber 36
@28 I got to meet Mr Fischer-Dieskau years ago after a Mahler recital in Boston. He was smoking a cigarette! But his personality was as smooth and charming as his unmatchable voice. He had this incredible German hottie Frau with him, in a mink coat, it was quite the experience.
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber on May 21, 2012 at 8:54 AM · Report this
Camembert 37
To be fair to Andy Gibb, he never actually claimed on record to be Stayin' Alive.
Posted by Camembert on May 21, 2012 at 9:16 AM · Report this
Fnarf 38
@35, thanks for pointing out what should be obvious: there is a vigorous tradition of falsetto in soul, including a lot of almost ruinously studly masculine heterosexualists, and singing that way is a gorgeous form of art that has nothing whatever to do with effeminacy, reascended testicles, or gayness. And I've got the Chi-lites records to prove it.

Besides, that's Barry, not Robin. Barry was the hairy-chested, lantern-jawed, moose-knuckled superstud. I always preferred Robin, who always seemed kind of cracked or bent, fragile and odd-looking. Robin didn't sing falsetto except in harmony; he was more known for his wide vibrato, which in its more untamed moments seemed like it was going to warble right out of the song, saved from comedy at times only by the gut impact of the tune. From the ridiculous to the sublime. The man sung beautifully but no more.

the Bob Stanley piece you linked to you in the Guardian was excellent. He too noticed the constant ear-clutching. Stanley is my favorite music critic these days, at his blog Croydon Municipal. He's also the same Bob Stanley who was in St. Etienne, if anyone remembers them.
Posted by Fnarf on May 21, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Vancouverite 39
I Started a Joke and First of May - Robin in best form:…
Posted by Vancouverite on May 21, 2012 at 11:18 AM · Report this
Vancouverite 40
Loved the BeeGees pre-SNF/disco in my pre-teens. Happily threw Saturday Night Fever soundtrack into the pyre at Comiskey Park. It was a sellout of something better, but what the BeeGees will be most known for.
Posted by Vancouverite on May 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
Dougsf 41
Horizontal is probably my favorite one of theirs, so I was cringing as the news gave the Bee Gee's CV as disco artists extraordinaire. Ok, that soundtrack was HUGE in America, but fuck, so was "should I stay or should I go" and "come dancing", none of which are their respective group's best or most defining moments.

Posted by Dougsf on May 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM · Report this
Monday June 3rd, 2013


I know that I am 1 year and 1 month and 14 days late here (since Robin died on Sunday May 20th, 2012) but I just want to say that I am really so very sad and sorry regarding Robin's passing from bowel cancer!!

I have ALWAYS loved The Bee Gess and their talents (songwriters and singers and musicians on a side note here, many years ago, I heard that for every single song that TBGs have ever written in their long and illustrious career here, that it only took just less than 1 or 2 hours at the mosr to acutally write ALL of their songs)!!

Even though, I have never bought any of their recordings, I have heard their music on the radio many times throughout the years an d
I have thoroughly enjoyed their music!!

I was very saddened at hearing of the sudden death of Andy in 1988 at the very young age of 30 from a heart attack due to a viral infection) and then, of the sudden death of Maurice in 2003, due to a heart attack while (and this IS what I heard) while on the operating table being operated on for a twisted bowel!!

For some reason, within the past week, I have been researching everything that I can on TBGs on the net and listening to and looking at ALL of their videos on YOUTUBE!!

Even though I do love ALL of their videos, MY VERY MOST FAVOURITE IS NONE OTHER THAN ** WIND OF CHANGE** from The Bee Gees Spirits Having Flown Tour"!!

I could just watch this 1 video of theirs for hours and hours and never get tired of it!!


The Bee Gees themselves and the song (music and lyrics) and Barry's wonderful energy and presence on stage as he is singing lead vocal and the flashing lights on the stage and the fog machine and just the whole orchestration of the song right from the very 1st note of this song right up until the very last note of this song!!

Hope that all of you do not mind me saying this...

But, this song IS ORGASMIC!!



Even though I do NOT know TBG's religious preferences or viewpoints, I sincerely pray that ALL Of The 3 Bee Gees Brothers, Andy and Maurice and Robin ARE RESTING IN PEACE!!


Sincerely Always,

(The Bee Gees #1 Fan!!)
Posted by erica1961 on June 3, 2013 at 11:00 PM · Report this

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