Has history been fair to the Bee Gees? Long accused of cultural theft, arrogance and – worst of all – naffness, they risk being remembered as a pastiche. But behind the band’s baggage, Sophia Deboick discovers a far more complex legacy
When Barry Gibb donned a gold lamé jacket thrown on stage at the conclusion of his Sunday afternoon ‘legends’ slot at Glastonbury this year, it was a bittersweet moment.
The performance crowned five decades in the business, but he was appearing without his late brothers, twins Robin and Maurice. The crowd’s adoption of joke shop disco props and the security staff’s synchronised dance moves to Stayin’ Alive underscored how 1977’s Saturday Night Fever, and a pastiche of disco, has come to define the Bee Gees’ whole career.
But that record was only one chapter in a chequered history for a band that often saw success despite themselves and whose lows were as spectacular as their highs…
The New European, 12 October 2017, pp. 35-38.