{From the archives – 1968} Bee Gees talk to a reporter in New York, March 1968

Bee Gees from Flip, 1968

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In the late 1960s, the five-piece Bee Gees, with Robin and Maurice Gibb still in their teens, were literally teen idols.  As such, they were extensively featured on the cover and pin-up pages of teen magazines in the U.K., States, and Europe – across the world for that matter.

This article, from a 1968 issue of U.S. teen magazine "Flip," is about their visit to the U.S.  They were in New York to do the Ed Sullivan Show.   Though this is but a short article, it gives us a glimpse of the Bee Gees to be in the years to come, with Barry, who would move to Florida in the decade that followed, already talking about his love of the sun, and Robin, who spent his free time during the Japanese tour, watching Japanese TV although he did not understand a word of it, revealing his interest in the small screen.   

"Me And The Bee Gees"

(Valerie just joined FLIP’s staff.  Her very first assignment was to interview The Bee Gees.  Here is her report of what happened!)


 The Bee Gees are "just people," I told myself firmly, but that didn’t stop my heart from pounding as I knocked on the hotel room door.  It opened a little, and one brown eye peeked cautiously around it.  The eye belonged to Robin Gibb!  "Are you from FLIP?" he asked.  He opened the door wider and I saw the big grin that went with the brown eye.  I nearly tiptoed inside, seeling as if I were joining a super-secret convention of spies!

But that feeling ended as Robin led me to another room, where I saw four other great big grins as Barry, Maurice, Colin and Vince stood up to welcome me. (Good manners are as natural to the Bee Gees as breathing – they make a girl feel great!)

When we were all settled comfortably around a coffee table, everyone else in the room wandered away and I realized I was alone with five of the grooviest-looking guys I’d ever met!

The first thing I wanted to know, of course, was … why all the secrecy?  It seemed that hardly anyone even knew the Bee Gees were in the U.S.!  They all started explaining at once.  (They’re so enthusiastic about everything that they do that a lot!)  It seemed that they were only going to be in New York a week before flyig back to London, and they wanted to relax and do some shopping in their free time, and not get involved in a lot of publicity.
What had they bought so far?  Several arms were waved in the direction of two huge white stuffed dogs that were sitting on the floor soberly watching us.  "We bought them here in the hotel," said Colin.  The dogs were so big I was sure the guys would have to buy plane tickets for them!
Although most people love to sightsee in New York, Maurice said that Bee Gees couldn’t go anywhere without being recognized and pursued by fans, so they stayed in the hotel.  What did they do in the evening?  "Write music and watch the telly," said Robin promptly.

The Bee Gees have accomplished a lot in the past few months.  "We want to work hard while we’re young so that when we’re older we’ll have a solid base for our career," said Barry.  "We don’t even care that much about money we’re making now," he continued.  "We couldn’t even tell you how much we made on our last tour. (The Bee Gees had just finished a successful 12-day tour of Germany.)  The biggest thrill to us is just hearing our records played on the radio."

The guys have willingly given up many things for their music.  They all love sports, particularly auto racing, but they never have time for it.  I asked them if they’d ever tried skiing. "Gee, we’d like to," said Barry, "but Switzerland is the  closest ski country to England and we’re too well-known there to appear in public that way."
I pointed out Jackie Kennedy has skiied there without being bothered by crowds. "Yes," sighed Vince.  "But Jackie Kennedy doesn’t have numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 on the Swiss charts!"

We sat and sipped out tea (which the Bee Gees served with milk – the way all Britons drink it, they assured me – and it was delicious!) and we talked aboutr the Bee Gees: past, present and future.  Barry, Maurice adn Robin started telling stories of the 11 years they sang in Australia before meeting Vince and Colin in London and becoming The Bee Gees.  "Sometimes we’d sing in a club where people would be gambling at slot machines in the same room," said Robin.  "We’d have to sing in time to the click of the ‘one-armed bandits’!"

But the Brothers Gibb knew they’d never make it as singers alone.  "We needed the musical backing of Colin and Vince," said Barry.  "And they must have liked us, because they both left successful British groups to sing with us!"

All the Bee Gees, Australian and British both, love Australia.  "There’s such a happy atmosphere there," said Barry.  "The sun’s always shining, and I love the sun."
"And the greatest beaches in the world are there," added Vince.

"I like the electric storms," said Robin.  "One went on for three weeks once and almost destroyed our house!"  I think he was exaggerating, but it was very funny!  Anyway, the Bee Gees all agreed that if they weren’t in the recording business, Australia would be the grooviest place in the world to live.
When The Bee Gees got gack to England they had two weeks for rehearsals, followed by a three-week concert tour of England.  And while this time the Bee Gees came to New York only for an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show ("No, Valerie," I told myself, "they did not come over just to talk to you!") the next time they come will be for a 25-city tour of the U.S., starting with a concert in the Holywood Bowl on August 2nd.

My "tea party" with the Bee Gees was almost over, as I stood up to leave with a chorus of "Good-bye, luv, see you soon!"

As I floated out, my first interview for FLIP behind me, I couldn’t even begin to imagine all the good thigns which were ahead of me!
Barry, Robin, Maurice, Colin and Vince had made my first day on the job one to remember!

This is a two-page article with three black and white pictures, backed by the full-page color photo shown at the top.

The Bee Gees appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show on March 17, 1968, singing ‘Words‘ and ‘To Love Somebody.’

{Bee Gees Days}

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