The Bee Gees: A Quasi-Eulogy
Posted in the The Bee Gees Forum
#1 May 21, 2012
THE BEE GEES AND ME
On hearing today, 21 May 2012, of the death of Robin Gibb yesterday, I wrote the following as a sort of, a type of, eulogy. It’s a personal reminiscence with more meaning to me as a poet and writer than it may have to those who read this at one of the several internet sites at which it is posted.-Ron Price, George Town, Tasmania, Australia.
The Bee Gees were a musical group which originally comprised three brothers: Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. They were 2 to 5 years younger than I and they began their musical careers as the Bee Gees in 1959 while living in Queensland Australia. I was in grade 10 at the time, was a big home-run hitter in a little town by the side of Lake Ontario in the Golden Horseshoe, was in love with a girl around the corner, and had just joined the Baha’i Faith.
The Bee Gees were successful for most of their decades of recording music. You can read about their story on Wikipedia. My success was as a teacher, and had none of the fame and wealth which came to the Bee Gees. Teachers can achieve fame in a small room, but wealth virtually always eludes them. The first distinct period of exceptional success for the Bee Gees was as a pop act in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They were voted The Most Significant New Talent Of 1967, the same year I started my teaching career. I taught grade 3 among the Inuit on Baffin Island and was the only Baha’i in the District of Franklin: no fame, no name, no rank, no serial number.
The first period of their success, from 1965 to 1974, coincided with the only decade in my life during which I bought what were then called LPs. By the late ‘70s I was married with three kids. I was a teacher and had to reign-in the financial expenditures I had enjoyed in the decade I was first, a single man(1965-1967), and then in the years of my first marriage---when both my wife and I worked and we had no children: 1967-1975. By those late ‘70s, my life had taken a turn away from listening to music to deal with the demands of job-career, marriage-family, community-meetings, and health-life issues. The Bee Gees slipped to the periphery of my life and right off the edge as they went on to more fame and wealth.
Following Maurice's sudden death in January 2003, Barry and Robin Gibb retired the group's name after 45 years of activity. I, too, had retired by 2003 after a working life of 40 years. In 2009 Robin announced that he and Barry would re-form the Bee Gees and perform again. Robin died yesterday, on 20 May 2012 after a prolonged battle with cancer, leaving Barry as the last surviving Bee Gee.-Ron Price with thanks to Wikipedia, 21 May 2012.
It is said that some 2500 artists
have recorded your songs. And
when I took a sea-change in ‘99
the Post Office unveiled a set of
6 stamps honouring your music.
You started to call yourselves the
Bee Gees in 1959 when I was 15,
and had just become a Baha’i in
Canada. So both you and I have
celebrated 50 years of a centre--
piece of our identity…….But it
looks like the Bee Gees are not
any more as I, too, head into the
middle-years of late adulthood &
old-age(80+)….if I last that long.
I thank you for your delightful
sounds since ’59 when I was in
my teens; since ’71 when you 3
reunited & I moved to Australia.
It has been a long road since ‘59
and I wish you all well on that
road ahead wherever it may lead.
During our lives, as Yeats said:
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed…and
everywhere the ceremony of innocence
is drowned; the best lack all conviction while
the worst are full of that passionate intensity.
21 May 2012
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