By Brian Ives
On Minimation, we comb through the archives of legendary New York radio station WNEW-FM and animate interviews with legendary rock artists. This installment is taken from a 1988 interview with the Bee Gees, where they discusses the effect that ‘Saturday Night Fever’ had on their career. This one is a bit bittersweet, in retrospect: Maurice and Robin Gibb do most of the talking (Barry was present, but had a cold). And of course, Maurice and Robin are, sadly, no longer with us. This Minimation was created for Radio.com by Max Werkmeister.
What do you think of when you think of the Bee Gees? The Beatles-eque young lads of “New York Mining Disaster 1941” fame? How about the guys who did the definitive version of “To Love Somebody,” later to be covered by Rod Stewart, Janis Joplin and Gram Parsons?
Let’s be real: you think of the white suits, feathered hair, and disco jams. Today, “Stayin’ Alive,” one of their monster smashes from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack is a much celebrated classic that even Bruce Springsteen has covered. But the post-disco era was very much an anti-disco era, and the brothers Gibb were smarting from the backlash.
“We are songwriters, mostly,” Maurice said. “We are performers secondly.”