Felix In Hollywood

A Blog for the Smart Set

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Brother Gibb

Maurice Ernest Gibb
22 December 1949 – 12 January 2003

Know in some circles as the quite one, in others as the wildest one of the brothers, it can be said with surety, that he was the musicianship behind The Bee Gees. A multiple instrumentalist, the melodies, and arrangements were his job. Older brother Barry and twin brother Robin handled the lyrics and those trademark harmonies.

Below is one of my favorite Bee Gees songs. It also gets a little lost in the shuffle because of the stratospheric success of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack just after. This is 1975's "Fanny Be Tender". It's a gorgeous mid-tempo groover that has one of the best builds of the pop music era. Because of the way it builds, it seems to have more key changes than a Barry Manilow song when in fact there's really only a couple.

Barry also had a brief, but famous marriage to Lulu that lasted from 1969 to 1973.
Here is a really lovely duet by them from a 2002 Lulu TV special, just months before he passed away. There's such a lovely, easy affection between these two and a respect that's visible.

You can see that from his energy in both clips, the 'quiet one' tag was well earned. As for the 'wildest one', well I do know that in the last part of his life he was a long time member of Alcoholics Anonymous, and from what I understand, you don't earn a seat in that fellowship because you burned the toast one morning! I'm sure he earned the second moniker as well.

My favorite tidbit about this man is that, also in later years, he became a feverish enthusiast of the paintball sport. He even opened a shop to sell paintball supplies;
"Commander Mo's Paintball Shop" in Miami.

Ok, I can't help myself, as Lulu is one of my favs, I can't resist stitching on one of her songs while I'm at it. Sorry Mo, hope you don't mind, and Happy, Happy Birthday.

It's also my favorite version of this song. Yes, even more than Aretha's.


MJ said...

OMG! When did you get a blog?!

Excuse me but I have a lot of catch-up reading to do.

FelixInHollywood said...

Less than a week ago. You're right on time. Welcome, get comfy.

And I don't care what they say about you MJ, I think you're sweet!