Michael Parkinson Interview contd.
P: But what about those other temptations - the pills, the drink, the drugs and all that sort of thing? (Laughter)
M: Oh please.
R: Tell us about it.
P: I'll null 'n void the question.
R: Another time, Michael.
M: A group hug! (Puts his arms around Barry and Robin). Group hug!
B: Yeah, we all -we all had our choice of stimulants. (Laughter) I go by Tennessee Earnest Williams....
M: Tennessee Earnie what?
B: (Laughs)....Tennessee Williams (laughs)....who said he'd never written a book without a stimulant.
R: It was by Charles Dickens.
B: It was Charles Dickens (Bursts into laughter)
M: Winston Churchill I thought that was?
B: No, no, it was something else (laughs)
R: Well Winston Churchill would never make a speech without a stimulant!
P: But it came through er - I mean, sadly, of course, you lost a brother, didn't you - Andy? Who was er - I saw a marvellous piece of footage, when he joined you on stage - you described that, I think, you, Maurice, as one of the most greatest moments of your life?
M: It was magic, yeah, it was to see us all together, in fact even John Travolta was on that show too, but it was in Houston and he was doing Urban Cowboy. John was filming that there and Andy was with us er joining us in Houston. And to come on and do You Should Be Dancing with us, and he was sharing our mike and you could see the tears in his eyes
R: Were you standing on his foot?
M: Yeah I was - we've gotta get a bigger mike! So we were singing around the mike and I just saw across his face and I saw Barry and Robin and it was just the four of us and it was one shot and it made me feel like, like, totally whole, like.
B: There, there would've been four of us.
P: But he died of a heart problem?
B: Yeah well, yeah..........he died of a combination of things.
P: Did that make you take stock of your lives?
M: You do feel very vulnerable, you feel very....and when
you're older - you're nine years older - I was eight years older than Andy....
B: Anyone who hasn't lost someone of their own blood thinks
B: different to someone who has, and that's something we've noticed since. You also realise it could be tomorrow. I think, think you take everything for granted until someone close to you dies. You become more spiritual....you grow inside, you know.
M: That's all part of the growing, yeah.
P: Yes well now what about the really extraordinary part of your career was to come after Saturday Night Fever - um - as I said - fifty million copies sold.
P: How long did it take to write that, by the way?
M: Three minutes and fourty....(big smile)
B: We think the magic came from the - they shot the music to the movie to the music - as opposed to the other way around, which Hollywood usually does. You can tell when you watch the film that it wasn't the music they were dancing to when they shot the scene.
P: But that took you into another realm all together, didn't it?
B: Yes....a level we didn't know about.
R: But it came out right - just after Star Wars and it was one of those rare type of incidents where people just went to see - I mean - we were sitting in Robert's house in Los Angeles and the guys from Paramount called up and - and -said there were cues all around the block to this film.
B: A million albums a week.
P: Is that true?
B: So it was pretty shocking for us - we'd never been in that - in a position like that....
R: So it wasn't just a normal hit album, you know, it was a rarity.
P: So how did it change you?
B: Well - er - er - in the way it changed Michael Jackson's life - everything changes, including your clothes.
P: Er - er - er -
B: It's true! It's true! Um - er - our clothes changed because we were going for something , as it was in those kind of days.In the way that Elvis Presley was going for something, towards the end of his career, when he
put the white jumpsuit on, it made you feel different and that's all that we were doing and and and you tend to dress up - you tend to become larger than life.
R: It was a kind of dress up period
P: Sure. Yes but what was the down side of that?
B: There was a backlash, obviously. Disco became so enormous before we ever thought it was disco and it just went through the roof and I think, and to a point when I think not the public so much, I think the media wanted to change it all and I think we became the poster boys for that
M: The poster boys! (Gay look on his face).
B: The Patsies! (Laughs)....Yes you should go - everyone
in disco should go. Heavy rock should take over and the media got this in its own mind, you know. But what still baffles us is that you can be put on a pedestal and then knocked off the pedestal for something that's incredibly
successful. Um, in other words, you don't actually get thanked for it. You get knocked over for it.
M: How DARE you inflict that upon us! (Laughs)
B: So it's always been very confusing.
P: I've seen you been interviewed about this before and you get very defensive about it.
B: Yes, yes, but only the way in which we're asked the question, yeah.
P: But what I can't understand is that surely as performers, the bottom line is success?
B: Yes. So we kept saying (laughs)
P: But there you are, look, you're in the Songwriters' Hall of Fame, you're in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame....you've sold squillions of records.
B: Yes, but we wouldn't have known that then.
P: No but I mean, but you were financially secure - you could've - you could say look at my bank balance compared to yours?
B: That, that's what we're....no....you put your kids
through school, you put food on the table. But people don't like you all of a sudden.
R: That was particular to that kind of period, yes.
P: But I mean but again and again you've come through that sort of thing and reinvented yourself and the nineties of course with your kids picking up your music and all that sort of thing a - a - new generation.
B: Yes, we would never've thought this would happen - a new generation er - Boyzone, Take That - er -
P: It's interesting watching your career - watching you on stage as because in many ways you're the variety act, aren't you, as well?
B: Well we started - as children in variety shows.
M: You should see our version of Riverdance!!!
B: We call it pon (?) dancing!
M: Puddle dancing!
B: Puddle dancing, I'm sorry! (A somewhat pensive Robin looks at the camera - he knows he can use his amazing camera presence to rival his brothers!)
M: A merry laff - a merry couple of jests - a couple of tumbles!!! (Laughs)
P: But you did variety clubs with all your heroes and all those people and my heroes like Morcambe and Wise so you're in that tradition as well, I mean that's something too.
M: It's always stayed with us, I mean, the English humour stayed with us particularly. I mean when we come back to England we, we're always raiding the BBC video shops.
P: Well, you came today, didn't you?
M: It was the first place we went to!
P: What did you buy?
B: Harry Enfield, the ? Show, Goon Shows, Tony 'ancock.
M: Yeh - Goon shows, got all the Goon shows.
B: Everything we can get so we can have a little bit of England when we go back to America.
R: Brimnail ? Bottom (chuckles)
P: So you've got this new album out now, so where does that take you to now, I mean...........
P: It's called....?
B: (Rather quickly and slightly annoyed that he hadn't done his homework on that): This is Where I Came In.
P: Precisely, so that's a very meaningful title?
B: Yeah, it is to us, yeah....we decided to do....er the
three of us split up and each went our own way and each did songs on our own.
P: Oh right!
B: We'd done about thirty five albums, let's do something that we hadn't done before....Maurice you go and do your songs....Robin go and do yours and I'll go and do some of mine. Write three or four songs each, then all do four together, then we'll see what makes up the album, and then we'll see how it works. And what came from that was a
great sense of variety on the album um - that - that - (looking at Robin and Maurice) - is the difference I think?
M) You get to know each brother
B: You get to know each brother better a bit more, I think
P: It's an indication of course, of your rock bottom strength, isn't it - the ability to....to.....
B: Our bottoms are very strong! (Trying to suppress a smile)
P: (Laughing) To....to....to write songs.....
R: We have got very strong bottoms, Michael.....!
P: To write songs! (Laughs/laughter)
R: We can even crack peanuts, Michae!
P: Now this song - This is Where I Came in - who wrote this song?
P: No, I heard what you said, I heard what you said, I smiled inwardly!
B: I know, I heard you! (Laughing)
P: Alright, now this new song, This is Where I Came in, who wrote this song?
R: Don't worry, Michael, we'll all be leaving together! (Laughter)
P: Right, so this song, the title of this song, was that an
M: It was for us! (Laughing)
B: We don't remember where the title came from but every ten years or so we've sort of said to each other when we've heard records....
M: What's YOUR name? (Laughs).
B: (Laughs) No, This is Where I Came In, you know....it doesn't really change that much, does it, music doesn't change....Ricky Martin....is that 'is name?
R: That's him!
M: (Laughs) Yeh, that's him - big guy.....funny walk!
B: It's still disco to us, you know, it's still dance music and more than ever now people are dancing....far more than the 70s, so This is Where I Came in....
P: Alright, so that's what you're going to sing now, that's going to finish this spot and after I've talked to Sir John Mills you're going to come back and do one of the golden oldies. (How Deep is Your Love? Dedicated to Sir John Mills).
B: We'd be delighted!
P: Off you go then sirs
B: Thank you
P: The BEE GEES!
(After Sir John Mills' interview, Michael Parkinson said:
"And this next song will surely send you to bed Happy....How Deep is Your Love....a very good night."