Bee Gees' Barry Gibb on his not-quite solo career

The last surviving member of the legendary pop group is out with his first solo album in more than 30 years, but he says it’s still all about family

Barry Gibb is the last surviving member of the Bee Gees -- short for “Brothers Gibb” -- one of the biggest superstar acts in pop music history. 

Today, Barry continues to pursue a not-quite solo singing career, including a new album, “In the Now,” released just last month -- the first in over 30 years. 

Even in his bedroom, Gibb has a microphone and speakers.  “And I turn all the lights off and I have a little spotlight,” Gibb said. 

Barry Gibb has spent a lifetime in the spotlight, most of it with his brothers, Robin and Maurice, in the Bee Gees.

“If you could be known for just one thing, would you rather be known as a member of the Bee Gees, or as a songwriter?” Mason asked.

“As a songwriter. I was writing songs when I was eight years old. And I never looked beyond that, except the wonder that Maurice and Robin would naturally do three-part harmony,” Gibb said.

The Bee Gees would perform, write or produce 15 number one hits. But when Maurice died in 2003, Barry felt the Bee Gees were over. 

“Truthfully, I’ve never stopped writing songs,” Gibb said. “I just didn’t think anybody was going to listen to them anymore, you know?”

“You didn’t?” Mason asked.

Barry Gibb: The last Bee Gee goes it alone

“No. I’d lost that feeling of being amongst my brothers and making music where, if we all agreed, it was good,” Gibb said.

Barry and Robin talked about recording again. But at their last session together, recorded by “CBS Sunday Morning” in 2009, Robin was secretly battling cancer. 

“And he never told you he was ill?” Mason asked.

“He didn’t tell me,” Gibb said.

“Are you sorry he didn’t tell you?” Mason asked.

“Yes, I’m sorry he didn’t tell me. But at the same time, how would I have responded?” Gibb said. “I would have turned into another doctor, another person who was concerned about him, and I don’t think he wanted that from me.”

Robin died in 2012. The last track on Barry’s new album -- the song, “End of the Rainbow” -- is dedicated to his brothers. 

“I visited Robin in the last two weeks before he passed. He was in a coma. There I am next to him, singing this song, which I don’t know if he heard it,” Gibb said. 

“But you needed to sing it?” Mason asked.

“I needed to sing it to him. And a doctor called me up one night and said, ‘This is the time. This is the chance. Nobody else is here right now,’” Gibb recalled. “So I went that evening. And I remember all the noises and the beeps and the oxygen masks and all the things that you don’t really want to remember. But I’ll never forget.” 

Barry wrote the album, “In the Now,” with two of his sons, Ashley and Stephen, who also toured with him two years ago.

“It’s still a family business for you?” Mason asked.

“Yeah, well, it’s not even a business, you know? It’s still a family that loves music and shares music,” Gibb said. “What I miss is my brothers. But I’m not alone.”

Gibb paid tribute to his brothers on that last solo tour. 

“But now I have to explode on my own,” Gibb said.  

“How do you explode on your own?” Mason asked.

“In the bedroom?” Gibb said, laughing.

      
For more info: