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The Bee Gees’ last surviving member, Barry Gibb, might never watch new documentary: ‘I just can’t handle it’

Muri Assunção
New York Daily News

Staying alive has proved to be a challenge for the last surviving member of the multi-platinum group The Bee Gees.

One of the most prominent acts of the disco era, the Grammy Award-winning group behind some of the best known hits of the late ’70s — such as “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever” — was formed by three siblings: 74-year-old Barry Gibb, the oldest, and fraternal twins Robin and Maurice.

The Bee Gees perform during the \"One Night Only\" concert at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Australia, in 1999.

With a jaw-dropping nine Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 singles — including “How Deep Is Your Love,” which topped the list for three weeks in 1977 and spent 33 weeks in the charts overall — The Bee Gees endured a fierce disco backlash in the early ’80s, but remained relevant in the business until the death of Maurice, in Jan. 2003 at the age of 53, and Robin who died in May 2012, at the age of 62.

Today, a brand-new documentary about the group is igniting renewed interest in the record-breaking siblings who were often referred to as the “Kings of Disco.”

“The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” which premiered on Dec. 12 HBO Max,  is a “gratifying, conventional, heartfelt documentary that tells the story of one of the great pop groups,” according to a review on Variety, which called the film “the enthralling documentary they deserve.”

But while older generations are reliving the magic, and younger viewers are only now discovering the falsetto that took over radio waves and LPs during the heyday of disco, one person who might never watch the entire film is the group’s last surviving member.

“I can’t handle watching the rest of my family,” Gibb said in a new interview that will air on CBS Sunday Morning.

“I just can’t handle it. It’s not, who would, you know? I think it’s perfectly normal to not want to see how each brother was lost, you know? And I don’t want to address it. I’m past it,” he said.

The oldest Bee Gee added that it’s “incredibly hard” to let go of his younger brothers.

Popular English vocal trio the Bee Gees; from left to right, brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb (1949 - 2003).

“Because we’d never not been together, you know?” … It was really tough. The first year after the last brother passed, Robin. That was the most difficult period for me,” he said.

Even though people would say he had a nervous breakdown after his brother Robin died, in 2012, Gibb said that that wasn’t the case — even though he called it “the most difficult period” for him.

“I just didn’t know where to go. I didn’t know what to do … and, I didn’t know how to be perceived. I didn’t know how to perceive other people’s opinions. So, basically, I’ve been in lockdown for years now.”

Gibb, whose new album, “Greenfields,” features versions of The Bee Gee’s hits performed with some of country music’s top stars, added that he plans to tour again, in the post-pandemic world.

“It’s lonely up there when you haven’t got your brothers,” he said “But you still make it — you still make it fun. That’s what counts.”