The Bee Gees documentary

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  • The Bee Gees documentary

    I have to admit, when I saw there was a new documentary about the Bee Gees on HBO Max I yawned. Not that I disliked the Bee Gees, but I never got what the excitement was all about. Their songs were played to death during the disco era and Barry Gibb’s falsetto always sounded like a cat being strangled.

    But more and more people were raving about it so I decided to give it a whirl. I’m so glad I did.

    THE BEE GEES: HOW DO YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART, directed by Frank Marshall, is one of the best rock documentaries I’ve ever seen. I actually learned stuff. I actually got a much better appreciation of their talent. And I actually found myself engrossed in their story.

    There’s great archival footage and interviews with the Gibb brothers over the years so the story was mostly told in their own words. (I’m only sorry it wasn’t a documentary for CNN because then they might’ve interviewed me.)

    Rock group dynamics are always complex — you have different personalities and backgrounds and ultimate career goals. But when you add to that family dynamics, played against the many traps of success you test the very foundation of the family unit. That's way more important than "should the group break up?" In the case of the Bee Gees, happily, blood was thicker than platinum.

    Marshall chose to emphasize their career and not the steep price they paid for it. That's the part of the story we all did know going in. To one degree or another they all fell prey to drug and alcohol addiction. This was certainly mentioned but more in passing. Of the four brothers (including Andy), only one is left. Was all the money, fame, women, gold records and legacy worth it? I thought the best moment of the film was when Barry Gibb answered that question.

    Well worth seeing, even if you still have no desire to ever hear “Stayin’ Alive” again.


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