As much as I pontificate about having been a disco-hating punk rocker in the late 70's, I've always had a secret affinity for the Bee Gees.
The fiasco that was Sgt. Pepper not withstanding, the Gibbs, as well as younger brother Andy, formed a background score to the most influential years of my young life. And though Maurice Gibb was the harmonizer and back-up singer, he was the Bee Gees to me.
Growing up, I was surrounded by music. Always the stereo - which back then was a giant piece of wooden furniture with a built in television - or the radio, a huge tuner with spinning dials that seemed to play nothing but doo-wop and the current pop trends. My mother was constantly singing, humming, making us listen to show tunes and standards from the 30's and 40's. I hated her for it then, I thank her for it now.
In 1967, The Bee Gees released their single New York Mining Disaster 1941>. I don't know if that is the exact year that it first made its way onto the wooden stereo system in our house, but I do remember the song's impact on me.
In the event of something happening to me
There is something I would like you all to see
It's just a photograph of someone that I knew
Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones?
Do you know what it's like on the outside?
Don't go talking too loud, you'll cause a landslide, Mr. Jones
The lyrics gave me a funny feeling in my stomach, one that I could not understand when I was younger, but I fully understood later on, when the concepts of death and wistfillness were not so foreign to me. I would be reminded of those feelings later on with David Bowie's Space Oddity (tell my wife I love her very much). I still, to this day, cannot listen to Mining Disaster without getting that same feeling I had when I was a child; that need to hold on to someone.
A few years later, I've Got to Get a Message to You was a hit, and it had that same underlying tone as Mining Disaster. Another main awaiting his death, but wanting to send his love to someone before he died.
I've just got to get a message to you, hold on, hold on.
One more hour and my life will be through, hold on, hold on.