I READ ED SPIVEY’S "H’rumph’s" ("Facts of Life," September-October 1999) and laughed out loud. I too came upon the Bee Gees on TV in a "One Night Only" (please!) concert on PBS. I was both mesmerized and horrified. I even stayed for the Andy Gibb tribute—God help me!
I vividly recall the day in Pittsburgh, at the zenith of the disco era, when my mother sent me and my friends off to a Bee Gees concert downtown. I’ll never forget her face: She knew then that we were going off as girls but would be coming back as women.
We entered the stadium to the sounds and senses of Disco Heaven. Then, against a blaze of laser lights and ja-ja-ja-jive music, THEY came unto the stage in their John Travolta whites—and time stood still. The backlight actually seemed to make it look like they had halos and were floating toward us. I wanted to die and go to heaven. Their smiles were captivating, white teeth sparkling, their hair—oh, their hair! And when they opened their mouths, well, I became a woman.
Now, some 20 years later, their myth or any vestige of my crazy love youth is shattered. If the Bee Gees were heaven, I want to extend my stay in purgatory (note: a Catholic thing). The beautifully pitched falsettos now sounded shrill. And the hair—oh, the hair! With less hair to look at, I focused way too long on the teeth, glaring a bit too much—unnatural—I thought. "Las Vegas," in a bad way. And what was with the outfits?! The Gibb with the coat and hat looked like a Wild Wild West Will Smith wanna-be!
Maybe this is too harsh. The Gibb that swooned "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" still got to me—a little. But the BeeGees had their day—their decade—is that not enough?
Funny, though, I actually went to the video store after the show (No lie!), to rent "Saturday Night Fever." Of course, my politically correct video store did not carry a copy of this popular icon. Go figure. Did you happen to tape the PBS special?