'I'm In Defiance Of Time': Barry Gibb On Music, Family And Loss The last surviving Bee Gee has released his first album in more than 30 years. In The Now is colored by the loss of Gibb's mother and brothers, but he says it's also about "the idea of having fun."
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'I'm In Defiance Of Time': Barry Gibb On Music, Family And Loss

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'I'm In Defiance Of Time': Barry Gibb On Music, Family And Loss

'I'm In Defiance Of Time': Barry Gibb On Music, Family And Loss

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TRAGEDY")

BEE GEES: (Singing) Tragedy - when the feeling's gone, and you can't go on. It's tragedy.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "STAYIN' ALIVE")

BEE GEES: (Singing) Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother, you're staying alive.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOU SHOULD BE DANCING")

BEE GEES: (Singing) You should be dancing, yeah.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Bee Gees have sold more than 200 million records and are in the Songwriter and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame. They also wrote huge hits for a multitude of other stars, including Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ISLANDS IN THE STREAM")

KENNY ROGERS AND DOLLY PARTON: (Singing) Islands in the stream - that is what we are. No one in between - how can we be wrong?

SIMON: There is only one surviving member of the Bee Gees. That's Barry Gibb. His brother Maurice died in 2003 and Robin in 2012. Barry Gibb joins us from his home in Miami. He has a new solo album - his first in more than 30 years. It's called "In The Now." Mr. Gibb, thanks for being with us.

BARRY GIBB: My pleasure.

SIMON: Let's talk about this new album...

GIBB: Yes, sir.

SIMON: ...And begin, if we could, the title track, "In The Now." Let's listen to some of it first.

GIBB: OK.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IN THE NOW")

GIBB: (Singing) You're the epitome of innocence. You're only my destination. And all I think about is yesterday. I need you hear in the now, in my heart, in my soul, in the now.

SIMON: Is this song about someone?

GIBB: "In The Now?" No. It's about time and really trying to obliterate it and trying not to acknowledge that it exists at all 'cause I think that that's what we do. You know, we tend to follow a clock. And I think it's about the idea of pleasure and the idea of of having fun. And, really, I'm in defiance of time.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IN THE NOW")

GIBB: (Singing) Love is the game. We got no shame. And time is standing still.

SIMON: I ask because I notice the album is dedicated to your mother.

GIBB: Yes. Well, mum passed about two months back. She created us. And she was a very often - very quite keen to tell us that. So it was obvious to me that the album should be dedicated to her.

SIMON: Well, let's listen to another song, if we could...

GIBB: Yes, sir.

SIMON: ..."End Of The Rainbow."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "END OF THE RAINBOW")

GIBB: (Singing) So walk away slowly. Don't look back in anger. No rhyme and no reason has ever been clear. But today is tomorrow. Winters are summer. And the end of the rainbow is near.

SIMON: Where does this song come from, Mr. Gibb?

GIBB: I think it comes from our lives growing up in Australia. And I got to sing it. I went to visit Robin because I wanted to dedicate it to him. And then, ultimately...

SIMON: This is your brother Robin, who...

GIBB: Yes. Yes.

SIMON: Was he in a coma at this point?

GIBB: He was in a coma, yeah. I visited him at night because it was quiet. And there was no other relatives around. And so I sat next to him. And I sang the beginning of the verse and the bridge to this song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "END OF THE RAINBOW")

GIBB: (Singing) Goodbye, amigo, my fair-weather friend. From humble beginnings and right to the end.

I don't know if he heard me, honestly. But I hope he did. And I hope he understood what I tried to tell him in the last few years, which was, it's OK, Rob. The dream came true, you know?

Whatever the dream was about becoming famous or becoming a big pop group or whatever those things are when you're a kid - it all happened. And more so, we had more success than we ever thought we could have.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "END OF THE RAINBOW")

GIBB: (Singing) The end of the rainbow is here.

SIMON: Did you find at the same time, Mr. Gibb, that being so wildly successful on a level that very few people are or have ever been has a cost, also?

GIBB: It's OK. You know, you get used to it. I've seen people like Paul McCartney deal with it. And, you know, he's quite a magnet for people who really want to walk up and shake his hand. And I don't think I want that kind of fame. I don't really have any qualms about privacy or things like that. I actually enjoy going to Walgreens. I enjoy meeting people and keeping my feet on the ground.

SIMON: So you go to Walgreens and get dental floss like anyone else?

GIBB: (Laughter) Well, perhaps not dental floss but moisturizing cream. (Unintelligible) Name it (laughter).

SIMON: Well, you know, if the photos I've seen recently...

GIBB: Yes.

SIMON: ...On your album are any indication, I'd say the moisturizer's doing its job. So...

GIBB: Well, I just like to wander about. I enjoy driving around. And, you know, the weather is so beautiful here that you can't not think, life is OK. Life is OK. If you'll indulge us, we want to share with you. We found an old clip of you, Robin and Maurice performing on an Australian TV show - we think this is 1960 - performing - let me put it this way - performing the words of a Nobel Literature laureate.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BEE GEES: (Singing) How many seas must a white dove sail before she sleeps in the sand? How many times must the cannonballs fly...

SIMON: You remember that?

GIBB: I don't. You know, that's absolutely shocking. Where did you get that?

SIMON: It was - it's on YouTube, I'm told.

GIBB: It's remarkable. I mean, it's like that was Mo right at the top, you know? And Robin had a higher voice, so he'd always take the middle harmony. And I do not know to this day how they ever figured that out in their lives - how to do three-part harmony.

I think it was the Mills Brothers. My father was a Mills Brothers fan. And he was always bringing these records home. So the idea of harmony came to us very early. But that was very moving. I have never heard that. I love Bob Dylan.

SIMON: Mr. Nobel laureate Dylan at this point.

GIBB: Absolutely. And no one deserves it more than him.

SIMON: Is it fair to say that you had a loving but complicated relationship with your family - your brothers?

GIBB: Yeah. I think that probably is the same as any big family, you know, whether it's brothers or sisters. And I think that we had a lot of conflict in our lives between all - don't forget it's four brothers, you know, if you include Andy.

SIMON: Yeah, that's right. Of course.

GIBB: And all four of us wanted to be pop stars. Andy got to do that. And the three of us all wanted to do that. But we did it together. But make no mistake, we all wanted to be pop stars in our own right. So there was a lot of conflict in that. So that's it. That's what we wanted.

But, you know, I've got to really think that we were blessed because we had to have loved each other very much. Otherwise, we couldn't have been together for 45 years. So that element of it, you know - you can - yeah, you can fight. But you never stop loving each other.

SIMON: Barry Gibb - his new album, "In The Now." Thanks so much for being with us, Mr. Gibb.

GIBB: Oh, thank you, sir. My pleasure.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE")

BEE GEES: (Singing) How deep is your love? How deep is your love? How deep is your love? I really need to learn.

SIMON: And what a good time to note that B.G. - oh, I'm sorry - B.J. Leiderman writes our theme music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE")

BEE GEES: (Singing) When they all should let us be. We belong to you and me. I believe in you. You know the door to my very soul.

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