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T he writing process of yet another new studio album for the brothers had already started in 1998. They worked on it separately and in the second half of 1999 they continued working on it together and wrote and recorded the rest of the album and finished it around May 2000. It first would be released around October but was re-scheduled to early 2001. The title of the forthcoming album was given as Technicolor in 1999, but early this year they had backed off that title because of the trademark in Technicolor. Around June the title became: This Is Where I Came In. The last Bee Gees recordings were made sometime between January and May 2000. Ben Stivers and Matt Bonelli left after the New Year's Eve show, so these recordings were made by the three brothers with Alan Kendall, Chocolate Perry, and Steve Rucker. With this small group of familiar musicians, with Maurice contributing substantially to the finished tracks on guitar and keyboard, the Bee Gees felt like they were going back to basics.
This Is Where I Came In
On New Year's Eve finally the Bee Gees single This Is Where I Came In got the premiere in Germany.
A pril 2nd. the album: This Is Where I Came In was finally released in the UK. (USA: April 24.) and the brothers made numerous television and radio appearances worldwide to promote it. Media reviews were divided but the album brought the group back in publicity and gave them more recognition. April 11th. Robin and Maurice attended the Capitol Radio Awards in London and received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Then they joined Barry in Miami for promotional TV work followed by a Diamond Award presented by the Recording Industry Ass. Of America for sales of 10 million copies of Saturday Night Fever. The group did promotion on the East Coast of the US in TV shows like: The Late Show, Good Morning America and Rosie O'Donnell.
Capital Radio Awards
April 26th. they played a full-length concert in New York for the A&E cable channel program Live By Request,, later issued on DVD. The same month A&E issued a DVD of the Bee Gees episode of their Biography. They went to Hong Kong and did also more promotion on the US West Coast.
left: Live By Request right: Wango Tango rehearsals, copyright: Frederic Renucci
The Brothers preferred more and more to do projects next to their studio recordings as Bee Gees and for instance Maurice enjoyed working with his son and daughter on a song called: The Bridge, where Adam and Sam each contributed a verse. By that time also Barry's son Steve and Robin's son Spencer were already active in music.
Between special projects and promotional work there were first plans of doing a tour in the summer of 2002. It all looked bright and happy for The Bee Gees in the new Millennium with the success of This Is Where I Came In. The standard edition of This Is Where I Came In was a 12-song album. The 'Special Edition' in Britain included two extra songs, 'Just In Case' (also on the single) and 'Promise the Earth' (nowhere else). Some other countries also issued this 14-song version. In the US Target stores had a two-CD version with the usual 12-song CD plus a second CD containing three songs from the VH1 Storytellers show.
This last Bee Gees album of original material, did quite well in the charts. It reached number 6 in Britain, number 3 in Germany, and even number 16 in the US. The promotions of the last few years and One Night Only shows had kept them in the public eye, and in the US the long-lasting effects of overexposure seemed to be finally fading away. Sales were high enough to justify a second single, but none was issued.
New Years Eve, CBE celebration, © Frederic Renucci
Lots of young, popular artists covered their songs and by November their greatest hits album The Record was released. A new greatest hits package that tried to cover their entire career from 1966 to 2001 on only two CDs. It was the first to include Bee Gees hits after 1989, but only a few could be fit in. Also this was the first Bee Gees hits collection to recognize some of the hits they wrote for other artists. The Bee Gees and Polydor reached an agreement to bring their contractual obligations to an early conclusion with this album. New touring plans stopped due to the terrorist attacks in the USA, September 11th.
A The Bee Gees took sort of a break in this year: 'to find ourselves as individuals' Barry said. The year started happy for the Gibb Family when the announcement came of the Queen's New Year's Honours List that Barry, Robin and Maurice were to be awarded CBE's (Commander Of The British Empire) in recognition of their service to music. They were overwhelmed. It was just unbelievable. As a result of receiving these awards, the paintball team Maurice had joined was now called Commander Mo. The enthusiasm of Maurice for this sport grew a lot these days and he made plans for his own tournament and even his own paintball shop.
left: Mo play Paintball. © Frederic Renucci right: Opening paintball shop Mo. WMGE-FM
In May, An Audience With Lulu was aired on British TV in which Lulu invited her former husband to sing together with her the Bee Gees hit: First Of May, a very moving performance.
Steve and Gloria with baby Nina, © Gibb Family
In private life lot of things were happening this year too. Specially for Barry and Linda, when their eldest son Steve married Gloria Levas on November 7th. followed by another marriage two days later when Steve's brother Ashley married Therese Hallman. The next month on December 27th. more celebration when Steve and Gloria became the parents of Barry's first grandchild: Nina Lyn Levas Gibb.
left: Steve and Gloria Gibb right: Therese and Ashley Gibb
The first single of Robin's solo album Magnet: Please was released in Germany in December just saving 2002 from being the first year since 1962 without a new Gibb release. The buying public were not all that excited. Robin started his promotion tour in Europe and the U.K.
A picture of Maurice with his Mom, and wife Yvonne. Frederic took it on New Years Eve 2002 which is maybe the last one taken of them together. Frederic: 'I framed it and gave it to his Mom when she came by the paintball shop after his death'.
New Years Eve 2002, © Frederic Renucci
E arly this year the lives of the Gibb Family and all their fans would dramatically change. In January 2003 Maurice went to an emergency room for abdominal pain, and just a few days later he died on the night of 11/12 January.
Just 4 days before Maurice had complains of stomach pains. The pains soon became severe and he collapsed at home. He was rushed to hospital and examined. Doctors diagnosed an intestinal blockage. Soon after that a surgery was required. Maurice suffered cardiac arrest and died with Yvonne and his children Adam and Samantha at his bedside. Robin was still in Britain and rushed over to Miami when it seemed very serious with Maurice's health. He arrived in time but shortly after midnight Maurice passed away without regaining consciousness.
Statement of the family.
"As of Sunday, January 12, at 1:00 AM, to our extended family, friends, and fans, with great sadness and sorrow we regretfully announce the passing of Maurice Gibb this morning. His love, enthusiasm, and energy for life remain an inspiration to all of us. We will all deeply miss him. In addition, we would like to thank the media and the Miami Beach Police Department for their kindness and understanding during this difficult time.
Hours after Mo's passing Barry and Robin spoke emotionally on TV. The whole family had arrived in a nightmare. The news quickly crossed the world. Barry described how difficult this loss was but admitted it is the hardest for Yvonne, Sam and Adam. 'He was everything to them'!. Maurice had played an essential role in the Bee Gees' song writing and recording and his passing left a great gap to be filled. Writer of music, harmony singer, musician and arranger, technologist, mediator between two ambitious brothers, talkative friend to fans worldwide, he will be long remembered. At the time Maurice entered hospital Robin was just beginning the publicity push for Magnet in Europe. He flew to Florida barely in time to see Maurice before he died. Robin shortly afterwards then returned to Europe and continued publicity for Magnet, saying that Maurice would have wanted them to carry on. Barry shut himself away from the world in the weeks that followed Maurice's death trying to cope with the situation.
On Wednesday, January 15th. about 200 mourners, including singer Michael Jackson and other celebrities, joined family members at the private funeral ceremony for Maurice in Miami Beach.
left: Robin and Dwina at funeral ceremony for Maurice right: Barry and Michael Jackson at funeral
For fans the coming period lots of questions remained, like: will The Bee Gees continue, but it looked as if Barry and Robin felt that with Mo's death The Bee Gees period had stopped. What would the future bring? So much unfinished business, like the CBE's not even yet presented. There's hope the Gibb Family will sooner or later find peace and acceptance for their loss.
Dear Maurice, © Frederic Renucci
Marion / GSI:
The following years Barry and Robin now and then appeared in public together and also decided for some solo projects. Around the moment they'd decided to go back on stage together Barry first suffered from a hearing problem for which he finally had surgery and then Robin became ill and he lost his battle against cancer on May 20th. 2012. Barry Gibb now is the last man standing and will try to keep the legacy of The Bee Gees alive as well as creating more music for all of us to enjoy in the coming years, but we're sure The Bee Gees' music will live on forever!!
For all details, information, news, reports, photos etc. after February 2003: visit our different GSI pages on GSI Website.
Note: The GSI History is not an official biography Hopefully in the near future a new official biography will be published again in cooperation with The Gibb Family.