NE CONCERT DAY DURING THIS 1979 SPIRITS TOUR:
For us ( my girlfriends Agnes, Eva and myself) the day started rather early somewhere in a hotel in one of the American cities.
We tried to see as much as possible of the sights of all the places we've traveled to during this Bee Gees tour and so specially the mornings we used for sightseeing.
Shirlee (working for BGI) with The Brothers backstage
During the times we shared the same hotels as the Bee Gees crew etc. we often sat together with them and had long chats about: The Bee Gees, music in general etc. etc.
This way we also got ourselves a pretty good idea of how it was being on tour with such a well known pop group.
In the afternoon we first always visited the venues to collect our tickets which were reserved for us by the Gibb Family and the manager of the boys in each of the places we'd plan to travel.
At that time often the first fans started to arrive already at the concert halls.
And soon it'd become busier and busier in the surroundings of the hall.
Outside people started to sell all kinds of BG merchandise items as well as tickets on the black market.
People selling hotdogs and burgers and that sort of things made a lot of money outside the halls and the atmosphere with all those many, many fans gathering for the concert was always very enjoyable specially because you knew they had all come here to visit a concert of that special and famous pop group.
That always gave me a very special feeling!
During the days we had an appointment to meet the Gibbs before the shows we didn't leave the hall anymore after collecting our tickets but waited for the guys to arrive and to go inside with them and enjoyed the rehearsals and had some chats with them, their family and crew and band members while sometimes eating together from the BG catering service a while before the shows would start etc.
On other days we used to go in town to have a bite to eat over there and often we met other fans in town which was very nice too.
The Boneroo Horns
Mostly around 5 in the afternoon the security started to increase near the hall and a huge bus arrived with the Bee Gees Band first, the Boneroo Horns and lots of crew members.
Shortly afterwards followed by some huge limos with The Bee Gees, their family and assistants.
Under police protecting the limos often drove into the halls and everything was closed again.
At that time we mostly joined them in the hall using the passes they'd given us and we had already a real good time even before the actual concert would start.
Both the Sweet Inspirations and The Bee Gees took some time to do a sound check in the different venues they'd perform and so many other people around them were very, very busy making last preparation for yet another perfect Bee Gees performance.
ll night before the Bee Gees and their fans still are sleeping before a concert so many people are busy and on the road already to make each of these concerts a huge success and during the night equipment is moved from one place to another and countless people are busy building the set for another concert and testing sound and light etc.
Maurice and Robin
After each show a special crew takes everything down again to make it ready to move to yet another place.
It's one hell of an organization and very interesting to also see that part of a huge BG tour once.
Therefore I hope that all fans realize that during this and every concert tour there are countless people helping making it to a success!!
During our stay in America and during this Spirits Tour I also had a good chance to speak with many of these people working within the Bee Gees crew and I started to realize more than ever what a gigantic organization such a concert tour in fact is.
Finally after the group had arrived in the hall for the rehearsals etc. we tried to find ourselves a nice place in front of the stage or between the sound boxes and equipment along side the stage.
This stage by the way looked like a huge disco with a floor of fiberglass with underneath all kinds of colored lamps (like in the real disco in the S.N.F. film) and above countless spots for special effects as well as the famous Bee Gees name logo in neon lights.
I remember I was always a bit frightening when the light engineers again climbed up the rope ladders to get into their seats in top of the hall for handling the lighting of the show.
I remember Dick Asbhy explained me once during a rehearsal that all the disco lights and effects etc. were controlled by computers during the show.
All the sound and lightning systems were checked mostly during the song: "Tragedy", when all was okay the rehearsals were over and there was time to have some chats here and there etc.
Around 7 in the evening mostly the hall opened for the audience and at 8 the show started with the Sweet Inspirations the three lovely ladies we'd also met during the tour: Sylvia, Gloria and Myrna.
There performances lasted for about 45 minutes and we loved it too and enjoyed their songs like: Hot Stuff, Knock On Wood, Hot Butterfly, I Will Survive, Sweet Inspiration etc.
Then there was the usual break about around 9 the Bee Gees were announced.
The lights in the hall dimmed and an unbelievable screaming sound of thousands of people rose at the same time.
The Band and the Boneroo Horns took there places on the stage and then...
Barry, Robin and Maurice jumped on as well in their white suits lightened by hundreds of spots in all kinds of colors and they first received a standing ovation.
After an absence of three years there they were again back on stage...!!!
Yvonne and Linda always present during the tour
eanwhile Linda and Yvonne and the kids had found themselves a seat next to the stage as well and Stevie jumped around most of the time in his favorite Superman cape.
Also we found ourselves a seat amongst the family. ( during those concerts we'd also been back stage we mostly stayed back stage during the show as well together with the Gibb Family, and sometimes we went to our reserved seats in the audience after the show had started).
So in fact we've seen the concerts from all sides: behind the stage and sitting amongst the audience and both situations were great!!
The start of the first song' Tragedy' was accompanied by fire works at the edge of the stage which made the audience even more enthusiastic.
And again each new song was welcomed by a huge applause.
During the performance of the Bee Gees, the Sweet Inspirations were their backing vocals and together with the Boneroo Horns this made a huge and magnificent sound.
It was one big happening: the sound, the light effects, the fire works, the laser beams making figures in the back of the hall and all happened on the rhythm of each song thanks to the computers and the technicians.
No one had every witnessed such a huge show before and they all enjoyed it immensely.
The Brothers with Andy, Stevie and The Osmond Brothers
After 'Tragedy' a huge silver colored disco ball came down from the ceiling on which they put a number of spotlights and during the second song: 'Edge Of The Universe' the disco ball started to turn around and gave the audience the impression of sitting in the middle of the universe with small light sports everywhere.
A beautiful atmosphere for this song.
Then it was time for 'Night Fever' and everyone even went more enthusiastic now many people in the audience showed banners with greetings to the Gibb Brothers etc.
Others tried to find their way to the stage to take some photos and to throw flowers etc.
But then there was the security who mostly wouldn't let them.
'Night Fever' was followed by 'Love So Right' and 'Stayin Alive'. ( at least at the concert I herewith describe but of course the set list which I'll mention separately later on may have differed from one venue to another a little bit!).
Time for the special Bee Gees' medley with some old successes of the group and a recent song. Robin announced the medley and they did:
New York Mining Disaster 1941, Run To Me, Too Much Heaven (not the falsetto version), Holiday, I Can't See Nobody, Lonely Days, I Started A Joke, Massachusetts ( for which they received a standing ovation while performing this nearby the State of Massachusetts during their tour!!), How Can You Ment A Broken Heart during which Barry made the audience even more enthusiastic and Maurice joked around all the time like he uses too do during the BG medley of course.
he medley was immediately followed by 'Nights On Broadway'.
And during that song the huge name plate of The Bee Gees made of countless lamps came down from the ceiling behind the group like a big bill board and again the huge disco ball was there as well.
Then came: 'To Love Somebody' and after this song Robin and Maurice left the stage leaving brother Barry behind with thousands of screaming people in the audience because everyone knew which song would be next...
The beautiful performance of 'Words' which is present at each and every concert of the group.
But before Barry started, his son Stevie walked on stage to bring his dad a cup of tea.
Afterwards a standing ovation followed and Maurice and Robin joined his brother again.
They continued with 'Winds Of Change' while from the left and right smoke was spurt on stage.
Then it was time for 'Jive Talkin' while the fans danced down the aisles and in front of the stage and the Bee Gees thanked the audience and left the stage after this song.
Again a standing ovation and everyone yelled, screamed and asked for more while lightning their lighters again.
After some waiting, clapping and yelling Joey Murcia came back on stage which meant...
They were coming back and everyone even started to scream louder than loud.
The other band members took their instruments and the Sweet Inspirations came back as well followed by yes...
Maurice, Robin and Barry (they had switched their jackets for a huge white towel) jumped on stage again.
Maurice started to introduce the Band and then his brothers each introduced some of the other musicians too followed by another part of 'Jive Talkin' and last but not least: 'You Should Be Dancing'.
Robin, Barry and brother Andy
ost of theaudience were dancing on the chairs and others tried to walk to the front to dance near the stage.
The song had a very strong instrumental part by Joe Lala and finally the show was over.
Barry threw his towel in the audience which made the people falling over one another to try and grab it and meanwhile the boys left the stage at the back side and were helped by their dad and some security people.
Their Dad, Hugh was the lightning manager during this concert tour at traveled with them to all concerts.
Within 60 seconds everyone was in the limos again and on their way to the hotel or the airport while the audience still screamed their names in the hall and clapped and asked for more.
Finally when the lights got back on the audience started to move to enjoy the wonderful concert once again outside and at home in their memories.
A ten year old girl phones very enthusiastic her mum in the lobby to tell she'd touched Barry's towel and somewhere else in the lobby a middle aged couple were telling they'd not expected that it would have been so
Nice to hear all those stories afterwards.
We mostly went straight back to the hotel after the show to chat a bit more about the show with the band members and crew and later on often the boys and their family joined as well for some time.
And other concert day had ended.
© Story: Marion Adriaensen 2002
© Photos: Shirlee Faur, Agnes Corstjens, Eva Maarschalk, S. Jenkins, Marion Adriaensen, GSI-Archive