I can’t tell you how much I hated the Disco Era. The polyester. The spandex. The endless, by the numbers, repetitive, lyrically inane songs.
But all the girls I wanted to go out with loved to dance. So somewhere there are pictures of me in a white suit with wide lapels and belled cuffs – and shoes made by “Master John” of Yonge Street.
With this weekend’s sad passings of Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees and Donna Summer a lot of the music from that time is getting airplay today.
But I want those who missed Disco to know that Robin Gibb and his band mate brothers Maurice and Barry were churning out hits long before Studio 54 was a glint on Steven Rubell’s coke mirror.
And they were still singing magnificently written songs long after the last place with a mirror ball had become a Punk venue.
Yes, in-between, there was “Saturday Night Fever” and the other fluff their promoter Robert Stigwood foisted on the world.
Which makes most people think of spandex and polyester when you mention “The Bee Gees” and forget that they were among the finest songwriters and live bands of the 20th century.
Looking and listening back, it’s hard to imagine what it must have been like to be in an Australian bar on the Queensland coast when these guys first opened their mouths and out came that distinctive vibrato-falsetto sound.
I first heard a Bee Gees song in 1967 on a transistor radio. And I watched their last hit debut 30 years later on an Air France in-flight video.
Both were examples of how to write something unforgettable. And I present them both here from a live concert so you can get some idea of just what a great band these guys were and how much we have lost now that Robin has followed brother Maurice onto the stage where that “Helluva Band” reportedly plays.
Forget Disco. These guys were as talented as they come.