(originally published as a "Letter To The Editor" in the San Francisco Chronicle, 1/21/03)

Editor -- Great article on Maurice Gibb ("Contributor to a sound that went beyond disco," Jan. 14). I've been an avid Bee Gees fan and collector since their first record was released. Which, by the way, was about 11 years before that very popular soundtrack!

When Atlantic Records had its 40th anniversary party in New York in the late '80s, I was fortunate enough to chat with Maurice informally, sans microphone and recorder, for about 45 minutes. We talked about everything from living in Miami to hanging with the Beatles and, of course, the music of the Bee Gees, including the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack. He commented on the "disco" tag and kind of laughed it off. " 'How Deep Is Your Love' a disco song? I would say the latest by Debbie Gibson (not sure which one) falls under that heading."

He went on to tell me that a good number of the songs that ended up on the soundtrack had already been recorded for the next Bee Gees album. It was then that their manager, Robert Stigwood, called and said something about "a movie about a guy who goes dancing in a disco every Saturday night. Do you have any songs?" Maurice responded by saying they were getting ready to present the newly recorded songs for an official Bee Gees release. So the movie was done after the songs were created, without any thought of the "Fever" that would soon spread.

The two remaining brothers say they will continue on, but there will be a major void onstage and on record: Maurice Gibb.

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