Remembering The Bee Gees' Maurice Gibb

Their brotherly love and musical savvy turned the beat around to disco, and without Maurice it just won't be the same

February 20, 2003
Maurice Gibb, The Bee Gees
Maurice Gibb
L. Cohen/WireImage

Singer Maurice Gibb, of disco kings the Bee Gees, died in a Miami hospital on January 12th after suffering complications from an intestinal blockage. He was fifty-three.

Indulging in their love of American R&B, the Bee Gees – Maurice, twin brother Robin and older brother Barry – were disco's main architects in the late Seventies. Their biggest hits – "Stayin' Alive", "How Deep Is Your Love" and "Night Fever" – pushed the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack to the top of the charts in 1978. In the past thirty-five years, the trio has sold more than 120 million albums, putting them not far behind Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Michael Jackson.

"The Gibb brothers all have a great sense of humor, but Maurice was the funniest," says producer Arif Mardin, who worked on the band's Main Course.

The brothers also wrote songs for artists such as Dionne Warwick and Diana Ross, and their tunes have been covered by Celine Dion and Faith No More, among others. "It was an education to see them writing songs," says Mardin. "It was like watching a house being built."

At Gibb's January 15th funeral in Miami, mourners included Eric Clapton and Michael Jackson, who arrived at Riverside Funeral Chapel with Barry Gibb for a private viewing.

Though an autopsy indicated Maurice suffered a congenital intestine problem, his brothers have questioned his care at Miami's Mount Sinai Medical Center. "We believe mistakes were made and time was wasted," says Robin Gibb, who is calling for an investigation. The surviving brothers said they will continue to work together, but not as the Bee Gees.

This story is from the February 20th, 2003 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

More Song Stories entries »