On Saturday night, the new Bee Gees documentary How Can You Mend a Broken Heart will debut on HBO. Directed by Frank Marshall, it tells the story of the group via archival videos and new interviews with Barry Gibb, Eric Clapton, Noel Gallagher, Nick Jonas, Chris Martin, Justin Timberlake, Lulu, and others.
Sadly, Barry Gibb is the only living member of the Bee Gees. He’s kept their music alive through solo tours, and his upcoming album, Greenfields, will reinterpret their songs with country acts like Keith Urban, Dolly Parton, Miranda Lambert, and Jason Isbell.
“I’ve always been a real freak on old country music,” Gibb recently told Rolling Stone as part of his Musicians on Musicians discussion with Isbell. “After the Bee Gees no longer existed, I drifted into my own bliss, which is this kind of music.”
The Bee Gees haven’t existed in their original form since Maurice Gibb died from complications stemming from a twisted intestine in January 2003. Barry and Robin never recorded as the Bee Gees again after that, but they did perform at a handful of charity gigs and TV specials under the name. The last such occurrence took place May 26th, 2010, when they played the Saturday Night Fever classic “How Deep Is Your Love” on the season finale of American Idol alongside contestants Aaron Kelly and Siobhan Magnus.
The following year, the world learned that Robin Gibb had been diagnosed with liver cancer. He died on May 20th, 2012. Any chance of further Bee Gees activity died with him, but hopefully this new HBO documentary and Barry’s country duets album will remind the world of their greatness and that they were much, much more than the guys who did the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.